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March 23, 2016

Morning Rituals to Spark Self-Care All Day

I’ve always loved being an early-riser. Mornings are my time to shine.

When I was a kid, I would wake up early to go riding or to horse shows (on weekends). I still feel really happy and cozy waking up early and heading out on an adventure. It feels rightful. It feels good to my system.

Mornings are a potent time for me.

I tend to feel more well and active in the mornings, then lose energy as the day goes on. Mornings are my get-stuff-done time. I feel the most creative and vibrant.

I like to rise with the sun and flow with the seasons.

But it doesn’t just happen that way. I’ve spent many years cultivating morning rituals that set the stage for loving self-care all day long.

Here are some of my morning rituals:

  • I wake around 6 or 6:30am.
  • I do some yoga asana on the floor to work out any stiff muscles. Cat and cow; downward dog; and pigeon pose are my favorite poses for early morning. And, of course, child’s pose.
  • Sometimes, I meditate for 15 minutes. Other days, I’ll spend some time with my tarot cards – choosing a card and exploring its meaning. I like to light a candle or burn some palo santo also, and set an intention for the day.
  • Then, I have coffee with my sweetie. He makes the most delicious French press, and often a healthy breakfast like miso soup, or quiche with swiss chard. This is our time together. We check in about the day ahead, offer gratitude to one another, and generally love each other up before we head out into the world.
  • Then we feed the cats, and I usually get to work by 8am or so.
  • I like to get started on a writing project first thing, since that’s when I feel most generative. I’ll usually write for 2 or 3 hours, take a break, have a hot shower, and make myself a mid-morning snack at that point.

This doesn’t look like many morning rituals.

I do some things backward – but it works for me.

And that’s the trick: find what works for you. Notice your patterns. Make it intentional and as powerful for you as it can be. Maybe you have kids or a different schedule. That may be true.

You have to customize your rituals to your own life. You have to make them doable and feasible.

But I believe that…

You can find ways to bring some mindfulness into your mornings so that your days are built on a solid foundation.

Once I’ve finished my writing for the morning, I have a cup of tea, something to eat, a shower, and then some movement. I’ll do another mini-yoga practice, go for a walk or play fetch with the cats around the house (really).

Only then do I move into the administrative pieces of my business and other work. In the afternoon, I’ll also visit with friends, co-work with friends or colleagues, or run errands.

Morning rituals are for connection and creativity, and I’m so happy when I honor that.

Setting the tone for the rest of the day with spiritual practice, movement, nourishment and loved ones lets me bring my best work forward. Honoring my rhythms lets me offer myself the chance to bring my unique vision into the world.

It’s been an experiment, mostly predicated on my intuition. Knowing this about myself and offering myself the best start to my day feels like a caring thing to do for myself.

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