I’ve been doing some sort of morning ritual off and on since 2007, when I first started Morning Pages. While completing my master’s, I designed a course that included daily meditation and free-writing every morning. Once I went back to work, I neglected that sacred morning time because, quite simply, I lacked time. I needed to figure out how to balance work, family, and life. A morning ritual seemed superfluous, something I could only do as a stay-at-home parent.
But we all have time. Really, we do. I first heard about Hal Elrod’s take on morning practices while listening to one of many health-oriented podcasts. It seemed like a good thing to try – I didn’t have too many hours in my work schedule and therefore had time to devote to some type of morning practice. And it worked. I liked it. I liked creating a space (usually no more than a half-hour) where I can reflect and focus. I don’t believe my life has dramatically changed for it, and I don’t do it every day (or I’ll do an abbreviated version on weekends), but I appreciate the sense of peace and purpose it has brought to my life.
Here’s my approach: I wake up usually between 5:00 and 5:15 on weekdays. I go downstairs and make a cup of coffee, and once that’s ready, I’ll go to a quiet spot and do five to ten minutes of meditation while my coffee cools. I’m a shitty meditator – my mind never quiets but wanders and wanders – but I try. I alternate using two apps (Calm and Russell Simmons’ Meditation Made Simple). When I finish, I say a few prayers, and then open up my Mac to my affirmations. Recite those, and then I write my morning pages (typed in a Word doc I’ve kept since 2012). I’ve tried some other practices like visualization and yoga during this time but never really connected with those. At about this point, I can hear my daughter’s alarm going off – the day has begun. I finish up writing, drink my coffee, and go make lunches.
That’s it. Pretty simple and straightforward. Do you have a morning practice? What does yours look like?