Hands up, who is not a morning person?
I used to be a morning person.
Then I had small children, I didn't get much sleep over night, and I found it really hard to get up early when I'd only had a few hours of broken sleep.
But… and there's a BIG but - I’m now getting a bit more sleep and the kids are sleeping better and that means I have a bit more predictability amongst the odd night of turmoil that teething and toddler issues causes. I know that I can go to bed and then wake up, and generally have a big chunk of sleeping time.
Once I realised I had that, I set about recreating a morning ritual for myself. I had to train myself to be a morning person again. It didn't come naturally or easily in the beginning - I'm being 100% honest with you there.
Today I am sharing why you should consider having a morning ritual. My next video blog will be reviewing a great book in this area and it’s one you don’t want to miss. It has transformed my mornings.
For now though, let me share what my morning ritual currently involves. I've had a few clients and people ask me about my rituals and I wanted to share some of the benefits of having an inspired morning ritual too.
Now, you don't have to have a morning ritual that is full of the things that I'm going to talk about. Your morning ritual might simply be getting up earlier than anyone else in the house. Hey, if that's 5:30, it might be 5:30. For me for a while it was 5:00am or 5:30. Because my kids, thankfully are later sleepers now, I can get up at 6:00 if I want to, although it depends on how much I have to do in my day. It might just mean getting up earlier before everyone else, making yourself a cup of tea or a cup of coffee, and sitting outside, watching the sunrise, and having 10 minutes to yourself.
That might be it.
That alone can set you up for an incredible day, an incredible morning. It can change the way you feel for lots of reasons. Your morning routine might be a little bit more involved, like mine. The whole idea of having a morning routine is getting the benefit of time alone, it's about creating a conscious awareness of what you're doing, you're setting intentions, and you're honouring yourself. In that vein, some of the benefits of having something that you do in the morning for yourself everyday could be that it sets you up for the day. You continue in the day the way you started.
If you're starting the day fully conscious then you are already more in control of the way you feel, and of what's happening to you. You've chosen to wake at the time you woke up, you've chosen to create the rituals that you have and you can take that into the rest of your day. It's a shift in mindset. You're saying to yourself, "I'm in control, I'm centred, I'm productive, I'm worth the time alone." And that carries over to the rest of your day.
That feeling may also come from having that quiet moment with your cup of tea or coffee before the rest of the house wakes up. It might be sitting outside and listening to the trees. We did a little bit about micro meditations and mindful walking in the last two video blogs. It might be incorporating some of that into your morning routine.
It can include all sorts of things. A lot of people incorporate movement.
Getting your blood moving, and your blood flowing.
It might be a walk, it might be some yoga with a few sun salutations, or some stretching. It might be a short more higher intensity workout to get your blood moving.
Either way – you are not only getting your mind, but your body, ready for the day.
Morning rituals may also include writing and journaling. There is a lot of powerful stuff out there about journaling, and the transformative experience that just writing - free writing - can help you with.
Your morning rituals may involve some meditation, some visualisation, some affirmations. For some of you it might involve drawing some beautiful oracle cards to set some intention if you're into that as well.
The important thing is just saying, " I'm worth the time to myself, and alone. It's measured, it's intentional."
My morning ritual
I wake up before the rest of the house. These are on good nights when the kids have slept all night. I'll get myself out of bed, I'll come to a space that I've created in my home that's purely for me.
I'm lucky that I have a separate room that I can do that, because our kids share a bedroom.
But it might mean that you can create a corner, or a spot outside where you can do that.
I will meditate, if I can for at least 15 to 20 minutes, but depending on the time, it may even just be for five (see my post on micro-meditation here).
Then I will light some candles, and I'll light some incense cones, and I have a vision board that is very, very powerful with a lot of the things that I would love to achieve both personally, for our family, and professionally. I will spend five to 10 minutes looking through that vision board, and putting myself into a headspace and feeling that I have already achieved all of those things. I imagine what my life is going to look like when they happen.
I also have two lists of affirmations. One is a personal affirmation list about, "I am this, I feel fully in control” etc. You know, all the quotes that I love, but I also have some of my more specific goals about, "I will be travelling with my family for 2021” or, "I am bringing in this amount of money for my family to do these things by this year."
I also have some personal business affirmations about what The Breath Between will create for myself, and what it can help others to do over the next 12 months. I spend time reading them aloud softly so the kids don't wake up, but aloud because it's very powerful when we breathe life into those words.
Writing and journaling
Then I'll write. I have some journal prompts, so I look at things how I'm feeling at the moment, what I am going to do for myself today, how I am going to connect with others, how am I going to make myself feel better, how I will move my body today. I also practice gratitude – writing what I am grateful for. Sometimes it’s quite a short session, but other times I ‘free journal’ and write whatever comes out of me. Sometimes it is reflection, other times it’s dreaming of the future, and other times it’s prose! I often don’t know what to expect.
I love the space that is my altar, and I look at the things that I love and hold dear to me (I’ve done a post of what is on my altar here).
I'll touch my crystals, my buddhas and those things that make me feel calm and centred, and I'll draw some oracle cards just for a bit of beautiful heavenly guidance, divine guidance, and setting some intentions, and just to get some really lovely messages.
Then I'll do some movement. It might be 20 minutes workout, it might be some stretching, it might be some yoga sequences. All of those things do quite different things. Moving my body gets me ready for the day!
I'll try and read at least 10 pages of either a beautiful fiction book that I'm loving reading, or a book that's helping me in my business, or just helping me personally.
Your morning rituals and routines
I'd love to hear if you have a morning rituals, whether it's sitting outside with a cup of coffee, or a cup of tea, and relishing you have the time you have on your own. Whether you have some journaling or some visualisations, or affirmations in there.
Missing my morning ritual
A morning ritual changes the way you feel. I have recently had two weeks of frantic PhD finalization and working late at night because I had children home during the holidays.
I missed my morning routine.
I was just too tired. I couldn’t bring myself to get up because I just wasn’t rested.
I am 100% honest in telling you that.
I felt totally different.
I felt a little bit less in control during the course of the day.
The days I DO get up and practice my morning rituals are the best days and the most productive days. The days where I am calmer with my children, understanding of mistakes that I make along the way.
If I only have 20 minutes, I will do 2 minutes on each thing. It's better than nothing. Give it a try, see if it changes the way you feel, and start your day off the way that you want to finish it. It will give you such an amazing sense of renewal.