Morning Rituals: From "Ugh..." to "Aha!"
I’m not big on woo-woo. I regularly apologize for coming across as hippie-dippie, new-age, or even remotely feel-good-mumbo-jumbo in any of my content or coaching. I guess I’m somewhat of a self-loathing spiritualist.
So naturally, I can’t stand the sound or stigma of phrases like “morning ritual,” because anyone describing the first thirty minutes of their day as “a time for sacred grounding” is really obnoxious and off-putting. When I read up on various gurus’ practices of morning meditation, fairy card readings, and quiet time with Yogi tea, contemplating crystals at the foot of their homemade altars, I throw up in my mouth a little bit, frankly.
But here’s the bottom line: All hippie-dippie BS aside, morning rituals work.
In a crazy, unpredictable world, having a specific practice (or practices) first thing in the morning in service of self-connection is fuckin’ powerful. Prioritizing your own well-being and checking in with yourself consciously every damn day is courageous, caring, and self-love at it's finest.
You see, humans are not hamsters on wheels. We are not designed to mindlessly race ahead, day after day, in pursuit of who knows what at the cost of who knows what else. It is this soul-sucking, forging-ahead-at-all-costs attitude of, “Let’s just get the day over with,” that has folks waking up in mid-life crisis, paralyzed by the question of where the hell the last twenty years went.
Well, they came and went, but you weren’t really there for them, were you? Maybe in body, but not in spirit. So, are you listening? Do you care? Do you know what you want? Do you even know how you feel? What do you need? What are you dreaming about? What matters most to you?
The answers to these questions are precisely what morning rituals are all about. The slowing down, the tuning in, the committed choice to pay attention to this present moment, amidst the chaos of everyday life. It’s like dropping anchor on a long and tenuous voyage, and choosing to take in the scenery and recalibrate for a moment.
The cool part is, what works in service of pausing and calibrating for you will likely be different from what works for anyone else. Morning rituals: Have it your way! Pickles on the side!
Maybe you like the idea of setting aside fifteen minutes to journal over coffee. Perhaps setting your alarm ten minutes early to fit in some quiet AM meditation would help you get in touch in a deeper way. Maybe it’s just eating your favorite breakfast, accompanied by a light and easy list of gratitudes.
Get creative. What would help you? A twenty minute walk around the neighborhood? Three sun salutations? Ten slow, conscious breaths? Pick something, or a few things, and play around with it for the next two weeks. Treat it like an experiment. Notice how you feel.
Every morning will be different, and there will be days when you say, “Screw it,” and skip the walk, or the gratitude, or the yoga. That’s okay; that’s part of the practice, too. Because when you continually come back to your rituals, you start noticing the difference between days when you rushed out the door, caffeinated but not actually awake, knowing your schedule but not knowing what you really need…versus the mornings when you took time to pause for a few moments and check in with yourself. You consciously chose to clear space for a small window through which you could peer into your soul. You took care of you by taking time get a little more grounded, clear, and conscious of where you are now on a being level, and where you see yourself going next.
Yeesh, was that way too woo-woo? Yeah, I think that whole “window-soul-peering” part really took things over the edge. I apologize for that.
I’m just plain passionate about this topic and would love to engage in more conversation around it. If you have thoughts, feedback, or questions, comment below! Let me know if you start a morning ritual or if you need help getting started. Let’s change our lives together, shall we?