Have you ever wondered the difference between a daily habit and a daily ritual?
One requires mental effort and intention and the other less so. Take your morning routine, for example. Most people do not have to think twice about brushing their teeth and getting dressed in the morning. Our brains know exactly what to do because we’ve done it over and over again, so it requires less mental energy.
A ritual, however, holds personal meaning, even if it’s something we do every day. Rituals are loaded with intention. We carry them out because we want to, not because we have to, and as a result, our daily lives can be richer and more meaningful. At Malu, we believe in the power of daily rituals and to help you harness their benefits, we are breaking down what we call the “art of mindfulness.”
So what is the art of mindfulness?
Simply put, mindfulness is the ability to live in the present moment. The art of mindfulness is really the art of paying attention. When you are mindful of something, you are applying a level of awareness that you wouldn’t necessarily apply to something you didn’t care about.
In that way, mindfulness turns the autopilot off. It can take even a mundane habit and infuse it with meaning and purpose. It is a skill and like any other skill, it requires frequent exercise to develop and maintain.
Where do mindfulness and ritual meet?
Daily rituals are both a product of and an exercise in mindfulness. A daily Malu coffee ritual, for example, can awaken your senses, inspire your imagination, and serve as a reminder that there can be joy in simplicity. It does not take long and is easy to execute, but is still rich in meaning and intention. This is in stark contrast from, say, a daily cup of bitter breakroom coffee that might give you a jolt of energy and little else.
Leveling up something you already do every day is one way to practice mindfulness because it involves intentionality. Is there something you do for yourself every day– a routine– that you don’t think twice about? What is one thing you can change about it? This could mean an improvement, a thoughtful twist, or simply a new way of doing it altogether.
Here are a few other ways you can practice mindfulness on a daily basis:
Self care. (This doesn’t have to be complicated or extravagant. It could be as small as applying lip balm, taking a deep breathe in the morning... as little as that)
An exercise routine.
A meditation practice.
Reciting words of affirmation.
Reading a book.
These are just a handful of simple ways you can practice mindfulness with daily rituals. Any exercise that encourages you to pause, be present, and pay attention to yourself and your surroundings, can help to keep you grounded on a daily basis. Your heart (and mind!) will thank you.