You may be pleased (or disappointed) to know that I don’t have a ‘morning’ routine – a set of specific things I do day in and day out as part of my wellness life. Why?
Several reasons but here’s two:
I don’t believe that on any given day that a specific set of things is going to be right for me – I change, the weather changes, what my body-mind needs changes, what I’m eating changes with the seasons, I may be on a particular spiritual track, have a physical aspect I’m working on or feel emotional and have those needs to attend to.
Ok that was more than one reason but here’s my ‘second’ anyway..
I have a varied life that doesn’t come out of a box and I’m pretty sure you do too. Some days I work in an office or at my computer, some days I’m massaging all day, other days I’m inspired to cook and create all day in my kitchen, sometimes people stay over at our house, my demanding cat won’t let me meditate in the mornings (so he gets what he wants and we cuddle and meditate together), I used to do shift work.. you get the idea. You may have kids, late or early shifts, or you may even be human and just need to sleep and be gentle on yourself, the best medicine 🙂
You may think that all these add up to a whole lot of excuses, that’s fine. I think it’s life. I also think that less routine allows me to experience life more, because when I do things differently, I discover new things too.
One thing I have learnt however, is to listen to what my body needs on the day. THIS ‘listening to self’ is so much more powerful than sticking to a routine because I or someone else someone said that’s what you should do (I don’t like should by the way – if you think you should do something, change it to could – does’t that feel better? Less ‘have to’ more choice).
OK i’ll get to the point. I do have a few things to choose from as a way to take care of myself in the morning, but hey, I’m human too and sometimes all I can manage is coffee! At the moment I’m oil pulling and I have started a lunar journal – offered by the very talented Rebecca Funk, and I’m going to be participating in a series of ecoprinting workshops that are tugging at my creative strings so a lot of thought and energy is going there as well.
If you did want to find a few inspirational ways to start your day – remember to ALWAYS listen to your needs first, and include some of these startup ideas if they take your fancy!
Oil Pulling – this is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that was designed for dental health and for removing toxins from the body. This is best done first thing, as in before you take a sip of water in the morning. All sorts of bacteria and toxins build up in your mouth overnight, and oil pulling helps to get rid of them. It basically involves swishing a tablespoon of oil around in your mouth whilst you go about showering, making breakfast etc, then spitting it out (not down the sink) and rinsing your mouth with warm water.
Coconut oil is best due to it’s antibacterial qualities and probably the most palatable. In my personal experience, it’s best to start with a small amount, a teaspoon or more and built up your time from ten minutes to 20, the recommended time. Benefits? I can only speak for myself, and I notice a cleaner feel in my mouth, my tongue is less white and more pink, and I notice a huge clearing of my sinuses in the first week. Many people swear by it, it’s inexpensive, easy and unlikely to harm you so it’s worth a try.
Nature – my day often starts with an excursion to the bottom of the garden to let the chickens out. I always take a moment to see what is happening around me, put my feet on the ground, give thanks for something beautiful I can see, maybe stretch my arms up to the sky and envision roots growing into the earth. It grounds and centres me for the day, and if I’m having a stressful moment I can always go back to that moment of bliss in the morning. Of course there’s rainy days, in which case it’s a mad dash to open up the chook pen and rush back inside!
Stretching or Yoga – I sometimes add this into my morning in the warmer months, getting out of bed in winter and stretching doesn’t work for me, I’d rather go for a walk or listen to the rain with a cuppa in bed 🙂
Walking – a good brisk walk in the morning does wonders, especially on those beautiful summer mornings. In winter I tend to save my walks for later in the day when it’s a bit warmer, in Autumn I love to wonder about under beautiful trees, not much briskness happens but it’s beautiful and good for the soul.
Reading or Choose a Card – sometimes we need some motivation for our day, so reading inspiring text or choosing a card or quote is a good way to set your intention for the day.
“I wonder what amazing things will happen today?”
I often ask this question to enable a positive way of thinking about my day, and it opens me up to surprise and wonder.
Meditation – I’m not so good at this in the morning, but if you can it’s the best time of day to meditate and connect to your inner world whilst the outside world wakes up around you. It’s also a great way to focus and create intention for the day, but for me I find meditation is better at night so I can unwind from my day.
Breakfast – I’d like to say that I have a favourite breakfast formula but this varies too according to what’s in season, what I feel like, how much time I have and where I am! Summer it’s mostly smoothies or my summer fruit porridge, at the moment it’s homemade muesli, yoghurt and apple, sometimes it’s bircher muesli, eggs and salad, omelettes, porridge with blueberries and honey.. it all changes and I have a variety of things in my cupboard to be able to make what takes my fancy. The time also varies, sometimes I don’t eat breakfast until closer to lunch time! This is definitely one area where I listen to what my body needs – food is my medicine.
Watch the sun come up – this is one we do a lot on holidays, or on slow mornings on the weekend. It’s such a peaceful time of day to sit and watch the light. For me, along with sunset, it’s my favourite time of day for photography when the light is soft. Photography aside, it’s just so peaceful and beautiful and if it’s a stunning colourful sunrise it changed so quickly, reminding me that all we have in life are our fleeting moments.
Spend them well.
So whatever you choose, I hope that this blog teaches you one thing.. Listen to your body and honour your needs. You are unique, your start to the day could be full of things you love :). Live life your way!