Sure, morning is the time period from midnight to noon. Yet it is so much more than just time. It is a period of first development.
The beauty of the morning often gets lost in the hustle and bustle of living. Yet, if we look into the lives of great spiritual/wellness warriors, athletes, leaders, etc we see that a morning ritual is indeed a common thread. For example, Stephen King begins days with a cup of water or tea and a vitamin. When he’s ready to begin working, he sits in the same seat with papers arranged in the same manner. This level of consistency signals his being the he is ready to step into work mode. I’ve read that Benjamin Franklin awoke at 4am. Until 8am he spent this peaceful time taking care of him by bathing, eating and thinking of what he would accomplish in the gift of a day. Imagine us humans beginning each day wondering what we would accomplish each day!
Beauty… in the morning? You bet. Think about it. You woke up. That’s really the only way to start a day. Without the wake up, there would be no day to live. THERE IS SO MUCH BEAUTY IN THAT. I was 28 when I attended my first yoga training and when I began to understand the concept of being grateful to be alive…to be of life. Waking up and thinking “HEY! I woke up!” rather than “Shut that damn alarm off! SNOOZE! Wake up you have this, this and this to do. Hurry!”. It truly is the simple things that make a HUGE difference.
A new favorite spiritual/wellness warrior is Kris Carr aka CrazySexy everything. If you have not been witness to this inspirational being, you must check her out (the main site is http://www.kriscarr.com. this will lead you to many wonderful resources on living an authentically crazy, sexy and healthy life). Mrs. CrazySexy repeatedly shares how the importance in beginning each day with some sort of tuning in can transform a life to be more fine tuned. Her suggestions are of similar nature to mine. She recommends 20-30 mins of meditation, healing visualization/affirmations, journaling aka “freedom writing session”, doing sun salutations.
“When I start my day with a healing visualization, or a 20-minute meditation, some journaling (what I like to call a freedom writing session), a trip to soul college (reading one of my many books or listening to an uplifting talk), and/or some breath work – wow do my wings expand…”
The point being, how we start our days is very much a reflection of how the day plays out and comes to an end. About 6 years ago, my mornings were spent waking up slowly, hitting snooze MANY times. Rushing my toddler aged boy and I out the door. Running around, gathering the things we needed for the day, often forgetting at least one thing and having to run back in the house and back out, huffing and puffing. The energy I put off was of stress, frustration, and based in fear of being late. Having a child can be like holding a mirror to one’s reflection. While in moments of the morning scramble, I remember glancing at the brown-eyed, golden locked boy and seeing the me I never wanted to be. Unorganized, unmanaged, unfulfilled. Often times in the beginning of a yoga class, I find myself reminding the class to take control of the reigns and give themselves permission to hold back if need be or push harder than ever if needed. Yet a gentle reminder that nothing in yoga is mandatory, yet we won’t get anywhere by being lazy. Replace yoga with life and we get: Nothing in life is mandatory, yet we won’t get anywhere by being lazy.
A few examples of how A Wholesome Approach greets each a.m. (the below stand well alone or as combinations):
- Room temperature or warm water with lemon upon awakening
- Vedanta text and journaling
- Salutations to the self, the day, the earth, the gifts, the challenges, etc. (YOGA)
- Oil-pulling (something new I’ve started within the last month)
- Cuddle time with Chloe girl (our beautifully sweet-natured golden doodle)
- Sunrise walk alone or with Chloe (and sometimes stragglers 😉
So the key to transforming the days and nights from ordinary to extraordinary is to find what works for you. What inspires you to get up in the first place? Do you live to work? Or work to live? In what ways can you greet each day with thanks and begin taking care of you before tending to the duties of life? Try out a few things and test out what works well with your being. Looking forward to hearing all about it!