Updated: Jun 25, 2019
Mindfulness is the precursor to healing.
Let me say that one more time....
Mindfulness is the precursor to healing.
Here's what I know with 100% certainty in every cell in my body....
You cannot cultivate peace, power, or purpose if you have lost command of your mind.
You cannot. You will not.
This is because it is with the power of your mind that you are able to heal in the first place.
Disease begins in the mind - with toxic thoughts that become toxic beliefs that become toxic actions that become a toxic life. See how it can spiral?
One of the most transformative ways to create lasting mindfulness is to start by cleansing your mornings with intentionally nourishing acts of presence. The real kicker is, when you embrace mindfulness, you actually set yourself up for a more purposeful and productive day, week, month etc. You'll be a more confident, calm, and compassionate employee, boss, mother, partner & friend.
Creating space, time & awareness first thing in the morning will transform your stress, perspective and chaotic life. Thus improving your relationships, productivity & health.
Do you want to be truly productive? Purpose driven? Grounded? Centered? And even relaxed in the face of stress? Carve out 60-90 minutes to MINDFULLY move through the morning in a ceremonial way. Yes, I know this will require you to potentially get up earlier, but this has the added benefit of motivating you to go to bed earlier as well. Instead of feeling rushed, anxious, and scattered...your inspirational morning will fuel creativity, confidence and connection.
Imagine that....a morning fit for a goddess! Nice music, hot tea, journaling, and a nourishing breakfast you get to eat sitting down. When I ask my clients what has been most transformational for them, they almost always say the morning rituals because over time the daily self-care accumulates into a deep sense of power and peace in their lives.
Here's a step-by-step instruction for creating your own mindful, morning ritual.
1. Choose Your First Thoughts Wisely
What pops into your head the moment your eyes open? Do you panic about the work load ahead? Are you stressing about your boss? Do you immediately lose command of your mind when you wake up? Does a new day cause you anxiety and pain, or excitement & gratitude?
The moment you wake up should be a time of celebration. Sometimes this feels impossible and we have to fake it until we make it. That's why we must actively interrupt our anxiety and to-list with a more positive thought! CHOOSE your thoughts the moment you wake up by recognizing that your mind will default to old thought patterns, but you CAN override that with positive affirmations. Stop your stress & self loathing dead in it's tracks by affirming things like
"Thank you for another day!"
"Im grateful to be alive!"
"I am a new me today!"
You are not at the will of your stress, you CAN choose a positive thought and doing it the moment your eyes open is a powerful declaration of self preservation.
2. Don't Consume Info for 30-60 Mins Upon Rising
We've all been guilty of reaching for our phones the moment we wake up. I know this was a daily habit for me for many years. The moment we begin to consume information that is not our own, we begin to disengage with our mindfulness. Even though this is a default habit for many of us, ask yourself, "why the hell would I want to consume, compare or confuse myself before I've even greeted myself for the day?" Before you've even had a single nourishing thought, you check email, instagram or facebook only to be overwhelmed with what's going on outside of you. But have you checked in on whats going on INSIDE?
For the first 30-60 minutes of your day, pretend your phone doesn't work. Keep it on airplane mode overnight and don't switch it off until you've created space for YOUR health. Enjoy some morning peace. Pretend it's still Sunday for a little while. How can you be mindful if you get sucked into someone else's agenda before you've even created your own? The answer: you CAN'T!
3. Meditate with a Mantra (in bed)
Meditation is a challenge for many women. So here's a little meditation hack that you can start using every morning, while still in your pajamas in bed! While your eyes are sleepy and you're not fully conscious, sit against your head board or wall with legs crossed and meditate for 5-10 mins using a daily mantra. Mantras in the morning are great because they reprogram our brain with new, supportive thought patterns. Repeat the mantra in your mind the entire time or just try 10 repetitions and then sink into silence. Try using mantras like "I am at peace" or "I am whole" or simply "I am grateful." This will help wake you up with more direction and focus. Practicing even a short meditation first thing in the morning is easier because you haven't spent the whole day accumulating stress, drama or irritation. Plus, this is a more nourishing way to wake yourself up then immediately jumping on your phone and scrolling emails or the gram.
4. Make Your Bed Beautiful
Once you've declared your positive affirmations, and chosen your inspiring thoughts - now it's time to put intention into a small achievement. Studies have shown that people who make their bed first thing in the morning are happier and more productive! Don't just throw it together in a rush to get to the coffee machine; put some actual intention into making it lovely. This simple act creates an immediate sense of accomplishment & organization for you to carry through your day. I recommend also purchasing bedding that makes you happy so you actually enjoy getting in and out of bed everyday. You spend 8 hours a day there after all!
5. Eat Breakfast Slowly (like its still Sunday)
It's tempting to barrel through your brekkie in a rush to make it to work and be "Penelope productive pants," or skip the meal altogether because well, you have coffee! Resist the urge to do this ladies or accept the consequences of chronic stress, lack of focus, poor digestion & inevitable adrenal dysfunction. If this is your norm, then it's no wonder you feel so stressed and overwhelmed. You're not even prioritizing your own nourishment and this must be primary. If you're stressed (aka: on the go) while eating breakfast your body cannot properly absorb nutrients because you're in "flight or fight" and food can only be digested when "rest or digest" is activated. You feel me? This means you're compromising the fuel that is meant to to propel you through your day. Treat breakfast time like a Sunday - turn on some music, cook something inspiring and enjoy eating slowly. This mindful practice supports healthy digestion and means you'll be get more accomplished at work!
6. Set Yourself 3 Daily Priorities
Before you start typing away or dealing with colleagues and bosses, prioritize your day. Take command of your day! You may have to reorganize these if something comes up, but at least you've set up a framework by which to manage your self. Make sure to include non-work related priorities including; grocery shopping, exercise, meditation, or calling a friend. Our entire lives can't revolve around work - we need to feed other parts of ourselves on a daily basis! Make a list of all the must dos for work and all the must dos for you. Then prioritize that list. The more mindful you are with your time, the more likely you'll complete tasks and create space for self-care. You'll also be more likely to complete a work task if it means you'll have more time to complete a YOU task.
7. Activate Your Breath
How much conscious breathing do you do? You know, the kind that isn't voluntary? The brain needs oxygen to function optimally so breathing deeply in the morning can power your brain before you even get into work. Use your morning commute as an opportunity to create mindfulness instead of road rage and anxiety. Turn on some nice music and breathe deeply from your belly, pushing your belly out on your inhale & slowly filling your diaphragm & chest. Women especially avoid deep belly breathing because we are sadly taught to "suck it in" all the time, which trains the body to hold tension and breathe shallowly. If you want to bring more mindfulness, peace & focus to your morning commute, activate your breathing for at least 5 minutes. Try doing 3 rounds of 10 deep belly breaths throughout the commute. You've successfully transformed your drive into an opportunity to heal!
Are you ready to feel more grounded, focused and creative?
Try these practices for 7 days and see how you feel at the end of the week. Set an intention for what you hope to gain, & let mindfulness guide you.
& If you fall off the wagon, don't shower yourself in guilt or shame, just get back on the horse & keep going. It's not a competition & it won't look perfect.
Mindfulness by nature is awareness without judgment.