January 3, 2013

Make your own rituals

On a certain day for 15 years, Steven Addis has stood on a corner in New York City with his daughter, Sabina, in his arms. During this Ted talk, Addis describes, in 15 photos,  how he has made, and will continue to make memories with his daughter. He encourages viewers to "get in the photo" and make memories with your family and loved ones for yourself.

What struck me most about this video was the act -- the ritual -- that the father has created. We allow ourselves to become participants in rituals that have been defined by religions and governments, and even corporations. Consider Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day, among others. Think even of your birthday. Hallmark has made certain that it is celebrated with a birthday card.

What would those rituals look like if we created the memory of the occasion with our own ritual, one that adapts as we mature and our lives change, but is always practiced. What if we allowed ourselves to stray from the expected and be creative with how we celebrate the milestones in our own lives. What if we took  control of the experiences that make our journeys through life more pleasant?

Think of how much more fully we might enjoy those around us if we gave ourselves permission to celebrate ordinary, perhaps daily, acts. Taking time to be there, in the present, is truly a gift to share.

Steven Addis: A father-daughter bond, one photo at a time, via Ted. 
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