My morning rituals are sticking so now it’s time to share. I used to dream about having mornings that weren’t so hurried, morning where I could just wake up, take my time, take care of myself, write, pray, think. While my morning routine isn’t perfect (you’ll notice exercise is missing), it is certainly better than a year ago and the results of now having some morning rituals are just too good not to share.
Being still isn’t just hard for a 5 year old, I am pretty sure it’s hard for you too. When you wake up what’s the first thing you do? If you answered grab your phone and check email or Facebook, well then you’re normal and like the rest of us. Some studies have shown that 80% of adults grab their smartphones within 15 minutes of waking up.
If you’re like me and have a work phone and a personal phone you are probably twice occupied upon waking up. Recently I started turning off my work Blackberry in the evenings and keeping it out of my bedroom. Trust me, no one will be harmed or will die if I don’t check my Blackberry. And if your name isn’t followed by the initials M.D. then you too can probably cut the work cell off.
Instead of reaching for your phone, try being still for a few moments, clearing your mind and just breathing. I lie in bed for anywhere from 7-10 minutes just breathing. Sure my to-do list tries to force itself into my quiet still time, but I remind myself that I’m not at my day job yet; I’m at my soul job – the only job that matters first thing in the morning.
This is a relatively new practice to me but like making daily gratitude lists, writing mornings pages has become my non-negotiable morning ritual. Morning pages allow me to take the 7 or 10 minutes of soul work I just did being still and stretch out and let my soul and imagination run wild like a 5 year old a candy store. Morning pages are three pages of long hand writing about what ever is on your mind, no need to self-edit or be realistic. Let it rip.
Julia Cameron,the brilliant creator of the Artist’s Way and the morning pages practice, says “There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages –they are not high art. They are not even ‘writing.’ They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.”
You don’t need anything fancy to get started. Just grab a pen and some paper and write 3 pages no more no less. If you want to read more about The Artist’s Way or morning pages check this and this out.
Similar to stillness except during prayer and mediation you lean into God, the divine source that sustains and guides you. You can call this source whatever you choose, I call him Jesus and each morning I meet Him in my closet turned prayer and writing room. I pray about everything and everyone and when my few moments are up I listen for answers and direction.
Setting a Daily Intention
Ultimately you decide how your day will turn out before your feet hit the floor. You’ve made your mind up whether you’ll have an attitude of gratitude or just an attitude, whether you’ll greet the folks you live and work with kindly or not, whether you’ll be open to learning something new about yourself or someone else or closed to possibility. Setting an intention for your day allows you to experience the power you have in co-creating your life. You and God ultimately are in this beautiful life making thing together. Make part of your morning ritual, deciding how you’ll show up to your life, the people in your life and your to-do list.
Setting your daily intention can be as simple as saying to yourself in the morning “Today, I choose patience,” or “Today I will look for opportunities to serve.”
Warm Lemon Water
My daughter is clean eating and juicing enthusiast. She swears by warm lemon water in the morning and for good reason too. Think about it: imagine drinking no water, tea, coffee or any liquids for 6-8 hours? Well that’s what happens when you sleep. Drinking 16oz of warm or room-temperature water with lemon first thing in the morning not only hydrates your body (made up of 70% you know), but it does a host of other things too like: cleanses your liver, aids digestion, reduces joint inflammation, nourishes brain and nerve cells and the list goes on. Now I love me a good hot cup of pour-over coffee in the morning, but my new morning ritual is to reach for warm lemon water instead. Trust me, the kettle of water for my coffee is whistling by the time I am done with my lemon water. #coffee
How do you spend your mornings? Got any morning rituals that ensure you’ll have a great day? Do tell.
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