With the longer days and wamer weather, those who enjoy rituals or would like to create their own rituals have ample time and opportunity to do so. This article offers four easy-to-perform rituals that are perfect for summer,and encourages readers to creatively design their own as well. It’s getting hotter and the days are getting longer. Memorial Day has come and gone, so it must be summer. While most of us look forward to summer vacations, June, July and August also provide great months for creating and performing any number of fun, interesting and spiritual rituals. Don’t let the fact that you haven’t ever performed a ritual stop you. And if you have performed rituals previously, summer’s a great time to come up with creative new ways to take them to a deeper spiritual level. So, why is summertime the perfect time for rituals making and performing? Because the warm and bright mornings beckon to us to come out with the chirping of the birds and celebrate the rising of the sun, the blooming of the flowers, the beauty of the natural world around us.

Yes, the weather and the length of the days give us amply opportunity to take a few minutes or a few hours to create and perform whatever rituals we like. Here are four examples of rituals you can try this summer. 1. Greeting the dawn: Begin getting up earlier in the morning, going outside and greeting the day with a ritual. You might want to have a tea ceremony. Or go into your garden and sit and meditate. Then cut some flowers and bring them inside with you. Place them on an altar, light a candle and offer up an intention for the day. Or simply go outside right after you awaken, stretch to the sun, touch your toes (or the ground, if you can) and then turn around stopping to acknowledge each of the four directions. Before you go back inside, recite aloud a list of things for which you feel grateful.

2. Four Elements Release Ritual: Go to the beach (or a lake) and have a bonfire. Before you light the fire, offer an intention that you are creating this fire for the purpose of releasing the old habits, patterns, issues – whatever you no longer want or need – from your life. Then, on a piece of paper, write down all the things you want to release (debt, eating disorders, health problems, bad jobs, etc.). 3. Offering up Gratitude: Before you go to bed, go outside and sit somewhere where you can see the stars. Light a candle, and while staring at it’s brightness in the dark of the night, feel appreciation for the light it offers. As you fix your gaze on the flame, begin reciting all the things you are grateful for that occurred during the day. Imagine them rising with the flame, reaching upwards, as if your gratitude is being handed off to the darkness by the tip of the flame.

When you are done, look up at the stars. Gaze at the stars and try to feel what it is like to be on a planet – the Earth – hurtling through space. Try to get the feeling of this planet being such a small part of the greater Universe. Feel grateful for being a part of that larger whole and for the forces of nature – or God – that keep your planet safe, and, therefore, you safe. Feel awe and wonder for the vastness of this place you call home. Then, offer up a prayer – of gratitude, or petition. 4. Planting Ritual: Each time you place a plant in a pot or in the ground, or throw some seeds into the earth, imagine that you are planting a seed of change as well. If there is a particular change you desire, voice your intention to create that change as you plant the seed. Then, every day, talk to your seed (seedling, plant) about that change and how you plan on creating it. Speak of the steps you have taken or plan to take that day. Be sure to nurture the plant with water and fertilizer and generally to care for the plant in the same way that you are nurturing and caring for your change.

In fact, that person is spending extra time to ensure that you are successful. If you strongly disagree with the advice, say so and ask for further rationale of the prof’s position. See if you can reach a compromise. If you decide to run with your original idea. Don’t be surprised if you receive the same exact feedback that the person gave you already, but this time with a grade that you might not expect. Will this be because the prof hates you because you didn’t accept the advice? That would make a great story, but no. There may have been absolutely nothing wrong with your plan under other circumstances, but it may not have done what it needed to do for this particular class. After you change your approach, don’t do what Scooby Brownie Student did and just run with it. Pass your new idea by your professor. In Student’s case, this person probably did not want to hear what I had to say. The idea probably seemed brilliant at the time (and I can only imagine what was happening at that time), and there was a fair chance I wasn’t going to go along with it. Take a step back from what you want to do. Listen to your prof tell you what you need to do. You’ll probably be happier with the outcome. I have always said that there are as many interesting student stories as days that I spend in the classroom. In all of the situations I mentioned, I hope that the students learned from their decisions. I have certainly learned far more from the times I decided to “go my own way” when I thought I knew it all. I remember many of those instances being painful at the time, however.

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