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The Importance of Morning Rituals

Making Time to Start Your Day With Intention
Filed Under > Everyday

The importance of morning rituals, Waiting on Martha

Lately I’ve really held strong to my morning ritual.  I’ve found that the quiet time in the morning, the time I hold for myself and no one else, is an invaluable piece of my daily puzzle.  But really that should come as no surprise, seeing as the importance of morning rituals is talked about often as we’re becoming more familiar with mind-body wellness and the secrets to living more balanced lives.

Studies show that there are several scientifically proven benefits to meditation and mindfulness.  Think reduced anxiety, increased body satisfaction, improved cognitive function and emotional intelligence, an increase in our brain’s ability to deal with distractions and so much more.  Meditation and mindfulness both teach us to step back from our reactions, and observe what’s going on inside our minds with intention.  Just taking that simple moment to recognize the stream of consciousness in our busy minds, before immediately reacting, can help us combat stress and teach us to be more resilient in all walks of life. 

It’s especially becoming more and more common to read about the success of CEOs and powerful professionals with meditation and morning rituals at their core. Bestselling author of the book The Daily Stoic, Ryan Holiday, put it perfectly in this article on Inc.:  “What is universal, I think, is the need to reduce friction and extraneous interference as much as possible. You want to get into a rhythm so you are focusing as much of your energy as humanely possibly on your work–not only deciding what to wear or what to eat. The less you are fighting the world, the more you can fight against the difficulty of making amazing work (whatever that happens to be for you).”

I’m finding that having my morning routine, things that have begun to fall into a seamless ritual lately, not only helps to ground me each new day, it helps me observe my thoughts, feelings and goals in a mindful, proactive way so that I can carry out my day with drive, inspiration and passion.  It’s dangerously easy to become uninspired in this industry at times, especially when you’re juggling five million balls in the air, and it’s common to be bogged down with mental clutter.  These simple steps that I’ve outlined below help keep me going and I think if you just adopt one or two you’ll quickly find your mornings to be the best part of your day.

No. One… I don’t look at my phone.  There’s literally no way to have peace of mind when you’re immediately reactive, right out of the gate every morning. Text messages, emails and social media notifications ultimately symbolize peoples’ want and need of your time.  By checking the phone first thing, you’re giving your time and mental energy to someone else.  Reserve this small slice of the morning for yourself by not answering to others for at least the first thirty minutes of the day.  

No. Two…I’ve created rituals out of the simple, mundane tasks of the morning.  For example, when I brew my pot of coffee, I really take the time now to enjoy the sensory experience; breathing in the grounds brewing.  I take a few extra moments to relish my senses, avoiding the urge to multi-task and instead enjoy a few moments in silence.  Some mornings I also check my garden during this time as the coffee brews.  By connecting with nature, I feel a surge of fulfillment and peace. 

No. Three…I meditate. Once the coffee is done, I’ll bring my mug, along with a glass of water, to sit down at my desk and use the Breathe app on my Apple Watch.  I’ll meditate for 2-5 minutes, depending on what’s going on/how much time I have.  Here’s where I also usually sit with several healing crystals, and I’ll breathe in my current favorite essential oil and start the diffuser. 

As you’re reading this, you may be rolling your eyes.  But just know that your mind controls everything!  Whether you believe this crystal has energy, or this essential oil can really remedy your ailments, what will be will be.  If you’re creating a peaceful space with things you love, you’re going to feel the effects.  I’ve found that holding certain crystals can help me tune into my body and channel the thoughts and feelings that I need for the day.  If I’m feeling anxious, I’ll reach for my calming crystals; this simple observation is my way of honoring my mind’s thoughts, not letting them run rampant and take over my day.   And if I need to be raring to go for a big day ahead, I’ll smell an invigorating essential oils blend, or if I need a moment to get back to gratitude, I’ll diffuse a blend like Harmony or Abundance in the diffuser.  

No. Four…I pray, and I have a discussion with God.  Here’s when I take time to do my daily scripture.  I shuffle between daily scriptures based on how much time I have. I have a quick one for when my day when I only have a little bit of time, and I also have a journaling scripture if I can settle in and put more time into it. Currently I’m journaling with Lara Caseys new Write the Word Collection and Jesus Calling.  For my shorter mornings I’m reading A Daybook of Grace.  Another devotional or workbook I’ve loved in the past is She Reads Truth.

No. Five…I write in The Five Minute Journal.  I like to harness the scientific concept of positive psychology and write down everything I’m grateful for in this wonderful prompted journal. Taking five minutes to do this in the morning and night helps me to remember everything I feel gratitude about, while also setting me up with intentions and a strong mantra for the day.  I’ve found that this gives me a good jumping off place to tackle my schedule ahead of me. 

No. Six…I revisit goals for my business.  If I really have time in the morning, I’ll use this last few minutes to focus on specifics for Waiting on Martha, Inc.  That could mean working in a workbook on leadership and management— especially love Lara Casey’s sheets—writing down goals and ideas, or simply realigning with the company’s manifesto.  

My morning ritual has become almost sacred to me.  And if I don’t get to every single step each day, I understand.  I give myself some grace.  But I recognize the most important parts of my ritual, and I complete the abbreviated version.  Some mornings I may not meditate for five full minutes.   This way, I’m still staying true to myself, holding space for what I know I need.  I now can’t imagine my days without it!  Truly, MKR

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Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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