Living in our modern times, I find myself easily taken up by the emergencies of the day. It could be a phone call I need to return or groceries that I still need to buy or laundry that needs to get done. My life is busy, and there are times when I search for joy or meaning. I know others feel this way also. It’s as if we are being dragged through life by our hair. We don’t take the time to be grateful or give a compliment. We don’t think we have time to sit with a friend or read a book. The days go by like this and there is nothing special. We become numb.
The need to elevate our lives sometimes comes from the frustration of wanting more. More connection, more excitement, more love, more intensity, more community. I think we can “artificially” activate this by including ritual in our lives. Religions do this all the time. Right? There is a ton of ritual in the religious ceremonies, touchstones that bring about an elevation in one’s life or a “specialness” about the day.
There are other rituals I have witnessed:
• An actor preparing for a performance
• Taking off shoes and unrolling a yoga mat
• Prepping soil to plant seeds
• Getting ready for bed with a special book and pillow
Here, in Argentina, there are a lot of rituals around the drinking of mate. I can’t tell if it just seems like it to me, or it really is true, that they have a richer social life here, and a big part of that is sitting, talking, sharing and drinking mate. The mate drinkers are very attached to their rituals and what is the “right” way to drink their tea.