A few years back Starbucks had a marketing campaign for the holidays centered around ritual. It was a pretty effective campaign.
Starbucks recognized the need we have deep down in ourselves for special time – time outside of ordinary time, intentional time. They played on the longing to meet with something more, be it our inner heart or the Divine or deep connections with others.
There’s precious little of that going around these days if we’re looking for it in our coffee chains.
But what if we were to claim that for ourselves?
What if we did like Elizabeth Gilbert suggests:
“This is what rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don’t have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down. We all need such places of ritual safekeeping. And I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn’t have the specific ritual you are craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken-down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resourcefulness of a generous plumber/poet.”
from Eat, Pray, Love
What if we had rituals to meet our specific emotional needs? Like…
- A ritual to bless a brand new home, a brand new business, a brand new (or newly tidied) office and dedicate it as an intentional space for hopes and dreams, and prosperity.
- A ritual to celebrate a milestone birthday.
- A ritual to help a daughter approach puberty with the love and support of a larger circle of women than just her mother, and give her “faery godmothers” to guide her on her way.
- A ritual to release old hurts that hold us back; or ones to let go of guilt and gently ease fears that reside too deep for words.
- A ritual to welcome a new baby that lets words of the heart be spoken in just such a way that they can be deeply heard.
- A ritual to refocus on what’s important when we get lost along the journey.
- A ritual to help a mother-to-be get emotionally prepare for motherhood with a chance to safely express any fears or conflicting emotions and have them comforted.
Ritual can do all these things and infinitely more. We need only find the courage and the creativity to try it for ourselves. And there’s help for both those.
Open up to that longing for ritual. Visit your local barista – sipping something warm is as good a way as any start.
And as the warmth seeps in, I invite you to open up your heart and get in touch with what you might need or long for.
Starbucks knew it was there…
So do you.