Philosophy | Traditional Life Rituals | Personal Achievement Life Rituals

Philosophy [top]
One of the hallmarks of a healthy community is the existence of life rituals. We heal through rituals. Ritual is a basic need of our psyche and body. In its most basic form, rituals mark ends and beginnings; in other words, transitions. Rituals help us walk through transitions, and therefore grow, by allowing us the space to let go of the old that no longer serves us and embrace the new that is aching to be.

Although we are in constant transition every day of our lives, certain events require that we stop and acknowledge them in the presence of a loving and supportive community. Some examples of western rituals are graduations, award ceremonies, and secular holidays. These, together with anniversaries, birthdays, and funerals all form part of our collective need for recognizing certain events. Rituals also bring a community together. The presence of the community in ritual brings about an experience of support and unity.

Today more than ever, every gay and lesbian person needs this sense of belonging to a supportive community. The gay and lesbian community is in great need for rituals that celebrate our lives and our uniqueness. For centuries we have relinquished the important place in society that we once held. We only need to look at the great Greek and Roman societies but also African and Native American to realize that our men and women held positions of honor and respect. One way to reclaim our honor is through rituals that heal our spirits and recognize our personal value.


Traditional Life Rituals [top]

Memorials
The ultimate transition in life is death. A memorial service is a moment to reflect, remember, and celebrate the life of that one beloved person that is no longer with us. A memorial helps us in letting go of the life that we once knew with the departed while we begin to make sense of what our new life without that person will be. In a memorial, family and friends gather together in mourning and in their companionship the hurt is alleviated. In our unity we cope better. The end of a life is an important event that causes our own soul and other souls to grow and change. Even though this can be the most painful of rituals it also can be the most healing.

Birthdays
Most of us celebrate birthdays with a party, a nice dinner, or even a trip. How about bringing spirituality into your celebration?
What if your birthday was a celebration of gratitude for another year of growing in wisdom? A birthday ritual can be an opportunity for releasing old patterns and behaviors while embracing and creating a new energy of how you want to experience yourself.

Baby Blessing
All major religions have some form of blessing a new life. A baby blessing is the recognition of the new life as a gift to the family and the world. It is a ritual of gratitude and planting the seeds of good wishes for the new life.

Anniversaries
Anniversaries remind us of major benchmarks in our lives. In anniversaries we take time to remember events in our lives that transformed us. We seek to examine how a particular event has changed us over time and the ways in which we have grown as a result. The most common types of anniversaries are weddings and funerals, yet others include sobriety and resiliency (e.g., survival of a tragedy, or immigration).


Personal Achievement Life Rituals [top]
Personal achievement rituals include events such as house blessings, coming of age, career change, promotion, retirement, or any other event not consistently celebrated by society but of importance to the individual.

 


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