Ritual

18 Jan

I’ve decided that I need to add more ritual into my day. Not things that other people tell me that I should do, but rituals that are interwoven into my day,  that actually mean something to me. Ways to help me remember to move with love and intention.

I went to the business day of the Yoga Journal Conference yesterday. It was fun for me to listen to Jasmine and Dana, the co-owners (they would say co-creators) of Laughing Lotus yoga studio in SF and NYC. As I expected, they spoke in that quintisential yogi way – a bit rambling – lots of words like transformation, grace, sacred, spiritual, devotion, oozing joy. I even heard one of them say the word (hm) “true-ism”. I guess I was expecting a day of business formulas and marketing experts full of tried and true techniques. Instead, much to my joy, I got to listen to Jasmine and Dana, sitting in the conference room stacking chairs sitting in lotus, talking about how business is their spiritual practice.

Those women are hilarious and really embody the message they are presenting – that yoga and spirituality actually help us experience joy. Jasmine spoke about how Laughing Lotus is her baby and her parents call it their grandbaby and have nicknamed the studio LoLo. She said that whether she’s paying taxes or scrubbing the toilet, she feels like she’s bathing her baby and caring for it. She’s named the studio vacuum Ganesha. She’s a riot – I wonder if she’d have enough energy for all of that with 3 kids at her heels. Maybe she’d borrow mine occasionally. I think they’d really enjoy her. She’s got so much enthusiasm and shakti – I think she’d be really successful at getting them to do their homework.

I don’t know – I have so much responsibility in my life, and I tend to be a very responsible person in the first place. Everything in my life is something I wanted: the husband, the kids, the cat, the house, the yoga studio. It’s a great life and I’m SO grateful. But – often I just forget that element of Leela – that element of play, that life is a game and it’s actually a joy. That what seems like a burden is actually a blessing.

My mother came to town yesterday to watch the kids while I was in SF. She left me a sad message saying that Drew was sick. When I got home, Drew had been throwing up all day and was sound asleep. She woke soon after I got home and as I scooped her up to cuddle her, she barfed all over me. Somehow – after a day of absorbing yoga chat – it didn’t bother me. I was glad to be able to help her and even though I’m pretty tired after being up with her last night, I’m just glad to have piles of dirty laundry to do, glad to have little people (and bigger people – have you seen Brandon lately?) who wear them – in my life.

Today I’m playing with ritual – trying to find ways of integrating the spiritual into the mundane tasks to help me remember the joy of my responsibilties. I think my vacuum definitely needs a name and snack-time must include a meditation on chocolate.  Now how can I make filing papers more fun? I’ll have to ponder this one…

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2 Responses to “Ritual”

  1. Jody Weltz January 18, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    Thanks Laurie. That is beautiful. I mean it!

  2. greenfrog January 20, 2009 at 8:34 am #

    I liked the instruction one of the teachers gave at Spirit Rock when I was there recently. One of the participants in the retreat asked about the practice they’d observed other participants doing of bowing at various places and in various manners. The teacher first responded that it wasn’t necessary to the practice of meditation, so do it if you want; don’t if you don’t want. But then the teacher added, “if you decide to try it out, the basic rul is ‘when in doubt, bow.'”

    I like the structured reverence of ritual.

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