In my last post, I promised to explain my thought process for choosing each step in my morning ritual.
Thank God For Another Day
I have such a hard time with gratitude. I know that I have so much to be grateful for, but I have a really hard time feeling it. I’m hoping that by acknowledging this one thing every day it will help break down that block.
As more and more information comes out about the chemicals in our food and body products, I have been looking for ways to rid my body of these chemicals. Besides cutting out as many processed foods as possible and using more natural products, I also thought that regular mini detoxes would be a good idea. I came across oil pulling and thought it was worth a try. The idea is to swish oil for 20 minutes before you do anything else. This is thought to draw out the toxins that accumulate in your mouth while sleeping. Usually we just swallow those toxins. This is thought to get rid of them. After the 20 minutes is up, you spit the oil in the garbage, swish and spit some water, then brush your teeth.
This one is just common sense. When you sleep, your body goes for around 8 hours without hydration so every time you wake up, you are dehydrated. There’s a lot of different information about how much water you should drink when you wake up so I just drink until I feel better. I do try to get at least 8 ounces though.
If you follow me on Instagram, one of my first few posts was about my belief that sexual energy and creative energy come from the same place. I, like most women, have a long history of shame, repression, and trauma around my sexuality. I also do not have anyone in my life who I believe has a healthy view of sexuality. So I turned to the internet and came across something called Yoni Breathing. This gave me the idea to do a kind of deep breathing meditation. I imagine breathing in love and breathing out anger, bitterness, and mistrust to various parts of my body that are thought to hold emotion. It’s a very woo-woo idea and I’m not sure what kind of effects it will have. But, if nothing else I find it calming and it helps oxygenate my blood.
One of the bits of advice I read when I looked up morning rituals was to find your highest leverage point and make it a priority. Your highest leverage point is the thing that makes everything fall into place, the thing that keeps you sane. For me, that’s writing. I wanted to figure out how to add writing into my ritual and was inspired by Morning Pages from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I tried Morning Pages years ago but could never make a habit out of it. I wasn’t ready yet. If you haven’t heard of Morning Pages it’s 3 pages of stream of consciousness writing. I also wanted to keep the meditative feeling going so I searched “meditative writing”. Who would’ve thought that was actually a thing?! It’s basically Morning Pages except that whenever you get distracted (which happens often for me) you write “Right now” to get your focus back and keep going. The other difference is that with Morning Pages you may or may not ever go back and read it but with meditative writing you are supposed to go back and read what you wrote out loud and analyze what you wrote. For now, I won’t be going back to read what I wrote. I’m going to experiment with whether it works better to set a page limit the way Morning Pages does or to set a time limit.
Intention setting for me is about setting the tone for the day and checking my attitude. When I tried Morning Pages before, it brought up many bad feelings and old wounds. There’s a good chance that it will happen again. So to combat that I’m trying intention setting. I’m using a discontinued version of Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner. It asks what your core desired feelings are for the day, then there are two columns of lines, a section where you can fill out the actions you will take to reach your core desired feelings, and some fill in the blanks. It is a planner so those lines are for your appointments and to-dos but I’m using them as a mini journaling space. I write a quick bit about whatever is on my mind. This is something I’ve been trying this whole month and only recently have started getting the hang of it. When I am more comfortable with it, I plan to make my own version as I feel like it is too generic.
Top 3 is setting your top 3 highest priority actions for the day. Those are the things you need to focus on before anything else. Nothing else gets done until your Top 3 do. Sometimes you only have 1 or 2 top priorities but never more than 3. I started doing this because I noticed how unproductive I am when I have a huge daily to-do list. I also see it in other people. People have this huge daily to-do list and spend the whole day stressed out about trying to get it all done. Then they only accomplish a fraction of their list and can’t sleep because they are fretting about everything they didn’t get done. Then the next day they try to finish everything they didn’t get done the day before plus all of the new things they put on their list. It’s crazy and never-ending. I started setting a top 3 when I decided to be realistic about what was important and what I could get done in a day.
This one is another common sense step. After sleeping, your body needs to move and loosen up. I also went through a long period of depression that made it hard to get out of bed much less exercise. My body hasn’t healed from that and every muscle in my body is very tight. I should mention that I used to be a gymnast so my definition of flexibility is different from most. I want to get back to the flexibility that I used to have.
Meals and me are not friends. If there was a way to only eat for celebrations I would take it. Eating interrupts everything and takes too much time. As mentioned earlier, I cut out most processed food and I need to cut out all processed foods. To start, I want to find healthy and easy breakfasts that complete my good start to the day.
Keep in mind that the worst thing you can do when trying to build habits is try to do too much at once. Over time I had already begun doing many of these steps. So now it’s about adding the rest of these steps in one by one. If you try to drastically alter your rituals overnight you will likely fail at keeping them. It has to be a process. Decide what you want your morning ritual to be and implement it one step at a time.0