I'm still stuck on mornings.
I promise - I will move on soon - but there is more to be envisioned and explored in this space.
This fortnight I'm continuing with the theme of mornings because mornings are a very special time of the day.
Not just for me, but I know for a lot of you.
It's something that my clients have increasingly talked about as part of self-care routines or empowerment rituals.
I really don't think that we can talk about mornings without talking about this book.
The Miracle Morning, The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8 AM
The author of this book, Hal Elrod is also a coach, but he's also an author and has basically created this movement of The Miracle Morning.
What is a 'Miracle Morning'?
As the title suggests, it is about creating habits, and as I like to say rituals, that you can do upon rising for the day.
Now, I do want to reiterate, and as the book does, that if you're a shift worker or you have to have a late night for whatever reason, it's not necessarily the time that you get up that's important. It's that you just get up earlier than you ordinarily would get up when you sort of lazily throw your hand over and try and stop your alarm clock, or put it on snooze for the hundredth time.
It's about conscious intention.
Consciously making the decision to start your day earlier than you would otherwise. Feeling fully in control as soon as you start your day. Hal describes in the book what he calls 'Life S.A.V.E.R.S'. Savers is an acronym and they represent the six steps as part of the ritual.
The first one is silence, and he's focusing on meditation or just sitting in silence. He writes this book as someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD; very hard for him to sit still. I know a lot of you are very, very busy people and you don't necessarily see how you might have time for meditation in your life.
Think of this as a way to sit in silence, just for a period of time. The whole idea of the practise is just to try and quieten the mind. Have a read about different forms of meditation and how you might be able to do that if it's something you find intimidating, or aren't quite sure where to start.
The second letter A, so A is for affirmations. V is for visualisations. E is for exercise. R is for reading, and the final S is for scribing (writing).
Creating change - managing your LIFE
What the six steps really do is they actually communicate to yourself, but perhaps also to others, that you are serious about creating change for your life. This book really highlights that we are really busy filling our days by managing our life situation. We manage all of the things that we have to get DONE. Whether it's appointments, work, getting to places on time, shuffling kids out the door to go to school. We focus on the every day groundhog day living scenario so often, rather than our LIFE that we lose track of what it is that we truly treasure, or where we want to be in a few year's time.
We spend so much time in managing that life 'situation' that we are taken away from managing our life, and our life is what I've talked about a lot - our physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental connections. I talk about them a lot in terms of energy.
Hal Elrod talks about them as pillars.
But we both see it as outside of the every-day.
It's really about the big picture stuff.
We spend so much time on life management that we don't take a big step back and look at that image.
A lot of the time we say, "I don't have time", so what this book is all about is creating small windows of time in order to practise six rituals that will enrich your life and grow you as a person.
How long should I practice a 'Miracle Morning'?
You don't have to spend hours doing these rituals. I love to take an hour or so - but if I don't get an hour or I truly need an extra half an hour sleep, I'll reduce that time. ANYTHING is better than NOTHING.
In fact, you can do your Miracle Morning in as little as six minutes. One minute for each, perhaps?
How differently would you feel if you spent just a minute every day sitting in silence? Recalibrating after you wake up? With control and conscious intention. If you spent a minute reading aloud affirmations of what you want, why you want it, who you need to be to get there, and what you're going to do with that life when you get there?
A minute of visualisation, by closing your eyes or looking at images representing what your life will look like. Whether it's a vision board, whether it's Pinterest, whether it's diagrams, or just closing your eyes. You're actually visualising yourself doing the things that are on that list. What you want to do, and who you are going to be WHEN you get there. Not IF you get there.
Imagine you went on and then spent a minute getting the blood pumping doing jumping jacks, or push ups, or running on the spot? And then a minute of reading? It might be a page of something beautiful. It might be something on personal development.
And then a minute of writing. It could be writing a book you've always had bubbling away in you. It may journaling with connections for the day or gratitude. Maybe it's simply getting all of the jumble of ideas from your head down onto paper so that you can sleep more easily.
The order also doesn't matter. Nor does how you balance the time.
If you like to exercise for 20 minutes every day, or you want to finish your Miracle Morning with exercise, then it's a great way to do it. Start the day with meditation, maybe continue with affirmations, visualisations, a bit of reading, a bit of writing and finish with your exercise before you jump into a well earned shower!
It's ok to nurture yourself
Take what you need from each of the rituals.
Take as long as you might need.
It might just be a couple of minutes of silence at the beginning, followed by 10 minutes of writing, followed by 20, 30, 40 minutes of exercise, and finishing with affirmations and visualisations.
Whatever your miracle morning looks like, morning time is a sacred time and any conscious intention to begin the day by focusing on your LIFE (and not your LIFE SITUATION) is a truly nourishing connection with YOURSELF.
It's not 'woo woo', it's not 'alternative'.
It's just really balancing and centering and we all need that in this frantic and fast-paced world of work and imbalance.
I'd love to hear what your morning rituals are.
If you don't have them - what would you LOVE to include?
I will see you next fortnight, and don't forget to connect on the Renewal Revolution Tribe list, because this fortnight I'll be coming up with some meditations that you might be able to focus on for that first step.
See you then.