The Power of Ritual

Friday 02 February 2018 - Posted by Julia McCutchen

Yesterday was the festival of Imbolc, one of the cornerstones of the Celtic Calendar.

Traditionally, as the store of winter provisions started to run out, Imbolc was a time for performing rituals to harness divine energy and ensure the availability of food to see everyone through till the autumn harvest.

Fires would be lit to celebrate the steadily increasing strength of the sun as well as the powers of Brigid, the Goddess of fire, healing and fertility.

Conscious Actions Performed Mindfully

One of the aspects I love about such time-honoured festivals relates to the power of ritual and the immensely positive impact of conscious actions performed mindfully.

Rituals set things apart from the everyday and have the potential to transform your experience from the mundane to the sacred.

Shift Your State of Consciousness

Whether they’re short and simple or lengthy and elaborate, rituals bring you into the present moment and trigger a shift in your state of consciousness.

Mindfully focusing your energy on a selected intention benefits you in a multitude of ways including boosts to your creativity, commitment and confidence.

Research shows that rituals also:

  • Give a sense of meaning and purpose to your choices and actions.
  • Promote a greater sense of connection with yourself and others.
  • Increase positive feelings such as gratitude, balance and harmony.

The Ritual of Conscious Writing

Rituals can be used for a whole host of different purposes daily, weekly, monthly or tied in to the annual cycles of life such as the festival of Imbolc and others in the traditional calendars.

Yet they’re also immensely powerful for making the internal shift from everyday mode into the conscious, present and aligned state of being that Conscious Writing is all about.

In fact the Conscious Writing Process(i) is a ritual of preparation for downloading your most original ideas and writing authentically from the deep space of truth within.

Preparation for Writing

Writers including Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, Ray Bradbury, Virginia Woolf, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen King, James Joyce and many more have created their own versions of rituals to prepare for writing.

Charles Dickens, for example, required absolute silence and a specific arrangement of his study and writing tools.

On his desk, which had to be in front of a window, he had goose-quill pens with blue ink and a variety of ornaments, including a paper knife and fresh flowers.

My Writing Ritual…

Naturally I recommend the Conscious Writing Process as a tried and tested technique which I’ve repeatedly used myself and guided countless others through – so I know it works!

Once you’re familiar with it, you can expand or contract the amount of time it takes to suit your individual situation.

Currently, in addition to my usual morning practice, my writing ritual includes:

  • making a cup of organic green tea with jasmine,
  • lighting a “Great Origin” incense stick (sandalwood and cinnamon)
  • and using the Mudra Sequence(ii) to deepen my alignment with all that is.

… And Yours

The festival of Imbolc has reminded me of the power that rituals of all kinds have.

This is especially relevant when it comes to reinforcing positive intentions and facilitating conscious and creative expression through writing.

What ritual(s) do you use or feel inspired to experiment with in your creative life and work? Please share your comments or ask a question below. Thank you!

Further Resources

(i) Follow my guided version of the Conscious Writing Process with the audio CD called Conscious Writing – The Process” available here.

You could also experience the process live with me and other Conscious Writers at my one day workshop on SATURDAY 17 MARCH in London. Read more here.

(ii) Register here to watch a video of me doing The Mudra Sequence in the FREE Conscious Writing Video Series.

This practice is included in the Conscious Writing Process yet also works extremely well as a stand-alone practice; plus the benefits are cumulative, so the more you do it, the faster it works and the deeper it takes you.

Enjoy x

6 Comments

  • Julia, great blog and advice, as always. My writing ritual seems to start first thing when I awaken. I lie in bed and allow images, scenes and thoughts to flow through me. soon I am (over)loaded and ready to go. as I go through my morning ablutions, i stay aware of the energy building. before actually starting to write, i stretch and meditate. this often takes discipline (though I love doing it). I’m so ready to write, but pausing to relax and be open is so important. once i’m grounded and centered, I seat myself at my desk and i’m ready to roll.

    • Thank you Peter. I love your extended writing ritual which sounds beautifully conscious to me and very similar to how I like to start my days too! I truly appreciate you sharing your approach and am sure that many readers will benefit from it too so thanks again and here’s to being “ready to roll” the conscious and creative way 🙂

  • Such a joy, such a gift, this creative journey. sometimes i have to pinch myself. this is me, this is my life! other times (such as recently when too sick to effort) i have to work hard to hold the faith, to wait for the moment to find me and trust that it will – though perhaps not on my schedule.

    • Yes indeed Peter. It’s a path with both gifts and challenges; quite a roller coaster ride at times! Waiting for the moment to find you and trusting that it will is beautifully put… and of course there’s no schedule where true inspiration arises from! I enjoyed looking at your Memoir and Mindfulness site too. Thanks for showing up here and congratulations on all the writing and mindfulness you’re clearly engaged with!

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