Feel Good Friday : Routine or Ritual?

By: Hayley Bridgewater

Routine or Ritual?


It is easy to get bogged down in our routines and schedules. It happens to us all. We follow all of the things that we “need” to do, checking each off of our list and moving to the next. While on this merry-go-round, inevitably something rubs us the wrong way, and because we don’t have the headspace to properly deal with it or are struggling with our sense of balance, we carry it with us, playing angry tag with everyone we come across.


I’ll admit I had such a day this week. Faced with a packed work schedule(self imposed doing work I love – just lots of it) I had something on my mind that I just couldn’t shake.  As I headed to a scheduled workout, I met up with a dear friend who asked a seemingly nonchalant question, “How are you doing today?” As the venting session started to trickle from my lips, he threw his arm around me and said, “Hold on, let’s go over here for a second.” He then dragged me across the street and parked me in front of this… “Take a picture.”




Most people that are close to me know that I derive a special sort of contentment in finding messages and images hidden in plain view during my day. I like to think that these things come into my path for a reason, lessons, if you will.  Being “present” is my daily project. Whatever it may be: guerilla marketing, sticker art, graffiti, street art consciousness projects, or messages from a pedestrian philosopher, it gives me pause, forces me to think, and makes my heart happy. In this city, where throngs of people rush about with their faces in their phones, headphones on, blocking their environment out, I find supreme thrill in collecting these images and words, wondering what the artist or creator was hoping to spark in leaving these tiny treasures.


While I do recognize that the above is an advert message from the lovely Soho body shop, Rituals, (which I really need to visit) the quote stopped me in my tracks, made me shift my perspective and forced an immediate attitude adjustment. Happiness is found in the small things, and WE are ultimately responsible for how we are feeling. Yes, millions of people have moments like mine all around our city, but because I derive such passion and joy from them, this part of my routine has become a ritual and retains a special significance. And that day, it served its purpose. Gone was the itching of annoyance and in its place, a positive session connecting with people that I adore.


On this “Feel Good Friday” I challenge you all to take a moment to think about your schedules, your routine, and the patterns that are ingrained in your life. How many of these are your rituals? Rituals that bring you joy, that are expressed with passion, deepen your connections and have the ability to alter your attitude in a single moment? And are you taking the time to fully appreciate them? Understanding the moments that feed your soul just may be the ace up your sleeve when working through a difficult week.