Starting a morning ritual will change your life, and this is why...
My 15 year old daughter, Chloe, showed me something this morning that gave me shivers as I felt a wave of admiration and pride flow through my body. She’s an amazing kid, incredibly mature, compassionate and thoughtful. She’s also an awful lot like me in many ways...
Last week, I told you all about my struggle with organization and how I created a solution to help me feel more ease, pleasure and joy while also being mindful of the hustle needed to move my business forward. My daughter sees this - and while she has these tendencies - she also has the mind of a child who has grown up in the technology age. They’re so freaking good at finding solutions... because. Google.
She could so easily let her bedroom become something you’d see in a post apocalyptic science fiction film (and it’s been there... don’t get me wrong, she is 15 after all). She could also allow herself to fall into that rabbit hole of technology addiction so prevalent in youth culture (she’s been there too). Lack of self care is a thing, and I believe the patterns start at an early age and our children learn from us. They learn phone habits, organization habits, lifestyle habits from mom and dad.
I see my own patterns in my kids all the time. And instead of scolding them... I look at myself. How have I taught them to behave this way?
And then, sometimes our kids find their own way. I think our recent shift toward finally getting our house decluttered and organized is impacting how our kids have been taking care of themselves. I also think the fact that I TEACH about self care, pleasure and wellness and I also do my best to show these practices to my children (and aside from the hot water scarcity at night due to multiple baths, I’m pretty cool with how they mimic my self care strategies).
My 15 year old bought herself a FitBit over the holidays and has been searching up ideas for creating her own morning and evening rituals. Yeah, for real! This is what she showed me today. She had found a morning ritual (on Tumblr... a platform that I CANNOT figure out, so kudos to her for making such good use of it!) and an evening ritual that she said she’d like to follow.
I hadn’t even told her that my plan this week was to create a workbook for women to develop their own rituals so that they could have more pleasurable and productive lives! So, how’s that for synchronicity?
Maybe it’s in the water.
And, it’s also in the collective consciousness. Can you feel it? We all know the stars aligned just so for 2018 so that we can all stop living these half lived lives and finally embrace our power, and live fully! Right?
And at the same time, I’m not surprised that my daughter wanted to follow a routine again. I’m reminded of 3 year old Chloe and of the one afternoon we spent taking photographs and putting onto paper a creative project that detailed her Night Time Routine. We followed this, without fail, for a very long time. She THRIVED on the predictability and the clear map for falling asleep that was created in this ritual. Of course, she’d intuitively know this path.
So, why rituals?
I took a lesson from my daughter and I googled “why create a morning ritual?” and found there were multiple hits on this topic. It’s really all the rage. From Tony Robbins and other Self Development gurus to Tim Ferris, life hacking genius, who asked over 100 successful people about their morning rituals in order to create his own 5 step ritual. Tim pretty much sums the necessity of a morning ritual up with his simple statement, “If you win the morning, you win the day”.
What I’ve been reading is that having a morning ritual can help turn a night owl into a morning loving person. I’ve tested this one myself over the past year and can absolutely attest to the validity of it. I’ve had a morning practice ritual for a year now and I can happily say that I’m officially a morning person now. It’s true!
Morning rituals also help you to reduce anxiety. Because, let’s face it, life is unpredictable. Yet, you’ve got this one part of your day that is always the same. You can count on it. It’s going to set the tone for your entire day because you’ve begun with some ease, pleasure and predictability. How do you want to feel when you wake up in the morning? (a key question Danielle Laporte asks in The Desire Map).
And then there is the brain science. You see, in order to feel a sense of happiness, calmness and flow in our lives we need to ensure that our 3 part brain is operating from the same page. When we are experiencing stress - our primal brain can get into this hair trigger type pattern that causes anxiety and quick tempered responses to situations. When we don’t express or allow our emotions to flow, we find ourselves stuck or stagnated emotionally.
(Side note, our family has a pretty awesome word for this one... “Mom, why are you so motionless?”... when I’m stuck in my distant, the world is way too much for me right now state of mind).
And then our thoughts. Well, if the stories are looping and we are disorganized, disintegrated and all over the map emotionally, physically and spiritually.... well, then we can’t think clearly or creatively.
In essence... when our brain is not working cohesively, we are a bit (a lot) of a hot mess.
This is where having rituals really enhances our lives. Ritual, in and of itself, is a powerful way to create harmony in our minds because it speaks directly to our subconscious brain. Our subconscious mind doesn’t understand thoughts or tangible analytics... it understand symbols, archetypes, experiences, sensations. We can’t say, “brain, stop being stressed”... we need to SHOW our old brain that our lives are calm, easeful and gentle with intentionality, or ritual.
On top of this - we can INCLUDE practices inside of our ritual that harmonize our emotions, our spirit, our subconscious mind and our creative/thoughtful mind.
