Rituals either mark a significant step by one individual along a well-trodden path, or are observances repeated by an individual that shape their life – both are essential to a well-orientated life.
Everybody uses rituals. Rituals provide structure and meaning to our everyday lives. We have bedtime rituals, rituals around food, personal hygiene rituals, and birthday rituals. Some people do roughly the same thing every time they leave or enter their home, or when they have any kind of test, or saying goodbye, or when they sign off texts, or on Sunday mornings.
Rituals transform something ordinary into something sacred. Habits can become sacred as they deliver structure to our lives giving us a feeling of security. These are our everyday rituals that both liberate us and anchor us. Daily habits liberate us from having to consciously decide each time how to do things that we do everyday, and they anchor us by providing a sense of order.
Then we have our extra-ordinary rituals or rites of passage. We can use rites of passage as a conscious acknowledgement of a life change. Rites and rituals help us to shift our self-perception, enabling us to mature. The ordinary flow of life stops and we are able to stand back and view our lives afresh. We may see more clearly what has meaning for us and what distracts us from our true purpose.
Rituals cause us to pause and pay attention. Rituals can be public, private or secret; planned or spontaneous. Rituals do not always need words, witnesses, or ceremony; some of the most powerful rituals are solitary and reflective. Rituals are timed by beats of the heart, not ticks of the clock and should never be hurried.
Everyone makes the journey of growing up – but each one of us needs acknowledgement and validation for our individual passage through the life stages. Rituals provide this; they act as markers along the way. Without ritual validation of our progress we may lose our way, or seek other less healthy ways of proving our maturation (drinking, sex, driving fast, dressing the part).
Many teenagers have some ambivalence about growing up, and they flip-flop between behaving with maturity and then behaving more like a toddler; but nature compels them to grow up. It can be a confusing time.
In the west, in the twenty-first century, adolesence is extended. We stay at school for longer, start paid work later, move out and pair up and have children later. The indicators of adulthood are delayed and our teenagers have fewer opportunities for affirmation from their adult community of their right to be considered grown-up.
A rite of passage at puberty can give your daughter the acknowledgement that she needs, affirming that she has embarked on her journey towards womanhood. Puberty Rites tell children when they become adults and what is expected of them as adults.
This website offers practical guidance towards creating your daughter’s rite of passage.
Never hesitate to celebrate – do not wait for the perfect moment. Make the moment!
If you would like support or further guidance in creating a rite of passage with your daughter I offer private telephone coaching sessions. For information email me at email@example.com