Routines and Rituals

Routines and Rituals 150 150 Ben Coker

Routines and Rituals

You and I are ‘creatures of habit’.

We are ‘ruled’ by two kinds of habit – routines and rituals – that we carry out every day or on a regular basis.

We get into a ‘routine’ – a way of doing things during the day, or the week. Probably not the same routine every day but more often than not a clear pattern of how we ‘operate’.

A ‘daily method of operation’ or a weekly version, not to mention the ‘annual cycle’ of ‘holidays’ and other events.

Now of course, this has a beneficial effect in that it helps to keep us ‘on track’ with what we need to do towards achieving our goals, but it also has a negative effect.

We fall into a habit of following that familiar routine and it becomes more important than it should.

We ignore or reject ‘interventions’, unexpected opportunities, and ‘special’ events in favour of our familiar routine.

As Marisa Peer explains, the mind always hangs on to the familiar and rejects the unfamiliar and so we find it hard to ‘break out’ of the ‘routine’ – whatever it might mean to our advantage.

“No, I think I’ll miss out on that webinar and watch my favourite TV show instead”

“No, I think I’ll stay in and do what I usually do on a Tuesday evening rather than going to that meetup group”

It’s too much ‘trouble’ to change the routine.

You and I are fully aware of this scenario, not just because we have difficulty getting people to engage with us, but because – we do it as well (be honest now!)

There’s always something that’s ‘too much trouble’ – and its not about doing whatever it is, the ‘trouble’ is moving away from the familiar. That is what causes the problem.

Let’s go a bit deeper.

Routines are made up of rituals, big and small, that ‘describe’ the way we carry out our ‘routine’ activities.

I’m not talking about deliberate, conscious, rituals like meditating or journaling and other things we specifically prioritise such as our ‘do list’: I’m talking about the way we do certain stuff.

The way we make a cup of tea, the way we brush our teeth, the way we get into and start the car, and so on. You and I have our own individual ‘ways’ and those are our unconscious ritual habits.

The thing is though that while these ‘little ways’ are the things we’ve probably inherited from childhood; they may not always be the ‘best’ or most efficient ‘way’ of doing something.

But we find it so hard to change and even get resentful when someone ‘points it out’ even when that’s done in a loving way.

They are OUR ways and we’re sticking with them!

It’s that familiar – unfamiliar conflict again.

But hang on, you and I have changed the way we do things and have changed our routines over our lifetimes – how does that work?

We do change our routines and our rituals.

We change them for two reasons: one to adapt to changing circumstances and new technology, and two because we are being manipulated so to do.

That may sound a bit strong, but you and I know that it’s true.

We are being manipulated all the time especially by mass advertising, by social media, by ‘regular’ media and by the ‘powers that be’ – not necessarily just politicians, what used to be called ‘the establishment’ has a lot to answer for in this as well.

But how does that fit in with ‘familiar – unfamiliar’, are we not moving away from the familiar when this happens?

Your mind only ever does what you tell it to do and thinks what you tell it to think, but it doesn’t just listen to you.

Your mind is listening and observing all the time. Bob Proctor explains it as a barrage of information continually coming in through your senses which you have to filter to match as ‘acceptable’ your understanding of the way things are.

You and I know only too well that the more an idea is repeated the more acceptable, the more ‘true’ it will become.

The intensity of that repetition plays a part as well because the more channels the ‘message’ utilises the more effective it will be in ‘changing your mind’ in making the previously familiar unfamiliar, and the previously unfamiliar familiar.

Familiarity is not cast in stone because the mind is highly suggestible.

It’s not just about what you hear, see or read on the ‘news’ its about the adverts and the reality shows and the ‘popular drama’ (used to be called soap operas) and everything else that we see, hear, smell, taste or feel that purports to be ‘real’.

People, including you and I, are undergoing programs (deliberately spelt that way) of conditioning to accept the new, whatever that might be, and to adapt out mindset to it.

To take on new (or sometimes old) paradigms, to see change and the adaptation of our daily routines and rituals to fit in with it as ‘normal’ and ‘familiar’, and here’s the kicker.

Because of these routines and rituals, we just don’t notice what is going on, we’re too preoccupied with the ‘daily scenario’ to notice the world, or our part of it, is changing.

And this isn’t just on a global or national scale. It happens on a personal scale as well, within relationships, within families, within workplaces, everywhere.

The answer, if we’re not happy to say ‘c’est la vie’ and go with the flow, is to take notice of what we, you and I, are doing.

Question our routines, and our rituals.

Do they really serve us? Are they taking us where we want to go, towards who we really want to be? Are they allowing us to be manipulated towards the fulfilment of someone else’s vision?

Mary Morrissey says “notice what you’re noticing”

You and I need to do just that.