Stop. Slow down. Breathe and Be.

I have always loved ritual. Ritual brings me home to my heart, it grounds me in my soul, and opens my spirit to wonder.

As a child, I loved going to Mass on Sunday mornings for the experience of ritual that a Catholic mass offers. The candles, incense and the echoing silence of the vast spaces of cathedrals throughout western Europe where we lived all brought me a sense of peace, connectedness, completeness. Immersed in ritual I felt part of something bigger than me. I felt connected to the spiritual realms which I believed, and continue to believe, permeate the air all around me.

Ritual fills my soul with grace.

I know this and still, today, my life is sorely missing ritual. I no longer attend Catholic mass. In fact, I seldom go to church. I know though, that I don’t need church to create ritual space within my life. I simply need the will — and I’m not spending time creating space for ritual in my life.

In fact, if I think of the most profound ritual in my life today, it might well be the making of coffee every morning.

To have what I want in my life, I must be committed to do what it takes to create it.

I want peace in my soul. I want Love in my heart. I want enlightenment for my spirit.

I want to walk in grace.

What am I willing to do to create it?

These thoughts drifted through my head this morning as I meditated — which, as I type I realize is also a ritual I engage in — that is much more profound than making coffee!

However, I have been feeling out of sorts for the past few days. Off-kilter. Out of sync with where and how I want to be in the world.

Sure, I have a cold that has been expressing itself through stuffed up nose that is either running or plugging up and a cough that won’t quiet down. It’s left me feeling a tad draggy and sluggish. But I know it’s not ‘the cold’. The cold is just a manifestation of an inner ennui that is creeping around the outskirts of my peace of mind looking for fertile ground to set up camp and create disharmony.

What’s that about? my inner voice asks? Where are you not giving yourself the medicine you need to be at peace, at One, at awe with the world around you Louise?

And the quiet voice deep within my soul whispers, invest in ritual. Stop. Slow down. Breathe and Be.

Take time to soothe your spirit through connecting with the world around you by invoking the elements of ritual.

It’s not that I don’t ‘do ritual’. It is that I have not been mindful of the rituals which I do invoke throughout my day. And, I have not been mindful of the need to create sacred moments in my everyday doings that give grace to daily living.

The sacred lives within every moment. It is up to me to open myself to its presence, to allow the shimmer of its light to settle in my heart and touch my soul, deeply with grace.

I haven’t been paying attention.

Time to begin again.

Always begin again.

And so, I begin again to be mindful of my every act throughout the day. To be grateful for each breath I inhale and exhale knowing that each breath in brings love into my body and each breath out returns the gift of love to the world around me.

I breathe and am aware of the gift of breathing. It is a circle of grace.

I begin again to be mindful of each step I take. For the privilege of walking this planet earth at this time, in this place where I know I am the difference I make in the world around me. Where I feel the connection between where I begin and end and you begin and end and know there is no beginning nor ending to the Love between us.

I begin again to awaken mindfulness in my every action, word, thought. To be aware of my capacity to create, to contribute, and allow a world of wonder, awe and beauty to be my unique expression in, around and through me.


14 thoughts on “Stop. Slow down. Breathe and Be.”

  1. LG,

    sorry to hear a ‘bug’ of some sorts got you down, or is up your keester

    ritual/routine/habits help me, so I get what you are saying

    often – again, just for me, so I’m not saying this is your issue —- but I find, when something isn’t squared, my feelings vs. my actions or things I’m being ‘included in’ don’t fit how I feel …..that it leaks out in words, actions, feelings that are out of sync

    and, when I grip those – a solution emerges

    hope you are feeling ‘whole’ again soon



    1. Thanks Mark — I share the same ‘leakage’. 🙂

      Often for me, the solution is to stay present in the leakage and allow its presence to enlighten my path and all becomes righted and well in my world. Just writing about ritual has shifted my perspective and allowed me to see through new glasses where I’ve been allowing myself to veer off kilter!

      Hugs. HOpe you have a beautiful and grace-filled day.


  2. Awesome article as always, thanks for sharing. I feel much the same way…Be still and know that I am God. A verse from Psalms I believe. When we are still and breathe we can become centered and connect to Spirit within each one of us.


  3. Thanks for this reminder, Louise. It is so beautifully written. I have only begun meditating through Yoga in the last 18 months, so I’m not always mindful yet (still learning). Ritual certainly creates continuity in our lives and good to focus on during stressful times.


  4. I have to confess I’ve also been guilty of letting my morning coffee turn into my most consistent ritual! This year I’ve resolved to bring more gratitude, kindness, and positivity into my life and the world by visiting and commenting every day on a different blog that has a positive focus. Discovered yours today, and I’m finding it very inspiring and motivating! Many thanks for sharing your advice and for working to make a difference in the world.


  5. Routine and rituals are the essence of one’s stability which gives us strength.
    Paradoxically, we can also be refreshed by variety.
    Sometimes they (‘routine’ and ‘variety’) conflict with one another and we need to get back to basics and let them win us over again.


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