My Ritual: Details + Why I recommend it for you!
This past weekend I gathered a group of 10 people at my home for a celebration and honoring of my completed Home Study Program.
You may recall in a previous newsletter, I shared a story: A Tale of Failure, Triumph and Celebration. Well, I followed through on my plan and finally gave myself the gift of celebration by calling together friends to help me honor the birth of my Home Study Program.
It turned out to a simple, beautiful, perfect little ritual. I am still basking in the afterglow of the experience. I feel seen, appreciated, refreshed, and in touch with a place of deep rest and trust inside of me which lovingly holds both my business and my larger life. I highly recommend this type of ritual for you!
I know that many of you are fluent in the language and experience of ritual and that others of you are not. I also know that many of you have attended other people’s rituals, but have yet to gift yourself with a simple, yet profound ritual to honor something in your life that is ready to be marked, acknowledged, or celebrated.
I know it can feel overwhelming to set it up, hard to ask friends to join you, and scary to be witnessed. It also might simply seem silly to do it, like you’re making such a “big deal” over nothing at all. I get it!
I had some version of each of these thoughts and feelings. In fact, despite clearly knowing the value of this type of ritual (and writing at length about it in my Home Study workbook), I nearly skipped right over it in my enthusiasm to get started toward my next goal, to take the first steps up my next mountain. Luckily, I had a moment that stopped me in my tracks and almost begged me to first pause, decompress, rest, and celebrate!
Even the simple stating of the intention on April 28th to pause and create an honoring ritual had a huge impact. Besides the ritual itself, several new aspects of my work opened up in unexpected ways.
For example, I got clear about starting up my private coaching again, which I am thrilled about. My schedule effortlessly filled up through August. Another example: I signed on as an affiliate with Rich, Happy & Hot B-School and offered my Home Study Program as a sign-up bonus. I’ve never before had a product that could be used in this way. It was a big hit, and both of these new ideas brought in unexpected income!
It’s so clear to me that we need to pause, honor, and celebrate our successes. When we do so, we’re able to see options and opportunities that were previously obscured. We also give ourselves the “down time” needed to more deeply integrate the success, after which new inspiration and energy comes in and propels us forward once again.
Do you see that thesis peeking out of the left side of the photo of the altar?
That is my graduate school Master’s thesis from before I started my money work. Its topic was ritual and Authentic Movement (a type of contemplative movement practice). I’ve been incorporating my previous studies in somatic psychology into my money work over the past decade. The latest addition has been ritual and using its power toward celebration, forgiveness, and manifestation.
Here is an excerpt from my Home Study workbook.
Financial Therapy Doorway- Ritual and Forgiveness:
“Simply put, a personal ritual is a set of actions that empowers some intention. Giving form to intention by way of words, and/or movement gives it power, consolidating and focusing our energy. It’s a declaration to ourselves and to life, some form of: “This is what I want! This is the change that I am committed to right now! This is what I just finished (or completed or kicked ass on!”). It’s common that personal ritual addresses a time of transition, affirming the end of one part of our lives and the beginning of a new one-perfect for celebrations, forgiveness, and manifestation!”
In terms of creating a personal ritual, the range of possibilities is limited only by your imagination. There are no rules other than that it feel meaningful to you, the outward action strongly aligning with the inner feeling of your intention.
So, here are some simple steps that I took for my Celebration Ritual last weekend. You can use these as a guide to assist you in creating your own ritual to honor something that needs a changing, something that needs an honoring, something that needs to be witnessed (can I get a witness, please?!), something that needs a celebrating.
Ritual Group photo Step 1: Choose the right constellation of people to invite.
You could choose to do it alone, with one trusted person or a group, whatever feels right for you.
Leading up the event, I considered whom to invite. I let it organically evolve over a few weeks and asked people to come as it became clear to me that I wanted them there. Then I trusted that the final constellation would be the perfect group!
My group: One of my first-ever Financial Coaching clients from 9 years ago and now dear friend, Aninha Livingstone, flew out from California to be there. She read my article on FB about my ritual, had just handed in her dissertation on women & ritual, and told me she wanted to fly out for it. How cool is that?!
My co-writer & editor of the workbook, Joshua Levin, was there with his wife. (He took these photos.) He was my boyfriend many years ago and still lives in Boulder with his wife. What a great discovery for all of us that he and I are a much better intellectual & writing fit than we were a romantic fit. It was wonderful to all be in this ritual space together.
An old graduate school teacher, Elena Guilini was there. She and I recently switched roles when she participated in my final live course as my student. My dear husband, Forest, was there of course. In addition to honoring me and the Home Study Program, he was being honored for having created my whole new website and the online portion of the Program. My mentor Tamara Slayton’s best friends’s daughter, Elisha Celeste, just happened to be visiting Boulder, and she attended as well. Tamara passed on in 2003, so it was wonderful to have another person there bringing her spirit to the ceremony.
Some of my dearest girlfriends also attended. I am very grateful for everyone who came and for how they all showed up with openness and honesty.
Step 2: Put together the ritual space.
Simple is great. And with an almost-three-year-old running around, everything needs to be fairly simple in my world. Some flowers, several candles, a few special objects (like a photos of my mentor, a butterfly, Frida Kahlo), yummy food, a nice altar table to place special objects on. Oh, and tell everyone to bring something chocolatey-that’s a must, at least in my world!
Also, you might choose to do your ritual out in nature. This can be especially helpful if you’re doing a ritual by yourself, as nature itself is a powerful witness.
Step 3: Sit in a circle and have each person share from their personal experience.
This can either be an organic process or quite structured. I chose to go the naturally unfolding avenue and simply started sharing my vision and purpose for the ritual and for calling everyone together.
Then, one at a time, each person shared about how they’ve been involved with me and my work over the last decade, whether that’s been personally, professionally, or both. Time was given for response from me and others in the circle. We cultivated a safe space where all feelings were welcome–tears were shed, forgiveness was requested and given, humorous stories were told with affection. What a great rhythm of openness, giving, and receiving.
A great way to start this type of group process is to have each person share for a minute or less about how it feels to simply be there at the ritual, sitting in the circle, at that moment. Getting the chance to speak in this way can help each person get more present and greatly support the overall experience.
A guided body check-in can also be used as part of the opening, whether on its own or to help prompt the one-minute sharing. The gist of the body check-in is to simply notice your present moment experience–any feelings, thoughts, sensations, images.
Step 4: Bless the Home Study Program.
We passed around the Home Study Program**, and each person held it in their arms, giving it a blessing or a prayer, various versions of: a) it finding its way to everyone who’s life would be helped by it; b) it continuing to wildly succeed with its transformational results; c) it expanding its abundant support of my family so that we can continue to parent our son in the ideal way for our family.
**For the ritual, I simply went to Kinko’s for a quick print. I will be looking into printing and pricing options for a hard copy version of my Home Study Program (a combo Workbook/CD) in the coming months. I’ll want something more elegant and fabulous for the real thing. (Feel free to send me ideas and suggestions!)
Step 5: Enjoy Good Food.
To complete the ritual, we all ate some yummy food together, enjoying each other’s company and savoring the healing afterglow of the ritual before heading home to dreamland.
Call to Action #1: Create a ritual for yourself!
First ask yourself: What would I like to create a ritual for? The three types that I’ve focused on in my work are Celebration, Forgiveness, or Manifestation of something dearly desired.
Another form of the question is: “What is begging for some attention and acknowledgment?”
Next, start taking your version of the steps above, and go for it!
I bet you will be very happy that you did.
With my dearest wishes,
Bari Tessler Linden, M.A.
Financial Therapist, Coach & Mommypreneur