Rituals to Love Morning

Each morning we are born again, what we do today is what matters most.
— Buddha

Mornings were once my nemesis.  

The snooze dance with my alarm and the negotiations I would make with myself half unconscious: Do I really need to shower today? I can just put my makeup on in the car. I’ll just sleep for one more snooze. I can be a little late today, just 5 more minutes before I open my eyes. 

Today, I wake up with the sun.  I crave the quiet time I set aside every morning. I wake up early enough to fit it into my routine. Morning reflections have become a non-negotiable for my self care. I have come to realize that how I start my day translates into how the rest of my day unfolds.  The early years when I rolled out of bed at the last possible moment are also synonymous with the years when I was the most sick and I had little to no connection with my body.  As my eating habits cleaned up, my lifestyle habits naturally followed. Today I wake up each morning in gratitude and I do a series of rituals to amplify this gratitude into the rest of my day.

Find the sunlight. I am lucky enough to have a large window in my bedroom so upon opening my eyes the very first thing I do is connect to the morning sun. Gaze out the window. Even on cloudy days I look for the color of the day and appreciate the clouds and shadows that swirl about.  On sunny days I soak in the light as I greet the morning with deep breaths.  My mornings start slow and I try and avoid any technology for as long as I can while I connect into my body and get centered.  

These are 5 rituals that help me feel calm, balanced and set me up to have a beautiful day:

  1. My morning starts with the night before. As I lay to sleep, I close my eyes I set my external and my internal alarm. I review what I need to accomplish the next morning and I decide what time I would like to wake up.  My alarm clock is set as a back-up, but I usually arise at the time I instruct my body to wake-up.  This exercise helps me connect to the power of my mind and my intuition.
  2. Water.  I place a full glass of water on my bedside table the night before. I drink the full glass as soon as I sit up from bed. Before my feet reach the floor to stand for the day, I have already replenished and offered my body rehydration from the work it has done while I was asleep. Our bodies do a lot of work as we slumber and it’s important to start each morning nourishing our bodies for the work well done.  After I visit the bathroom my next stop is to the kitchen where I drink another glass of water as I heat up the tea kettle to warm up water for my morning mug of Lemon water with Cayenne.  My day has barely begun and I will have already consumed half of my daily water intake!  This habit insures that I easily make the goal of drinking ½ my body weight in ounces a day to stay properly hydrated.  Water is so important for the body’s functioning as well as my mental and emotional health.

  3. Good breakfast, medicinal smoothie.  I enjoy this time in the kitchen. I put on good music and think about each ingredient I am working with. Connecting to what the ingredient will be offering my body.  Food is medicine and I make time to consciously connect to the medicine my body needs and receives every morning.

  4. Meditate + journal. After nourishing my body, I sit in a still space. Depending on my day I carve out minimally 15 minutes, if my day has the luxury of time and is more flexible, I sit for longer.  I start with big deep breathes leading into my meditation and follow up my quiet time with journaling. I write down anything that lingers from the thoughts swirling about my meditation. I write about all the things I am grateful for in the moment.  I write about how I want my day to unfold and the details I am looking forward to experiencing. Meditating and journaling helps to clean the slate and open me into the possibilities of the day. How do I want my day to go? Visualize and manifest my perfect day.

  5. Stretch. Move. Wake up my body with a yoga flow or a series of stretching. Thinking about the muscles as I am moving them. Starting from the crown of my head and working down my body to the tips of my toes.  I scan through to feel and listen to what my body needs today while offering gratitude for the day of movement ahead.  I like to do my stretches in front of the mirror making eye contact with myself as I move.  Offering my body love and appreciation as I move.  This is again a moment in which I connect into my self.

My mornings have evolved into sacred time in which I am excited to wake up.  It has taken time, and desire to get here. I did not decide one day to start loving mornings and then suddenly roll out from smacking snooze a million times to waking up and loving the sunshine. It was gradual. One layer at a time. Like every other healthy habit I have, I decided I wanted to integrate morning rituals into my world. In return, I have found deeper health and clarity and have learned more about what my body wants and needs to maintain homeostasis.  

This is my ritual, what are yours? Do you like your mornings? Do you have a routine in place to set your day into healthy motion? Let me know in the comments below. 

Photo Credit: Death to Stock Photo

Jen King