I have spent the past 10 years cultivating a loving, self-care practice which has changed my life! I have become more optimistic, more grounded and more intentional because of it. I am much kinder and compassionate towards people, including myself! And I am more productive, more focused and able to give more to others because I first take care of me.
Beginning this routine seemed a bit selfish, at first. I was so accustom to giving most of my time and energy to others back then. I dedicate about 45 minutes to an hour each day to my morning practice. It took me a long time to believe I deserved to spend so much time solely to my own health and well-being, especially when others needed my attention. Now I know it’s the best thing I can do for myself and others.
Every day I wake up at about 6 am to begin my morning. This is when it is still in my very busy house and it is also when I can catch a glimpse of the sun rising out of my kitchen window reminding me of the incredible blessings each new day brings. Each of the practices I choose have helped me to create a grounding, uplifting and connected energy to myself.
Here is what my practice looks like:
Prayers I begin each morning in prayer. I have realized, for me, that recognizing the higher power in my life and accepting my spirituality as my guiding force has led me to a deep and powerful understanding of my purpose here and connected me deeply to Divine Wisdom and Divine Love.
Meditation I sit in meditation each morning for 20 minutes. My personal preference is guided meditation. Presently, I am focusing on my breath, as well as, repeating a Hindu mantra which is selected to compliment my daily intentions. This practice has brought a peace to my life that I am so grateful for. I have become much more in tune with my body and have felt an exponential positive energy in my life.
Metta Meditation This scripted meditative practice helps me send the positive energy and love I receive back out into the Universe. It is a beautiful and peaceful practice with many physical and emotional benefits. Metta means loving kindness and is a Buddhist practice of meditation that cultivates the heartfelt wish for well being for you and others.
Glass of Lemon Water The first thing I consume in the morning is a warm glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon. I try to be very mindful when drinking this, remembering the blessings of having clean running water, my healthy body and privilege of taking the time to take care of myself.
Chakra Affirmations I have approximately 50 positive affirmations that I say to myself each day. They are clustered in groups relating to each of my chakras and I include a simple yoga pose as I move through each group of affirmations. This practice has created a sense of balance in my mind, body and soul, and has been a key factor in shifting the way I speak to and feel about myself.
May You Know Joy Intention Cards Setting intentions is such a vital part of my way of life. In fact, how I choose to show up each day is really the point of having my morning practice! The May You Know Joy card decks add a lot of fun and whimsy to my morning practice. I love how they support my connection to my intuition, as well as, the Divine wisdom of Source. Their impact on my focus each day is profound. And I enjoy the playful nature of changing up how I pull the cards when I feel inspired to do so.
Cup of tea I love tea! I used to drink 5 or 6 cups of black tea a day. But I have had to limit myself to 1 cup of decaffeinated tea, for health reasons. I make this cup (in a really big mug) each morning and truly savour it! I include it as part of my practice to remind myself to indulge in what I enjoy and love but also be moderate and healthy in my choices.
Gratitude Journal I have two journals which I write in daily. I always begin my writing in my gratitude journal. I write a page worth of things, people, events that occurred the day before that I am thankful for. This practice has completely shifted my perspective. I have learned to be grateful for challenges, as well as, joyful moments. It has allowed me to see just how much there is to be grateful for in my everyday life and has given me the ability to face difficulty with a positive mindset and optimistic belief system in place.
Journal This journal is where I write about what is happening in my life, where I work out problems I am facing and where I celebrate my wonderful life. I try to be very honest with myself and to write without thinking about what I am writing too much. I have found this self-reflective practice to be so transformative and expansive. It has helped me develop my authentic voice. It has helped me look at things from other people’s perspectives. It has helped me acknowledge all the healthy and healing choices I have made. It has been the place where I have witnessed me falling in love with myself!
As my morning practice became more solidified and natural I continued to add in other practices that make me feel good throughout my day. Currently, these include tapping (EFT), movement, reading, mindfulness breaks, and making healthy eating choices. Having a variety of practices to choose from, sort of like a menu, feels great. The flexibility, that I now enjoy, is part of my process of expansion in my personal growth.
Sometimes, because of other commitments, I have to shift some of my practices to other times of the day. Sometimes, when I am tired or not at home or something unpredictable happens, I cannot complete them all.
When this happens I truly feel the effects of not fully caring for myself first. I am not as attentive or intentional in my choices. When that happens I am more impatient, more stressed and and am more likely to slip into old, unconscious patterns of thinking.
I have learned that investing this time spent on loving, self-care fills my internal tank up and then I am able to give so much more to others, be positive and be authentic.
I highly recommend beginning your own Morning Practice if you are looking for a way to feel more balanced, optimistic and joyful in your life. Start with one practice and work your way up to as many as you want to feel rejuvenated, fueled and full of love for yourself!
I would love to hear from you about your morning practice. What self-care do you have in place? What is holding you back from your daily commitment to yourself? Do you have questions about how to choose the best practice to begin with or make time in your schedule for yourself? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.