House Therapy - Ritual
Creating ritual in the home celebrates who we are and where we live. It adds to our life in a very special and unique fashion. Now I’m not telling you what ceremonial rites to perform in your own space. That is up to you based on your personal belief system. What I want to talk about is how to create that special place where you celebrate your own personal specialness, be it faith based, nature loving, or out of respect for your ancestors. A ritual is a ceremony, an observance, a solemn rite. It may be lighting a candle, a kiss, a tradition that has become sacred in some sense to you or your family. Our daily habits differ and are performed in every room of the house, but what about the special ones that honor our past?
Step one – Choose the memory
To create a shrine you need an object, person or place that is hallowed by its associations in your life. You can use a photo or a physical item that positively reinforces the idea of home for you, whether it is something from your family’s past, such as a picture of the house you grew up in, a reminder of a favorite relative, maybe someone very special who made a difference while you were growing up. It could be a toy you still cherish or that first book you read when you discovered the world of your imagination. The idea is to choose an item, a reference point that is a lovely reminder of how you came to be the brilliant person you are today.
Step two – Select the place
You may already have a spot that you feel good about, one that feels sacred to you. If you aren’t sure then use the feng shui location of the family sector which is in the middle of the left wall from the main door to the room you have in mind. Try a few places and see where your awareness takes you. If you can’t decide on a physical place in your home, then what about a box that it is movable? After all, nothing need ever be stagnant at home.
Step three – Create the space
Clean the area. If you have a small table, pedestal or wall shelf, place it appropriately. Now look over your selected items; frame any pictures you will use, edit any items to just the essential memory trigger (if you have a quantity of items you may want to store the majority and rotate them throughout the year), place them on the shelf or table. Include a small vase with fresh greenery or a small plant that will thrive. You should have no more than three items on display at any one time (that’s not a rule). Et voilà.
My hope for you is that every time you see your little shrine you are reminded of just how extraordinary you are and you thank the ancestors, so to speak, for their contribution—even if it is a contribution to your childhood self!
About the author: Ren Campbell has practiced the discipline of architectural interior design for over 30 years. He’s been a University studio instructor and currently consults with individuals on their issues concerning their homes and how they live in them. For House Therapy questions, email email@example.com.