Ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed, groggy, not so excited to greet the day? How do you change that script and get excited for the day ahead?
I’ve had many days where I found it hard to get excited and did the dragging myself out of bed, ho-humming that I had to do XYZ that I didn’t want to do that day. I definitely still have the occasional morning where I wake up feeling this way.
But now I have my secret key to flipping that ho-hum attitude so I can consciously change those negative scripts and make the most out of the day.
The key...is my stellar morning routine.
For quite a few years, I told myself: “You need a morning ritual. You need to start the day with intentional time. This is IT--the recipe for success and peace and joy--and all the things that help you gracefully, vibrantly walk through the day.”
I’d read my fair share of articles from the success gurus explaining that the most successful, motivated, happy people get up early, have some sort of morning routine that starts the day in a centered way.
Once I was out of grad school, I started going to bed earlier so I could wake up earlier. I made time to exercise and to enjoy a good breakfast, instead of hurriedly getting ready for work and rushing out the door.
Waking up early, doing some kind of movement, having a nourishing breakfast, and some chill time for a morning coffee are definitely strong components of a rockstar, feel-good, fueling morning routine. I was adding in all the good things and making progress!
But I knew I needed something more to help me stay centered, energized and balanced throughout my day.
From all my morning routine experimentation, I’ve found that the most impactful, most beneficial morning routines include two more key ingredients.
For anyone who values daily peace and balance, these two ingredients may be two of the more important pieces to the puzzle:
Ingredient #1: Stillness.
This is creating space to just listen--to your inner guidance, guides, higher power. Really listening to what you need is so key in starting your day off strong. It’s that time to process anything that needs to be processed, letting yourself be, feel, and find the clarity you need to be intentional throughout your day. You stop everything. And once you teach your mind to sit and be still, how much easier is it to quiet your mind throughout the day--when there’s often so much going on around you, or you feel stress or anxiety creeping in?
What does stillness look like?
The picture of someone meditating may have immediately popped into your mind and of course this is a powerful practice in stillness. Making yourself sit and just be present is challenging and rewarding. If just sitting is totally intimidating, try settling into this space with some breath work. Simply focusing on the natural rhythm of your breath first and then beginning to deepen your breath, expanding your belly, your rib cage, and your chest. Then feeling the air deflate downwards in this 3-part motion: chest, rib cage, belly, navel sinking back towards your spine. Taking even 3 of these deeper breaths can help you find a still presence.
Stillness can also look like journaling or taking a walk outside. There’s this sense of calm in each of these activities when you’re focused on the present--writing out whatever you’re feeling, listening to the sounds of nature as you’re walking.
Ingredient #2: A spiritual component.
Adding in the spiritual component can give you greater purpose and hope in your day. It’s a humbling practice that de-centers the focus on you and connects you to something greater, while also giving you the opportunity to celebrate this divinity in you and the uniqueness your life brings.
The spiritual component brings a sense of relief and a feeling of lightness. You can find support, ask for help, guidance, or clarity in any issues you’re facing. Many of us are trained to go it alone and “deal with” whatever comes our way--but how much lighter do you feel when you know you don’t have to carry all the burdens by yourself?
When you feel connected to something greater than yourself, you experience a sense of expansion. You’re not just focused on your small world. You have a heightened awareness and you’re tapping into a network of connection beyond you. This expansion opens you to greater possibilities as you venture through your day.
What does this spiritual component look like?
A sitting meditation, a walking meditation, any activity that connects you to your higher self, nature, God, Creator, Source--however you refer to the higher power.
Practices like prayer, gratitude journaling, or energetic cleansing (like burning sage or tapping) are another few simple, but powerful practices that can connect you to the divinity within you and around you. Some of my favorite visualization meditations are visualizing different lights traveling through my body, like the golden light of Jesus or the green healing light of the Archangel Rafael. I'll envision these lights coming down through my crown and traveling through my body, sometimes in a circular motion, down the right side and back up the left. Sometimes the light just slowly travels through my body until I envision that it's hit every part and I'm glowing.
Start your day feeling encompassed and filled by divine power and just watch the effects throughout your day! They’re going to be pretty amazing.
Over the years, as I’ve reflected on my life experience and the moments where I end up feeling lost, down, stuck, anxious [or when I’ve found everything going up in flames], there was a common denominator missing in my life.
That common denominator was a spiritual practice. Adding in more intentional stillness has only up-leveled the daily experience. And when I’ve skipped too many practices, or if I ever try to do them half-heartedly, not totally present, I notice! I don't show up for the day, for myself and for other people in the best way I could. And I'm more likely to fall into a sourpuss mindset or stay stuck in a negative headspace.
When you create your stellar morning routine: find the routine that works for you, experiment to see what works best for where you are in your life right now. Add in whatever you like, sprinkle in some stillness and spiritual connection, and be consistent.
When you put all these ingredients together, show up for yourself first thing everyday and start the day with intention, you'll experience a powerful difference in your day.
What are your key morning routine ingredients for a high-vibe, balanced day?