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?
I’m trying to figure out what my mornings are going to look like when I go back to work next week. I envision a mad scramble of diapers, breast feeding, pumping, and trying to shower, dress and feed myself. But, it’s good to think about incorporating some peaceful time into the morning, even if it’s just putting down my phone while I’m feeding the baby. Thanks for sharing your ritual!