Morning Rituals For A Calm Life
Modern life does not often accommodate or honour rituals .. and I find that quite sad.
There is a magic and sacredness to heart-felt rituals
..lighting a candle to mark the transition from day to evening, drinking a glass of warm lemon water each morning, taking time each evening to write in your gratitude journal .. personal rituals can turn mundane tasks into special and meaningful moments.
How we start our day has an amazingly powerful impact on the overall flavour of our day (and our life). When we create a morning ritual we are honouring the very best of ourselves, our intentions and dreams .. and have this amazing opportunity to set the tone for our day.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, choices that you make regarding your daily routine either build up resistance to disease or tear it down.
Do you have a morning ritual?
Here is Part One of my own morning rituals below .. do you have any of these in your morning ritual?
My morning ritual starts with a slow and gentle waking. I find nothing is more jarring and disturbing than loud buzzing, beeps or music. I sleep without blinds (always have) and find that I wake quite naturally with the rising sun (or the birds) so this has become my trusty body-clock. If I must wake at a different time, I will use a meditation clock that provides a simple, clear chime to wake me slowly.
*Morning Breath Meditation
Once I have woken (but still in that sweet cocoon of dream-like awareness) I do a wonderful Morning Breath Meditation which allows me to reconnect with my body and breath at its gentlest and most relaxed state. After waking, turn onto your back and rest both your hands (palms down) across your lower belly area. Just rest for a few moments feeling how your belly moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Feel the warmth of a soft belly, the gentle expansion and contraction beneath your hands .. the gentle rhythm that is the pulse of life. Recognising that with each new breath, and each new morning .. we have a moment in which we create our life anew.
Eastern health practitioners recommend drinking water on waking in order to break the fast that our body has been on for the past eight or so hours. Ayurvedic philosophy believes the first item you ingest sets the mood for the remainder of the day. I drink a glass of lukewarm water with the juice of half a lemon and find this amazingly ‘awakening’ for the body (I do this almost every morning because I love the kick-start it gives to my digestive system). The Ayurvedic reasoning is twofold : warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis-the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving; and lemons/limes are high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.
MY FAVOURITE part of the morning is my meditation practice which I have done most mornings for more than 20 years. I know that this gives me a unique opportunity to connect to that deep and profound stillness within, and find my ‘balanced self’ before the day begins. In the colder months I allow myself to sit up in bed – with my back straight and supported by the back board (or wall) – but in the warmer months I love getting up and moving to my meditation cushion near the window. I always have my shawl with me, to keep warm and cosy. You can start just by sitting up in bed for 5-10 minutes and watching the breath or trying the So Hum mantra. Don’t worry about doing it right. Just breathe and rest. Allow yourself the time to BE.
Our intentions are our master plan .. reconnecting with our intentions for the day/week/life which provides us with focus and a course of action. Before embarking on my day .. I always take a few minutes to simply reflect on my aims for the day, reminding myself of my dreams in life .. getting in touch with what I wish to manifest. Spending just a few minutes visualising the most amazing, positive, colourful and adventurous plans we hold for life .. is a creative and engaging way to start the day!
Do you have sacred morning rituals?