I am currently sharing some of my morning rituals .. interspersed with some rituals that I hope to find in my morning routine next year. Daily rituals connect us with the moment, and support our best intentions for ourselves.
Modern life seems to be lacking rituals and yet they can be so profound and magical.
Before I get out of bed I also mentally create a morning gratitude list. By focusing on what I am grateful for I 'know' on a deeper level how well supported and loved I am. I take amoment to be grateful for all the love, nourishment and gifts that fill my world. Silent thanks for the wonderful people, opportunities and magic that I connect with each and every day.
Our bodies need to move after long periods of rest. Morning exercise allows us to reconnect with the body, a mindfulness of body meditation, and aids the flow of chi/prana or life enery. You could start with some slow stretches, set up a personal morning yoga practice, walk the dog and take in some fresh morning air, or hit the gym. Exercising first thing in the morning moves and feeds our energy levels. Find something you enjoy and do it.
The first food we put into our bodies each day sets the tone for our day. Over the years we become more finely tuned into our bodies needs, likes and dislikes .. we build a library of knowledge about what are the best choices for our personal health and wellbeing. Eating wisely is empowering. A day that begins with a little fruit, yogurt and grains won't overload the digestive system (which doesn't' peak until noon).
*A Not-to-Do List
Breaking old habits is hard work .. so it is useful to reflect on what you intend 'not to do' during the day so you don't fall back into habitual patterns that are just time wasters and negative stresses. For me, this includes not watching the morning news (all negative), not reading my blog feeds (that's a joy and gift I give myself during my lunch break), not oversleeping (because it leaves me feeling sluggish and I miss the best part of the day), or drinking more than my one latte in the morning (which makes me jumpy and nervous). Actually, I have to remind myself about no more coffee many, many times during the day.
*Greet the Day
Stepping out into the day, bowing to the sun, sitting and just witnessing the quiet of a brand new day .. is inspiring. If you can't get outside, open the window and gaze at the sky. Beathing in the fresh morning air awakens our senses and charges up our energy for the day ahead. Research shows that people who appreciate nature are generally happier and calmer, and morning light is recognised as essential for the regulation of our internal clock which then controls our hormone production, sleep and energy levels. Sunlight, fresh air and greenery nourish our body and soul. Taking our meditation allows us to witness the subtle change of season, to nourish our senses and restore our connection with the web of life.
To open up our right-brain .. the mind space where creativity exists - is a great way to start the day. Try listening to some inspiring music, reading some motivational words from a highly regarded book, or putting pen to paper yourself. Julia Cameron in The Artists Way encourages us to start our day with the Morning Pages to reconnect with our creative self .. "three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages -- they are not high art. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind-- and they are for your eyes only."
Your turn now .. do you have any morning rituals to share?