Parenting… Beauty of Rituals

Rituals help keep you happier than [I love] Lucy

By Michelle Ghilotti

Rituals. They are an extremely important part to parents’ happiness (and no, the ritual of sandwich making every morning doesn’t count even if it does makes you kinda happy).

The kind of rituals we mean are the kind that allow you time for you. Away from it all.

Keeping tabs on that is important for us parents because we all want to be the best parents we can be right? Ok, good. This is how you do that…you give yourself time over and over again in a week (every day). This could be rituals such as:

• Getting up ten minutes earlier to read the paper and drink coffee while the house is quiet

• Journaling your intention for how you want the day to go each morning

• Ten minutes of sitting quietly in meditation or what I like to call “reflection.”

Think of what that ritual is for you, maybe there’s a few ideas already screaming at you…and do at least one every day.

The point with rituals of course is that they are actions or moments done or created with consistency, over and over again. Why is this important? Because when you do those things every day you make crazy amounts of deposits into your love and happy bank. The more deposits you make, the more you can give without going broke.

Rituals also have a physical effect too of course. You can go from looking or feeling like this:

to looking or feeling like this:

Lately in thinking about the how to be a walking Momtra book I am being reminded that sometimes reminders are all we busy parents need to get back on track with loving ourselves and therefore being happy. Rituals are a tool as are Momtras and this is why I created “21 days of Momtras, Morning, Noon & Night” over on twitter. Come befriend Walking Momtra on twitter and benefit from three mantras or Momtras/Dadtras per day that not only ground you but keep a healthy dose of humor pumping.

And for all of you needing a little pick me up or inspiration to go on with your bad ritualistic self that in turn will automatically continue to be a BETTER PARENT, please enjoy this four minute video we made: Stretch your happiness by Walking Momtra. Rituals will indeed stretch your happiness.

To end, remember rituals promote positive automatic behaviors and renew your energy. If you need more help, ask yourself ~

What have I done for myself lately?

What can I do for myself that I can create into a ritual, something that is non-negotiable?

What did I love “BK” – before kids – and how could I map out the steps to making that a reality again? (there’s a way for anything we WILL to do)

Ready. Set…Go!

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About the Author: Michelle Ghilotti Mandel is a writer, certified yoga teacher and graphic designer running her own heartful design and branding studio, ghilotti ink, for over 10 years. Michelle is writing the how to be a walking Momtra book (blog: http://howtobeawalkingmomtra.wordpress.com/) and is a guest blogger for Happiness Series, the Elephant Journal, tinybuddha.com and the powermob.com. When she’s not grooving with any of the above, she is running (usually to yoga), sleeping on the Great Wall of China, becoming an expert in expat living and, surprisingly, not making many other plans. She keeps a 5 x 4 foot canvas entitled “The Things that Make Me Happy,” which she is happy to announce will never be finished. She lives in Los Angeles with her five year old son and husband. Michelle’s blogging for Happiness Series about Happiness, Motherhood, finding a balance in life, and having fun!