You may have heard the saying, “How you start your day is how you live your day and how you live your day is how you live your life.”
I love this quote because it helps me remember to keep my intentions for my life each morning.
I also know that building a morning ritual at first might feel overwhelming.
Trust me, you don’t need a daily ritual as another thing to get “perfect” or to overachieve! Let your morning ritual support your goals, dreams, mind, body, and spirit.
I started small when I started committing to a regular morning practice 4 years ago. As a busy mother and business owner, this was important for me to implement and return to my ritual every morning. This is why I encourage my clients and students to do the same if they are new to creating a morning ritual. START SMALL! This is especially important if you identify as “not a morning person!” If you can carve out 15 minutes each morning for your personal reflection and vision setting, you can change your entire life. It happened to me.
The two main pieces for creating a lasting morning ritual are your intention and attention.
Intention - what do you want to feel, gain, or achieve with your morning ritual? Is it a deeper sense of calm? Or more love and acceptance for your body? Or maybe you have a goal like starting a business or going on a long trip to which you want to devote time? Whatever it is, you can simplify and distill your intention down into an affirmation or word to help you remember why you’re committing to a daily ritual in the first place. So, if your goal is to cultivate that deeper calm, your intention affirmation may be, “I invite calm and ease into my morning and day.” Or just the word “SLOW”.
Attention - how can you use your attention and awareness to create your morning ritual and allow it to grow? You can focus your attention on meditation, journaling, reciting affirmations, visualization, or movement. And having attention at the forefront enables you to return your intention when you get sidetracked or have an off day.
With your intention and attention set, you can create a morning ritual based on your own personal desires and needs. As a meditation teacher, mindfulness coach, parent, and partner, my meditation practice is my number one priority in the morning. But maybe for you, your connection to your physical body is your number one priority. If that feels true, go with that! Creating your morning ritual is all about what will support and nurture you, with just enough gentle pressure to get into that stretchy place of creating real change in your life.
Here are some of my favorites for a morning ritual:
Grounding Meditation - download mine here!
Self Compassion Meditation - my teacher Tara Brach is terrific!
Silent Meditation - I love using Insight Timer for 1,000s of guided meditations and timer options for silent practice.
Invigorating Body Massage: Start with high-quality body oil. Of course, I use our morning ritual body oil. I squirt oil into my palms, say a word of gratitude or affirmation, then start massaging, beginning at my ankles and working up my legs in a circular motion. Moving the energy up is excellent for waking up and for reducing inflammation. I massage my stomach, hands, arms, shoulders, and neck while silently repeating my word of affirmation or gratitude.
Gua Sha - Gua Sha is an ancient Asian tool for stimulating lymphatic drainage, encouraging the softening of any fine lines, and de-puffing the skin. Start by cleansing, then apply a high-quality facial oil. Our hydrating facial oil is perfect for gua sha. I like to gently massage my face in an upward and outward motion as I apply the oil. Take a few centering breaths, then use your gua sha tool on your face with gentle pressure using up and out movements.
Somatic Movement - I love my daily ritual of authentic movement practice. Sit or stand on your yoga mat, center into your body with your breath, and place your attention on any sensations in your body. Then just let your body move in the way that it wants. For me, sometimes this looks like a dance, sometimes it looks yogic, and sometimes very primal. Connecting to my body like this each day has taught me to move with emotions, feelings, and situations.
Dancing - turn on your favorite get-moving morning song and dance full out! This short amount of time can really turn on your energy.
Yoga - I love doing short yoga practice in the mornings to stretch out and prepare for the day.
Connect With Nature: Go on a walk in your neighborhood, or just step outside and put your feet on the earth. Look up at the changing colors of the sky and remember your connection to all things.
To begin your ritual, I suggest picking 3 things, a self-massage, meditation and connection with nature, and creating your own daily practice. Set your intention for your morning ritual and focus your attention during your morning time. Make it simple and sacred. It’s time just for you.
Keeping your morning ritual fresh and alive allows it to grow with you as you grow and change. So, feel free to switch out practices, add on when it feels good, and subtract if necessary. Sometimes a morning practice is sitting down with the intention of self-love, writing out 1 word in your journal, and taking 3 deep breaths. Morning rituals aren’t meant to be rigid. They are alive and intended to flow with the seasons of our lives.
And if something gets in the way for a day or even a week, absolutely no worries. Just begin again. Reset or re-commit to the intention and refocus your attention. Let me know about your favorite morning rituals, and if you have any questions or need support, I’m always here. You are so worthy of sacred morning time.
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