Frequently Asked Questions
How do I present a ritual to a group of friends or family?
Well, in my family I now say, “We are going to the “R” word.” But for the ritual-resistant or the ritual-newbies, it can be as simple as saying you want to do a group “exercise” and sneak the “ritual” word in later. All of our rituals are designed to create a safe space for people to share who they are. You can make them as fun or as deep as you want and of course you can alter them to serve the purpose of the occasion.
What if someone in the group really does not want to participate?
Check in with the rest of the group to make sure everyone wants to participate. If so, allow the one who doesn’t to be an observer. More than likely that person will be inspired to jump in at some point. It’s important to make the ritual space safe, i.e., no criticism or ridicule.
My family would come under the heading of “ritual-resistant”. What can I do to encourage a ritual at our next family gathering?
Consult and collaborate with your family on the content and context of the ritual. Get their feedback and input from the standpoint of what they would like to gain from the ritual with regard to the specific event and see where the common points are. Then design a ritual that won’t surprise anyone. If your family is fun-loving, then do something that is totally fun. Perhaps you want your children to learn more about their grandparents. Ask the children to come up with questions for their grandparents to be answered at a family gathering.
What distinguishes a ritual from other group activities?
A ritual has a particular purpose upon which the activities are based. A good example is the difference between a regular birthday party and a birthday ritual. Rather than gathering to give presents and eat cake, a birthday ritual might have as its purpose “to celebrate the impact of the birthday person on friends and family.” Participants would have the opportunity to share how the birthday person has made a difference in their lives. Depending on how creative the group chooses to be, their thoughts could be recorded in a decorative journal for the birthday person to take away with her. Rituals bring a focus to different occasions.
How do I get started on creating a ritual?
The best place to start is to determine a particular purpose. What is the desired outcome? There might be one or several desired outcomes. Once these are identified, ideas for activities that achieve the outcome will come more easily.
Our books and products are designed to provide rituals for you or guide you to create your own.
How many people need to be involved with a ritual?
Rituals are flexible and can serve the interests of one person or many. It depends on the occasion that is being observed and its purpose.