How is your Morning Routine?
Do you have a centring and sacred morning routine? Or do you tumble out of bed after hitting snooze one time too many, grab a coffee and fly out of the door? Which one of those two scenarios is going to give you the best start to a brilliant day? Hmmmm?! I wonder….
I used to be a wait-till-the-very-last-minute person but I have also had times when I have had a great morning routine, only to fall off the wagon again, many times. But the phase I’m in now has been settled with me for a while … ssshhhh… let’s not curse it, but I think this one is here to stay. And I know that because when I am going to sleep at night, I’m already looking forward to my morning routine/ritual. That’s the key and here’s the rub....you have to find something that you LOVE, or you will find every excuse to keep hitting snooze.
Firstly, let’s look at the words ROUTINE and RITUAL.
Us humans, we actually do better if we have some order in our lives, but too much order can take all the creativity and joy from life. Some things need to have a ROUTINE; brushing your teeth and washing your hands, face (and feet?) before bed. Washing the dishes after dinner. A routine gets everyone out of the house on time in the morning. Things that have to be done, in a specific order, to achieve a desired end result.
A RITUAL is different. Something that is routine, done at the same time every day, but it is done with a sense of purpose, with sacredness, with a side-benefit; it will help me to focus on what I have to do today, it will help me to feel grounded, it will give me some headspace before I get the kids up.
So, what can you do to create a few minutes of ritual to start your day that will actually make a difference and make you feel better?
To give you an example, my morning goes something like this:
Out of bed, clean teeth, cleanse, tone & moisturise. Kettle on, say good morning to waggy spaniel. Feed said spaniel, hungry cat and sometimes the birds outside too. That part is my ROUTINE.
My RITUAL starts as I carefully cut up my lemon and ginger, put it in a mug, pour on hot water and head to my meditation corner. I light my ghee candle and maybe some incense and I grab my cushion and get comfy, tall and present. (I have a Kuan Yin figurine, crystals, water, singing bowl, a mala, an angel, personal bits and bobs on my ‘altar’ with my copper diva and my ghee candle in the corner of my yoga room. You can make a simple meditation space in your home with just a few personal items).
So, this is where it gets a bit go-with-the-flow (and it doesn’t get routiney / boring). Sometimes I chant, sometimes I just watch the clouds rolling across the sky, sometimes I count my breaths or practise a pranayama technique. I often pull an oracle card, write in my journal or play a singing bowl. I always, always meditate, even if it doesn’t work, even if my mind is busy. Then I bring my hands into prayer position at my heart, bow and say Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti (Peace) and blow out my candle, have my breakfast, a shower, get the boy out of bed.
It doesn’t matter which of these I do, in what order, the mere action of sitting and making that commitment to meet myself on my cushion, every day, is precious and it counts. Every time I do it, it becomes more of an anchor for the rest of my day. I feel centred, grounded, grateful and complete. Then I move into my day. Ready.
So, what about you? What ritual would really mean a lot to you? Pick-a-mix from these ideas and create your own morning ritual….
Create a little sacred space with a Buddha, crystals, photos, shells, a small bunch of flowers and a candle.
Use essential oils to anoint yourself and imagine a protective shield surrounding you with the scent.
Play a drum.
Step outside, take a deep breath and thank the sun for rising on this day. Feel the earth beneath your feet and the air on your skin. Thank you!
Start your day with a mantra, same one each day or change it as time goes by. You can choose a current life challenge that you want to direct your energy towards. Mantras are always in the present tense, positive powerful statement of intent.
- I am grounded, safe and supported
- I am grateful for all the blessings in my life
- I am strong, balanced, whole and complete
- I speak my truth with kindness and compassion
- I live each day purposefully and with gratitude
- I am grateful for the abundance manifesting in my life
- Thank you for my breath. Thank you for all the blessings in my life
Make your bed with gratitude, respecting the place where you retreat and rest, your sanctuary.
Move your body. Shaking, tapping, stretching. Roll out your mat and do 5 minutes. 10 minutes. Child’s pose, Cat, Cow and Dog, walk to Forward Fold, uncurl to standing and stretch towards the sky. Tree Pose or just Mountain, hands in prayer position and watch your breath for six rounds. Just that. It doesn't have to be complicated. (You're welcome to download a practice sheet via the link below).
Play some Music. Well, the sky is the limit with this one. But choose. What would uplift you, in this moment?
Read one chapter of an inspiring book.
Write about your dreams, your intentions, any thoughts you had as you were waking.
Eat something healthy and sustaining. Be careful what you digest at this precious time. That also goes for the news, social media and e-mails. I don't switch on my phone until I have given myself this space and time. The world can wait until YOU are ready to take on your day.
Watch Out World. Here you come…..
Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your lifeMark Twain
Photo Credits: row of 3 images: Aaron Burden, Claudia Crespo, Hans Vivek.