And, I think we should have more than a morning ritual. Why stop there? If ritual is really that powerful and profound - why not create them in all of those moments that you want your entire bodymind to be in on your intention? (Oh Goddess, rituals around your love making?.... pure magic!!)
(honestly, I have a morning ritual and I’m writing this because I want to create more ritual in my life... because my journey is, and always will be, my teaching AND now I’m like, way more on board with this idea than I was 20 minutes ago...)
How do you create rituals? I feel like we can consult Tim Ferris on this one. He’s got a simple, 5 Step Morning Ritual. Listen, this dude has spoken to 100’s of people about their rituals and this is his summary. I feel like this is a pretty good starting point.
Make your Bed.
Okay... I like this idea. But, let’s take this further. By making his bed, he is creating order and he’s also doing something that feels nice, looks good, and is pleasurable in some way.
So... you can make your bed.
Or you can create your ritual space. Set up your space for your morning ritual.
For example. When I head out into the studio in the morning, I set the space for my practice. I get my diffuser going, set out my mat, gather my props or anything I might need during my practice, and lay down a blanket if I’m doing a pleasure practice. Then I light a candle and smudge myself and my ritual space with sage or palo santo and I sit quietly and settle into a few moments of quiet breathwork.
All of the elements you include are powerful symbols for your subconscious mind. Your primal mind will begin to “learn” that this is a relaxed, calm, and special time of day. You’ll find it easier and easier to maintain your rituals when you have created them in a special and symbolic way.
I highly suggest making meditation, contemplation or prayer a part of all of your rituals. You can use a mantra, an app like Headspace or simply just take a few moments to watch your breath flow in and out.
This is KEY. Don’t leave this part out of your morning ritual. This is part of the whole getting your entire brain (primal, emotional and thinking) on the same page. Seriously, even if it’s just 5 minutes of guided visualization.
You might want to take time here to pull some Angel Cards, or read from a book for contemplation so that you have something to guide your meditation practice or in addition to your meditation.
Some of you might be following Candace Cameron Bure’s 18K Pushup Challenge. I’m more the Yin yoga type.
Point is, you’ve got to move our body. Dance, Flow, Self Pleasure. Do some sort of activity that begins to flow energy through your body. GET INTO YOUR BODY and allow yourself to FEEL ALIVE!
Coffee? Tea? Water?
Or.... maybe you have some raw cacao.
I have always wanted to be one of those people who do the warm lemon water & acv in the mornings. Maybe I’ll add that into my routine.
Or, maybe I’ll have coffee.
Currently, I wake up and sit down with a cup of coffee and I look at what I have ahead for the day. Quiet contemplative time to journal and reflect.
I should probably have some water too. The point is here to nourish your physical body. If you did pushups, you should drink some water.
Key. This is where you allow your creativity to flow. The ritual space is creating a capacity for deeper creativity, better intuitive sense, and out of the box problem solving to arise.
That’s a morning ritual. Simple! If you are looking to create more ritual, more time for sacred space, more cohesiveness and pleasure with your day to day activities you can creatively adapt this five steps so that they can guide ritual space creating in multiple areas of your life.
For example - a bedtime ritual.
Step 1 - Turn down your sheets, run a bath, create your ritual space. Turn off the tech. Set you clothing out for the next day.
Step 2 - Contemplation time, Prayer
Step 3 - Legs up the wall, pleasure practice, intimacy with your partner
Step 4 - Tea/Water/Golden Milk
Step 5 - Gratitude.
Before work ritual.
Step 1 - Set up your work space.
Step 2 - Take some deep breaths, go over your to do list.
Step 3 - Dance to your favourite song or do your pushups.
Step 4 - WATER. (or more coffee.... seriously though, you should probably drink water)
Step 5 - Write out your priorities for the day. Top 3.
After work ritual.
Step 1 - Tidy up your workspace & turn OFF your computer. (Do this)
Step 2 - Take some deep breaths and ground into feelings of gratitude for your day and for your work.
Step 3 - Dance to your favourite song again. Or, do some office chair yoga.
Step 4 - Wine. (or water, you pick)
Step 5 - Revisit your to do list, your top 3 and plan for the next day.
So simple. AND, this is a tool for success. It’s not a woo woo head in the clouds strategy. Having rituals in your life works. Period. But, don’t get all type A about this. It’s got to feel good. It’s got to be rooted in pleasure. It’s about creating a deeply pleasurable enjoyable life AND being a badass boss babe as well.
I can’t wait to hear about your rituals. Make sure to share about them on your social profiles so I can celebrate you and cheer you on! Tag me and use the hashtag #mydesiredweek so I can find you!
Download my FREEBIE this week and use the workbook to create ALL the rituals!