Posted By Kathleen David on May 15, 2013
I ran across an article in Scientific America about how rituals really do work. You can read the article here . I’ll wait here until you come back…Done? OK
I think we all do little rituals in our lives without even realizing it. Patterns of behavior which are repeated through out our lives. Then there are the social rituals that we take part in as part of the group.
I think a good example of this is conventions. Everyone seems to have their little rituals of things they do before the convention. Then there are the things that we do every time we go to X convention. Dragon*Con participants seem to have a lot of rituals that they participate in at the convention. I know people who delay their leaving because they want to go to Peter’s panel, which is the last one on the Star Trek track. They have been coming to it for years.
We have rituals before we leave the house. We check to make sure that the doors are locked. We make sure that all of the cats are accounted for and none are trapped behind a door of a room they shouldn’t be in. We make sure we have our keys before leaving. Skip a step and things might not go as planned.
I have patterns of behavior when I work on a creative project. A lot of it happens in my head but I recognize it as it is happening. Once I am actively working on a puppet I have things I do in a certain order so that there won’t be delays in assembling the critter. I also count off the steps in my head. Forget a step and I am delayed in completing the project in a timely fashion.
Caroline has her bedtime ritual. She brushes her teeth, gets on her PJs, gathers up the stuffed animals that are going to occupy her bed with her, and has us sing a song to her that we have been singing to her since she was born. She goes to sleep pretty promptly after that a little after 9:00 pm and gets up around 6:30 am or so. She says that the song tells her that her day is done and it is time for her to go to sleep.
I now don’t feel as bad or strange for some of my behaviors because they make me feel better or more centered. They are rituals that help me get through the day.
So convention folk, what are your convention rituals?
I am grateful for articles that make me feel better about being me.