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Honoring your values through rituals

December 23, 2008

As we’ve discussed in my previous blogs, November and December provide us with perfect opportunities to think about how we can center ourselves through mindful meditation, with music, or by just being. But during these joyful, yet hectic months, I find that it is always a great time to think about what we value most and to create ways to honor those values we hold dear. Why? The holidays themselves are a ritual, so why not evaluate how to strengthen this ritual as well?

Just recently, my husband and I had a conversation surrounding our family values. And we both agreed that this was one area of our life that we needed to pay more attention to. We decided that we wanted to introduce a few rituals into our week that would help us feel more united, provide our children with a deeper spiritual foundation, and mostly, to just enjoy each other’s company and be present, in the moment, with one another.

So, with only so many hours in a day, and the many stressors we deal with daily— like our busy careers, exercise, dinner, homework, etc., how do you introduce meaningful rituals into your routine? In my opinion, you do it slowly! Try one thing at a time, giving yourself time to evaluate if the new ritual is accomplishing the goal you had set out for it to achieve.

In our case, we decided to start by creating our Friday Night Family Night three times per month. Because we hardly ever eat dinner as a family, the one very important criteria of our Family Night is that we eat dinner together. The second and third criteria is that we have fun and laugh a lot, and that it is just the four of us. The kids are quite excited about it too, because each week one of them will choose what our activity will be, whether it’s the movies, the park, playing a game…and dinner of course! Maybe we’ll make home-made pizza, or bake cookies. The options are endless, and we love the spontaneity of it.

The second activity we plan to implement soon (again, the key is to introduce them slowly so as not to overwhelm yourselves!) is to set aside 30 minutes to read a short story (spiritually or values-based) with our children and to discuss its lesson. When do we do this proactively? Usually, we are teaching our children right from wrong after they have committed an action we don’t approve of. Or, we hope that by osmosis they will obtain this data during Sunday service. I really like the idea of having a short conversation with them, allowing them the opportunity to imagine what kinds of decisions they could make if they were involved in certain, perhaps tense or uncomfortable situations. Think of the power in that.

So, during this holiday season, which will seem to fly by, maybe you can take a moment to think of a value that is important to you, but is not necessarily reflected in your current activities. Would you like for that value to be more present in your life? How would your life be different if it were? How much time would it take to make that happen? Could 10 to 30 minutes make the difference? You don’t have to have children in order to live a more values-driven life. I would dare to say your life would be a bit more on purpose if you did.

And with purpose on my mind, I now wish each of you a purposeful and prosperous holiday season, filled with memorable rituals! May love and joy surround you and those you love during these special days and continue on in the New Year!

Monique

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2 Responses to “Honoring your values through rituals”

  1. Ellie Says:

    Enjoying your blog, baby!
    Love,
    Mom

  2. Billy C. Says:

    living and loving the blog message Sweety!!! Keep spreading the word.


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