• Nukhet Hendricks

Desperately Seeking Rituals I

"The first thing I do after I leave my bed is to light a candle to center and ground myself for the day…" That was the first line of the fifth article I had read, all as part of my attempt to kick-starting my own "rituals," for I am desperately seeking rituals. Yikes! This is beginning to feel and sound like a horrible low budget movie. Desperately seeking... But in all seriousness, I've been looking for inspiration and finding it hard to come by.

I keep thinking it will take only 30 seconds to start creating rituals once again. Thirty seconds to light a candle and set an intention for the day. Thirty seconds to stop, breathe, and say a prayer to start off the day. Thirty seconds to stretch, to open up my spine after sitting in front of the computer all day long. I honestly couldn't even begin to tell you where the resistance is coming from. It will take only bloody thirty seconds to do one single doable thing. Yet, I resist.

Today is day 64 of "shelter in place" for me. I know some people have been sheltering a lot longer, and most, if not all, cannot wait to be done and resume a life that resembles the one they used to live. I keep hearing their need to go "back to normal." But I am not sure what normal is any more. In my pre-pandemic normal, there were rituals, chats with girlfriends while we were caffeinating ourselves generously; there were lunches and dinners out; there were hugs, lots of them; there were parties that went long into the night. But no more.

I have no idea what my post-pandemic life will look and feel like - if we ever reach a point of post-pandemic. I don't have a "normal" left to go back to anytime soon. I hear it takes 21 days to establish a habit. So, 64 days of sheltering in place is now my new "habit," my new "normal." I feel like I have no concept of life outside of "sheltering in place" left to fall back on.

I wonder if that is the reason I am resisting rituals? Because it is not a part of my new normal, the new normal I am still trying to figure out and to navigate?

In the meantime, I think I am going to place a candle on the kitchen counter tonight. I wonder if I will take thirty seconds to light it tomorrow morning to center and ground myself. I wonder if I will do one single doable thing for the day and let that be enough.

Stay tuned!

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