Kate Shepherd, host of The Creative Genius Podcast, shares a conversation she had with our co-founder Megan Sheldon about the creative alchemy of rituals and the ceremony-shaped hole so many of us are experiencing.
In this episode, Megan Sheldon, an End of Life Doula, Celebrant, Cultural Mythologist and Co-Founder of Be Ceremonial, takes us on a journey into the transformative potential of rituals and ceremonies.
“I look around at our culture and I see how we’re yearning to create rituals and ceremonies. But for many of the same reasons that we don’t feel creativity is accessible to us, we don’t feel these things are accessible to us either. Or we feel that we’ve forgotten how to do it. Or there’s nobody around to show us how to do it. Or that we might get it wrong.”Kate Shepherd, The Creative Genius Podcast
Megan and her husband stumbled into ceremony after years of recurrent miscarriages and the death of a parent. They didn’t know how to grieve the mountain of seemingly invisible moments that surrounded their experiences. They realized they didn’t have rituals and ceremonies for so many of the things that cause pain in life, especially the things that aren’t openly talked about.
So they decided to craft their own rituals to acknowledge the grief they were holding in ways that felt meaningful to them. They told their story through ceremony, and then decided to make these tools more accessible to everyone.
Megan and Johan created Be Ceremonial to make ritual and ceremony available to anyone who was seeking new ways to acknowledge the moments and milestones they were moving through. It’s a ‘choose your own ritual adventure’ App, inspiring and empowering people to create their own ceremonies.
Megan is also the co-founder of Seeking Ceremony, a bespoke ceremony studio where she’s convened hundreds of workshops and retreats and ceremonies that span the life cycle. From IVF and fertility, miscarriages and abortions, house coolings and divorces, living funerals and death anniversaries, Megan has a deep understanding of the potency that ritual and ceremony can offer us, especially for those less visible moments of change.
As a celebrant and end of life doula, she has helped people around the world create ceremonies to acknowledge moments of grief and loss in their life. She talks about the ceremony shaped hole in our society right now, and the lack of rituals and ceremonies surrounding invisible losses like death anniversaries or a due date after a miscarriage.
If you’re wanting to bring ritual and ceremony into your life, Megan shares where you can start.
Megan, who has her Masters in Cultural Mythology, has helped thousands of individuals connect with their inner creative instincts to craft meaningful experiences by activating the power of ritual and ceremony to acknowledge life’s moments, particularly amidst loss or change.
Throughout the episode, Megan answers thought-provoking questions that unravel the essence and importance of rituals and ceremonies, delving into the mechanics of their magic, empowering listeners to explore and incorporate rituals into their lives.
Megan shares her framework for creating ceremonies (her 1-2-3-4-5 ingredients), some tools for building personalized rituals, and some examples of rituals to support past traumas. She also confronts the societal absence of rituals surrounding significant life events. She delves into the lost connection to creativity, exploring how rituals and ceremonies were once integral to our way of life but have been largely excluded from modern Western society.
She also shares her perspective on rituals as a means to process emotions, addressing anger, grief, and other overlooked feelings, and emphasizes their role in guiding us through life’s emotional landscapes. She enlightens listeners on the mechanics of ritual magic and provides guidance for individuals seeking ways to incorporate rituals into their lives.
Megan opens up about how her own recurrent pregnancy losses and the loss of a close family member led her to turn to ceremony and ritual to make sense of and heal from those losses, and how that sparked a passion in her to empowering others to tap into the power of rituals as a means of authentically expressing and navigating complex feelings.
And she shares a deeply touching story about helping her dad create a ritual for his dying friend, a story that had me in tears.