Our personal rituals are meant to change with the seasons so we can radically transform and grow along with the natural influence of our earth's energy. By moving in harmony with the energies around us, we can feel more peaceful in our daily life. That may be the energy of nature, our loved ones, animals, and even the mountains and the ocean. Life is so fast, and months can go by with us wondering where the time went. Starting your morning off right is key to setting the tone for your day, especially through the winter months when we're prone to being reflective and maybe a little morose. But even when the month's are warm, it's a great idea to carve out an AM sacred practice just for you. Don't spiral down into darkness, but take hold of your mental and emotional state, boldly. You are in control of how you feel, and sometimes routine can help us stay accountable.
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TO CREATING A SOFT MORNING RITUAL
The early hours in the morning are darker than they are during the warmer months, and our bodies naturally want to awaken in accordance with the sun. It can be hard on our bodies to wake in darkness, but these are modern times! If your schedule calls for waking up at 6:30AM, it calls for waking up at 6:30AM and there is no way around it. Easing into your morning will help to fight your body's natural reaction to feel groggy and tired in the mornings. Give yourself some extra time to wake up (feeling rushed is the absolute worst way to start your day), to wake your home up, and to wake your spirit up so you can ease into your day. Here are my 3 secrets to waking up gently and creating a soft morning ritual:
1. HAVE A WARM DRINK
It's important to wake up your system in the morning with something warm. You don't want to shock it with cold food or a cold drink, especially in winter when our bodies are surrounded by the cold. You have been fasting all night and easing your body into nourishment will make your entire day easier, and will actually help your digestion transfer food more smoothly. Healthy choices are warm water and lemon, or green tea. These choices help to hydrate you - you haven't had anything to drink all night! Your bod is parched. Coffee is OK, too (again, modern times) but it won't hydrate you, so be sure to drink lots of water as you continue your morning routine. Bring your bevvie with you along for your morning magic.
2. SMELL SOMETHING GOOD
I've been using my nebulizer from Saje, and it has really helped transform my mindset into a place of positivity. Scent has powerful effects on our mind. But if you've got financial resolutions, you don't need to shell out tons of cash on a fancy little nebulizer that releases a variety of scents (I like Spa Spirit). You can light a sweet smelling candle, incense, or use diluted essential oils. You want to wake up your senses, including your nose. Try to use the same smell every morning in order to teach your body your routine. Smell helps trigger memories and feelings, so sticking to one scent will, over time, quickly remind your body that we're waking up and getting ready to start a new day - and we're doing it gently.
3. MORNING STRETCH WITH YOUR FAVE CRYSTAL
You're holding your warm mug of green tea, and your little nebulizer is wafting a soothing scent into the air around you (or you've lit that special incense or candle and it's flickering in front of you). Now choose one of the stones in your crystal collection - one that holds the energy you'd like to have with you during the day. Maybe it's the self-love of mangano calcite, the grief counselling of apache tears or a motivator like king cobra jasper. Bring that crystal with you to a quiet space in your home where you won't be interrupted (if waking up before your family is what is necessary to avoid interruption, I recommend rising before them). Sit crosslegged on a rolled up blanket or pillow while holding your crystals between your hands. Take a few deep breaths, inhaling your relaxing scent, and begin to stretch your neck from side to side, continuing up and down.
Sip some of your warm drink! Savour the quiet time and continue to breathe deeply. Stand up when you're ready and begin to stretch your arms and legs in a way that feels comfortable. This is a great time to do a gentle yoga session, like Rachelle's recommendation in our Winter Survival Guide, sun salutations, your soft barre warm up and just gentle stretching. Be sure to hang on to your crystal so your body has time to adopt its energy. This should take about 10-15 minutes, or whatever is comfortable to you.
Finish with this Mood Moves exercise from Well+Good to help wake you up and boost your energy. It's super easy, and a nice way to say, "OK, I'm awake! Let's do this thing," after rising softly and slowly. It takes less than a minute, guys.
I shared this Mood Moves vid on Facebook a little while ago and I've been doing it ever since. With a little one who is quite dependent on me, I really relish my alone time. This morning ritual is a nice way for me to stay sharp and calm, and keep my frustration down. Let me know how it helps you!