How you do one thing is how you do everything.
…that’s what my meditation teacher, David Elliott, says, and that got me thinking – what if I changed my outlook on my daily grind of morning rituals? What if my morning chores felt more like something I was privileged to do instead of something I had to do?
The word “ritual” can sound like a big deal. Upon hearing it, maybe you envision a circle of beautiful women in long, flowy dresses and flower crowns. Perhaps they gather in an expansive, lush field under the full moon to chant sweet mantras. Or maybe you think of transformational workshops, breathwork trainings, sweat lodges and yoga retreats. Such events have certainly shaped my life and I’m a big proponent of them, but let’s be honest – making the time for these kinds of events is easier said than done.
Imagine, if you will, feeling how you feel after those kinds of fabulous experiences… but feeling that way all the time in your normal life. This is possible!
Below, are my suggestions for getting started. Let’s examine how you can supercharge three very common morning routines into rituals.
Making the bed
This very small ritual doesn’t take a lot of time, but it can have a huge impact on the rest of your day. When you make your bed upon rising, you’ve already accomplished something. Those small actions are the building blocks of healthy habits. When you have habits that make you feel good, your self-confidence soars. When your self-esteem is high, you have more energy and make choices that support that good mojo. It really does make a world of difference when you make your bed in the morning. If you don’t believe me, check out this lovely little book, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life... And Maybe The World, by Admiral William McRaven.
After making my bed, I love to kick on my essential oil diffuser with an enlivening citrus mix right away. This way my room is perfumed with pure energy when I return to it after my shower.
Here’s my current essential oil diffuser mix of choice. 5 drops each of:
Bergamot - mood improving, easing, uplifting, cheering, inspiring, cooling
Tangerine - cleansing, clarifying, cheering, uplifting
Lemon - fortifying, purifying, cleansing, uplifting, refreshing
Sweet orange - cheering, calming, purifying, cleansing, easing, uplifting
If you have any animals, make sure to give them a little attention in the morning. Frankie, my 10-year-old Japanese Chin, gets some morning high-fives and cuddles to keep our home vibe high all day. Animals exchange energy with us and our space so it’s equally important to keep them involved in your morning rituals. Simply petting them and taking a few deep breaths can make a huge shift in how your energy flows throughout the day.
Getting crafty with coffee
So, I happen to be one of those people who doesn’t do the world until I’ve had my coffee. I know... it’s a terrible habit and one that I hope to be free of one day, but it’s literally my last vice. I take this morning ritual very seriously.
I keep plastics and electronics to a minimum in my home, so my coffee routine begins with lighting a kettle. Then I place an unbleached filter inside my glass Chemex coffee maker. Next, I grind my organic coffee beans gently, pour them onto the filter and patiently wait for the water to boil. As I pour the boiling water over the grinds, intentions for the day start to run through my mind.
Making coffee in a Chemex takes a lot of patience. I’ve chosen this method over a traditional electric coffee maker for several reasons, but over the years I’ve realized that waiting for the coffee to drip-drip drip through the filter is actually productive. That’s the moment when my morning meditation begins. The gap between the spark on the stove and the final product has never been easy for me to sit in. Yet, every morning I specifically put myself into a place of discomfort. Why? On the other side of waiting patiently there is usually a gift.
“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.”
If the weather is nice outside, maybe opt for taking your coffee into your yard or patio. Enjoy the earth if you have it near you. Too often we grab our morning coffee or tea and run out the door without taking a moment to enjoy the beauty of all that we have and all that we are.
I know it’s just coffee... but... is it? It can be a morning ceremony whereby you contemplate the day ahead, set a few goals that you would like to accomplish, give thanks for all that you have and remember how much support is around you as you connect with the trees, the sun and the sky.
Taking a shower
Want to hear my truth? Most days I take a super-fast shower and I never have enough time to wash my hair. Thank goodness not washing your hair every day is actually healthy! However, no matter how pressed I may be for time, I always take a moment to pop a few essentials oils in the shower with me. Scents are so powerful – they can literally make you feel like you are in another world. I keep a small bowl, about the size of a ramekin, in my shower to blend a few oils. The steam from the shower helps them fill the air. I love a good eucalyptus/grapefruit combo in the morning. Lavender/clove is my evening jam.
I keep a couple of candles in my bathroom at all times. That’s where I also enjoy the presence of fresh flowers and a few plant babies. You’ll often find me listening to my latest Spotify playlist because music makes me really happy.
Even if this entire experience is only 5 minutes, wouldn’t you rather give it a try than wonder what could have been? I challenge you to create this vibe in your shower tomorrow morning.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
Life as a ceremony
So much of my life has been fast. Fast fashion. Driving fast because I was running late – again. I’ve spent much of my life rushing through it and missing out on the good stuff – birds singing, running water, a safe bed, catching the perfect light, an unexpected song, laughing with friends. These little moments. These little things are truly what the ritual of life are all about.
It’s time to give yourself permission to pause. Let your space support you in moving slower. Life isn’t just about accomplishments so much as it is about savoring the moments. You spend a lot of time in your home so enjoy the journey. Make a ritual out of everything that you do and let the joy permeate your bones.
“Slow down baby, you’re moving too fast.
You’ve got your hands in the air with your feet on the gas.
You’re about to wreck your future running from the past.
Slow down before you go down, baby”