After months of mornings not gone my way, I finally made a conscious effort this summer to reinvent a morning ritual that kept me grounded and made essential space for spiritual and physical health. And it made all the difference.
I had a really great system going for years when I taught yoga classes at 6 am: I always built in time to meditate, read a little inspiration, practice pranayama, drink coffee and take RussellClive outside before class. On days when I didn’t teach, I meditated at home, ate protein, went for a run and then read a devotional book over biggie-breakfast.
And then, pregnancy dramatically changed how I felt in the early mornings (and mid-mornings and afternoons and evenings, actually) and I transitioned my 6 am classes to another teacher, knowing full well that infants, too, require full mama morning duty.
For months, the motivation to get my exhausted and migraine-afflicted body out of bed in the morning was knowing that if I didn’t eat something RIGHT THEN, I was going to be out of commission with nausea and fatigue the rest of the day. My Optimal Health Morning Routine was no longer an option; it was a necessity: one ice cold glass of lemon water with Calm magnesium supplement, one probiotic and one hard-boiled egg.
And then… what? Where did my the rest of my morning go? Often times, I camped on the couch and watched behind the scenes footage from the Harry Potter films, waited for extra-strength Tylenol to kick in, dragged myself out the door a few minutes before work and scrambled through the rest of my busy day. This left me feeling frazzled and disconnected, untethered and still exhausted.
I learned that being busy, or being tired, or being morning sick or being freezing was no excuse for forgoing a daily morning ritual aimed at uncovering compassion and wholeness. Everyone has ‘busy and tired’ or ‘sick and tired’ or ‘freezing and tired’ mornings.
So, when we finally got settled into our new house this summer, I took it as an invitation to recommit to my favorite Slow Morning practice: a little bit of yoga, a little bit of meditation, a whole lot of reading and journaling and coffee and a morning prayer of intention.
The key was deciding what I was going to be busy doing and making space for a morning ritual that consistently lead me toward presence and healing. And then… well… sticking to it, with both unwavering faith and graceful surrender, just like sticking to anything else that is worthwhile but sometimes hard (friendship, faith, family, exercise, you name it.)
In her book Love Heals Becca Stevens writes about the power and healing in keeping to morning rituals and intentions. She suggests that we simply do basic things every day “with unwavering discipline– and that these things will help us slowly but surely grow into who we were made to be.”
What is your favorite morning ritual? What wisdom have you uncovered in your search for daily practice? What practices are you committing to?
“The good news of healing is that the oldest wisdom in the world really works. We don’t have to reinvent the processes of love or healing, and it is not out of our reach.”