I love the podcast ’The Lazy Genius’ hosted by Kendra Adachi. If you haven’t checked it out, she covers so many topics relevant to living our lives in an intentional way.
One idea she has shared a few times is the concept of ’opening and closing ceremonies’, or ’seasonal ceremonies’. This is essentially making a point of marking any recurring event, whether it is the actual end or beginning of a season, such as the end of winter/start of spring, the start or end of a semester/quarter, birthdays, or even the end of tax season! What you do to mark the event is really less important that just being intentional about noticing this transition point and letting yourself be present for it (and bonus points if you mark it in a fun way). And while she uses the term ‘ceremony’, no medals or fireworks are required!
Kendra shares some great reflection points to help us create our own seasonal ceremonies:
What are you already doing?
Start by simply noticing what you are likely already doing that in fact fits in this category. For example, maybe you put up a Christmas tree every December 1st and listen to Christmas music and eat candy canes. Or have a closet clean out ‘party’ with a friend once a year. Or have pizza with friends on the last day of school. Most of us are already doing a variety of these ‘ceremonies’, and just don’t realize it!
What is most important to you?
Maybe marking recurring events doesn’t matter to you to begin with! That is totally fine. But if it does matter, give yourself the opportunity to reflect on what will be most important to you in marking an event. Maybe it’s keeping things simple, maybe it’s doing something more creative, maybe it’s connecting with others, maybe it’s time for introspection.
How do you want to feel?
Finally, what is the feeling that you want to take away from your seasonal ceremony activity? What is the impact that you want it to have on you and anyone else who takes part in it?
Once you’ve reflected on these questions, then move on to what to actually do. And most importantly, start small! Again, medals are not required. All we really need to consider is: What can I do that can be repeated in the future that will give me even just a taste of the feeling I want to have?
And then give yourself permission to do it, to be present for it, and have some fun with it!