Start your morning ritual: nourishment for your mind, body and soul

I've had a morning ritual for about 10 years. To wake up and have my own little system in place became something that I just had to do. For the longest time, it was non-negotiable. If on the rare occasion I missed it (usually a logistical obstacle) I felt "wrong". Ungrounded, scattered, irritable. I was a better person when I made that time for myself. These days I’m not so destabilised if circumstances mean I miss a day here and there. But that’s because the foundation has been well laid, I trust that I can return to it, no harm done. And I’m kind to myself.

Now what that ritual entailed 10 years ago isn't the same as it is today (waaaay more yoga back then… like 2 hours!!). Actually, what that was 6 months ago isn't the same as it is today! Not that I'm lurching from doing one vastly different thing to another. I'd say what I do now is something that's naturally evolved over time as I've become more and more connected to intuition, intention and self compassion.

And this my friends is what happens. When you commit to your ritual you’re making a commitment of time and energy to yourself {for more here, check out my other blogs on protecting your time}. Because you’re acting with intention, you’re changing your behaviour and your neurology toward healing and growth. Think of your ritual as helping move you from unconscious and reactive to conscious and responsive. That means you’re being more yourSelf

You get closer and closer and closer to knowing your triggers, your habits, your deepest desires and dreams, what brings joy and vitality, and what creates dullness and depletion. So you get clear, you get present and you gain perspective. And ultimately get to know and love who you are.

Morning ritual? or anytime ritual?

In this blog, I’m referring specifically to a personal and morning ritual. And by ritual I mean a set of behaviours or actions done in a consistent way, undertaken with intention, that provide a sense of inner peace, balance, steadiness, and connection. For me spending dedicated time alone in the morning sets me up for the rest of the day. It creates foundation and starting point that I use as a guide for my choices. But rituals can be with partners, family, pets, community groups (I have rituals for these things too). They can be after work, evenings, on a particular day or time of the month. Use this information and adapt it to whatever suits your own needs right now.

Things you can you do for your morning ritual?

I know some of you might just be stuck with what to do for a morning ritual. So I’ve provided a blow by blow in the box below of what I do (down to the mundane!) so you get a picture. Use it as a guide or template to create your own. I could literally ramble it off as it is soooo predictable. That doesn’t mean I hold it tightly. Things change, I might need to adapt. I might add something to respond intuitively to my evolving needs and desires. But these are the bones, the structure.

Wake up, these days I rise with the sun (I used to set my alarm at 4_30am!). Toilet, scrape tongue, brush teeth, wash face in cold water. Go downstairs and feed my cat. Drink a big glass of water. Prepare my yoga spa.png

I’ll also just go and list some other things off to help you find what resonates. It’s not extensive, just a start. Read through the list and allow your imagination to be sparked! See what else comes up for you. Ultimately what you do, no matter how seemingly simple or small, needs to come as a stirring inside you.

Try and include some time for a little movement and some for stillness. Beyond that, pay attention to your body sensations and see what ‘sparks’ you.

Wash your face, have a shower, run a bath, brush your teeth, brush your hair, do self massage, sit outside, lay on the grass, lay on the dirt, lay on the sand, look at the sky, listen for the birds, go for a walk, go for a hike, go for a run, practice yoga, go for a swim, do a workout, meditate, breathe, be still, sit in silence, pray, sit by your altar, honour your loved ones, dance, listen to music, listen to sound healing, listen to a blog, watch an inspirational video, write, journal, draw, paint, make art, sing, play your instrument, sit on your patio, brew tea, make coffee, cuddle your pet, light a candle, burn incense, bake, take photos, water your garden, pick flowers, tend your pot plants, sweep your entrance

Tips to keep in your mind and heart

Tip 1. Just start. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Pick just 1 thing to get moving. Doing a little bit is better than getting overwhelmed, then stuck, then doing nothing at all, then getting frustrated, beating yourself up, and never trying again.

Tip 2. Keep things simple. You can always build complexity. Start with doing 1 thing for 10 minutes for a few days or weeks, then add 1 more thing.

Tip 3. Set a time frame. How long do you want to dedicate? 5/15/30 minutes, 1 hour? At first this might be guess work, and so might need some tinkering to get right. Work backwards from the time you need to leave the house (or want to finish) plus to how long it takes you to get ready for work (for instance). Subtract the time you want to dedicate to your ritual and that’s the time you need to wake up and get started.

Tip 4. Connect to your values. What guides you to do this? Why is it important? Values can be about connection, creativity, peace, health, strength, love, flexibility, support, kindness, responsibility, power. Connecting to what makes your ritual meaningful will help you begin and stay with it.

Tip 5. Prepare. Set your alarm. Get any books/equipment ready the night before or have them in the same place all the time. Make a short list of the things you’ll like to do and the order you want to do them in so you don’t need to think about it with your morning brain. When I first started my morning yoga practice, the night before I’d get the book I was learning from (pre online classes), pick 3 – 6 poses from it and tab them. In the morning I didn’t have to think about which poses I wanted to practice.

Tip 6. Write down what you’re going to do. Be specific and include your values e.g. “Tomorrow morning I’m going to get up at 5:45am, and spend 10 minutes sitting in my garden listening for sounds and looking at my flowers and trees. I do this to appreciate the Earth and the things I already have”.

Tip 7. Whatever you’re doing, do it with intention and attention. This means being present. If you’re looking at the sky, notice the sky. If you’re drinking tea, drink tea without checking your emails (see Tip 9). Again, connect to your why, your values. Give yourself over to the task.

Tip 8. Stay with it. This is about consistency and resisting the urge to bail. If you miss a day, forgive yourself (see tip 10), adjust your expectation maybe, and get back to it. I’m a fan of timers too, (Insight timer is my favourite) so if you want to write for instance, set a timer to e.g. 15 minutes so you don’t have to keep checking your clock, then go for it. It’ll keep you at it. Notice any urge to stop and offer yourself gentle encouragement to keep going.

Tip 9. Don’t look at your phone. I don’t think too much explanation is needed. It’ll distract you. If you find it particularly hard to resist, leave it outside or away from you. Use an alarm clock to wake up.

Tip 10. Be kind to yourself. Watch your inner critic at work here and have some helpful phrases as antidote at the ready. (“I’m doing my best/This will get easier to stick with the more I do it/ I’ll try again tomorrow”)

Tip 11. Take time to reflect. When you’ve completed your ritual give yourself a few moments to notice your inner experience. What shifts do you notice in the quality of your thoughts, the sensations in your body, your breath, your emotions, the quality of energy inside. If journaling is your thing, write about it.

Tip 13. Connect to joy. And how that feels in your body. Or any high vibration emotion or feeling for that matter. This includes love, gratitude, appreciation, wonder, curiosity, awe, spaciousness, expansiveness.

When you commit to your ritual, you connect to your inner guide and yourself. It’s an act of love, the effects of which aren’t contained within you. They ripple outwards into your world of family, work, community and beyond. Your commitment to yourself ultimately is for the greater good and builds connection.

Sound dramatic? Maybe, but only if you think these deep and broad effects will happen straight away. Truth is the impact will likely be quiet, subtle and cumulative. You might not even notice it until you realise all of a sudden things that used to bug you don’t. Until you see that your relationships just feel more at ease. Until you notice that inspiration, flow and opportunity seem to come to you more easily.

I would love to hear about how you incorporate ritual into your life. I alway get so inspired to hear what others do. Please let me know if you find any of this helpful and how it has helped by commenting below or sending me a message.

Love and light


mendy neralicComment