From marriage to baby naming, vow renewals, blessing a new home, crossing a threshold from one stage of life or identity to another, the opportunities to celebrate, honour and create meaning in our lives are limited only by our imagination. All of us have experienced the celebration of a birthday - maybe the ritual of lighting candles and blowing them out. Singing Happy Birthday to You.  The gifting of presents.  Many of us have attended a wedding with its multitude of  rituals - the exchanging of rings, speaking of vows and throwing of the bouquet.

But what about less obvious occasions that might not be intentionally marked? Occasions that could easily just drift by if we let them? What about the life events that are uniquely important to us as individuals? It might be a gender transition, adoption, the recovery from a long illness, the strengthening of bonds between neighbours, achieving something out of your comfort zone, bringing together two blended families to live together for the first time, hitting your first sales target in the business that you have started from scratch, making a lifelong commitment to your partner without wanting a legally binding marriage, a divorce ceremony to let go of the past with integrity, the marking of a child flying the nest.

How rich would life be if we infused these events with a sense of occasion, ritual and celebration? Connecting ourselves soulfully to those events that pepper our life with meaning and joy. By elevating these events with ritual and ceremony, they offer us more than just the few hours that they last. They gift us memories, a sense of connectedness with those others attending, and an anchoring point in our past from which we can make sense of our present. And each year, they give us an anniversary date when we can look back and reflect at how our lives may have changed, the marking of time, a vantage point from which to see the ebb and flow of our life.

If 2020 has taught us anything it's that 'normal' life is an illusion. The daily rituals that we took for granted - the school run, the drink after work on a Friday, the hugs with the grandparents, the evening class, the girls night out, the monthly trip to the cinema - have become events that we will no doubt appreciate and cherish once they can trickle back into our lives. Let's make 2021 and beyond the Year of the Ceremony - let's gather when we can, purposefully and intentionally. A soulful gathering jam-packed with all the elements that are meaningful to us, and involving all the people we want to share it with.

Let's crown more occasions with magic and meaning. Let's design more events with intention and soul.