Let Go of Your Hobby, Adopt a Ritual Instead

Photo: Alexey Demidov, Pexels

‘’To feed your soul, you should have a hobby in your spare time.’’

What a cliché. And a wrong one.

Sparing your only free time for a usually paid, pre-booked activity that will soon become another burden in your busy schedule? Not for me.

A hobby is an activity.

A ritual is an experience.

A hobby is planned with logic.

A ritual is inspired by your unique creativity.

Let me explain with my real example:

I’m a multi-passionate with zillions of interests. Writing, singing, theater, dancing, etc. During the years, I took classes for all. However, soon I realized that once I frame what I love to do as a hobby, I begin to stress out. It suddenly becomes another ‘work’ with responsibilities and ‘should have’s.

Instead, I discovered I’m happier with what I call ‘Rituals’.

I spontaneously had my first ritual during early adolescence. One night I turned down the lights, turned my favorite music on, lit candles, and began dancing in the darkness. It took like 10 minutes but felt like heaven. When finished, I felt like awakening from a dream.

I couldn’t stop repeating this ritual for days and months, even years. This was my secret little ritual no one knew about. It was not the music, not just the ambiance but the combination of all that made it feel like a meditation.

Now, let me take you on a brief tour on;

HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN RITUAL?

-Feel free to improvise and be inspired without caring about whether your combination sounds logical. Yes, it can be sushi and horror movies on the balcony.

  • A ritual appeals to five senses, while a hobby focuses on one. Think about the atmosphere you are in, invest in the music, the scent, your clothes, or anything that impacts your mood.
  • If possible, create a ritual corner or, better, a room. Never underestimate the power of dedicating a physical place to your spiritual well-being. No matter how small it is, this place should be yours only.
  • The aim of the hobby is to get better at your skill: To play better guitar, to sing more appropriately, to cook better cakes, to win the game.

The aim of the ritual is no improvement. It is far from goals and deadlines, which separates this boldly from your work and all the ‘leadership skills’ you memorized. The aim of the ritual is to stay at the moment, curate your own ‘best time’ and have fun with whatever you are doing.

How to double-check if you did the right thing? Your ritual should seem authentic, feel even funny, crazy, childish. It is such a unique combination of what you love that you can assure no one in the world has the exact same ritual.

I missed a ritual room for years, but beginning in 2022, I did create one in the house. I have a palo santo, candles, books, crayons, notebooks in it. My SPA oil is on my desk forever, and relaxing music is always turned on from my favorite speaker. I wouldn’t overestimate to say it is changing my whole life.

Ending with a movie suggestion so that you never underestimate the power of doing whatever you love and even going really bold about it: The Guitar. Just one of my favorites.

Hope you enjoy your rituals and give away the stress of following up with another hobby.

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