Everything shifted for me six years ago, once I realised that my thoughts, energy and intentions all have real power. They each have the ability to move my day, well-being and life towards working for my good, or against it. When I wasn’t aware of this power, my life was like a leaf blowing in the wind. My day and life went wherever my unintentional thoughts blew them.
The thing is, this type of passive living is problematic because it causes instability and leads to thoughts and actions that don’t always serve us, whilst blocking the ones that will. And for my life, this was the case. So, how did I transform out of this passive lifestyle that didn’t serve me? Through daily intentionality, consistency and purpose.
Living intentionally is not always easy, but it’s how you get to where you want to go. Transformation occurs because of daily choices and actions over a steady amount of time in a consistent direction. Something as simple as setting up morning rituals that nourish, fortify, and positively align you before the day carries you off into various directions, makes a huge impact on the state of your energy and mindset for the rest of the day.
Creating morning rituals build motivation and are a way of taking charge and harmonising your daily life. The choices and the individual practices you adopt every day hold the power to shift your energy higher or lower. Through daily practices you are better able to build a lifestyle that serves and supports you, making you alert to the things that don’t, personally and collectively.
Just as a running coach will tell you that to become a runner you have to start slowly, with a mile a few times a week, so too, do you nurture intentional-based living through small, incremental choices each day that build upon themselves. You are always creating your life through each moment and with each choice you make. Remember that.
Creating a morning ritual
Over the years, I’ve realised the potential for my life and future is shaped differently depending on whether I commit to unconscious habit and pattern or to intentional awareness in my life. We always have the choice to exit autopilot mode to update our mental programming; we have the freedom to create a new story, and each fresh new day brings with it new opportunities.
You can start your journey with a small step to that new story and daily awareness with a morning ritual practice. Such rituals are important because they lay the groundwork for your day and ultimately your life, as days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and months turn into years.
Setting a solid and supportive foundation for yourself through consistent, sustainable, daily habits is key. Before you start, it may be helpful to ask yourself a few questions. Keep to one or two word answers if you can.
- How do I want to feel?
- What do I want to focus on?
- What do I want to let go of?
- What’s going to create the energy that I need for the day?
- What’s going to nourish my being in a way that’s going to help me today?
- Where am I right now?
For example, my number one, no matter how tempting it can be, is to not get on social media before I’ve fed and nourished my being. I do this because I need to be rooted, grounded and anchored in a way that isn’t going to be pulled off by distractions.
Identify a time for your morning routine. This could be right after you get out of bed, or after you’ve attended to the kids. Look at your life and find what works for you. Pick a time and write it down.
Find a place where you will go to practice your rituals. Creating a place or an environment that’s just for you is an essential way to nourish your soul, process emotions, and experience spiritual growth.
Choose your objects of ritual lovingly. Drink your tisane or tonic from your favourite mug, find a special dish for burning incense, purchase a special journal and nice pen, or choose a meditation pillow or chair. Allow these objects to remind you of your intentions and what you are moving towards.
Identify what you’re going to practice during this time. I encourage you to pick one small thing to start. This might be committing to a daily lemon water ritual. Doing one thing and letting it become sticky before you add in something else, will not only help you find consistency, but it will also allow you to feel successful and build momentum. Other examples include:
- Breath work
- Gratitude list
- Set an intention
- Make a green smoothie
Implement your routine; try it out and make small tweaks and changes until you find your own note. Find what best serves you, what puts you in harmony with your highest potential and your best life. It doesn’t need to be exactly the same each day – my morning rituals shift depending on the season and what’s going on in my life.
Consistency conquers. Consistency takes something you do one day and turns it into a lifestyle. And keep in mind that “consistency” here is not about perfection, but rather, progress, daily awareness and noticeable results. Be patient. Honour the process.
I started a morning ritual with just 5 minutes of meditation each day. Once I was consistent with that I worked up to a practice of 15 minutes. Research shows that like anything new, it takes consistency of practice and 6 weeks before it become habitual. When you find what works for you, the daily practice of rituals will bring many rewards. The key is not to overthink it, just start.
Intentional living is a sense of wholeness to me. And it’s not that I have the wholeness right now, but I’m moving towards it. Feeling that you have to be whole 24 hours a day is not realistic, but at least you are in a process of getting there. As much as you, or I, are doing to get there, that’s enough. That’s awareness, that’s loving yourself through it. When simple acts of self care become habit, we catalyse change. This is when true transformation happens.
We need rituals to make wellness work in real life. It’s not enough to hope for a happy and healthy life. It’s really about mindset, rituals and habits working together to move you in that direction. Daily morning rituals are life-giving, nourishing, re-balancing gifts of kindness to yourself, which ultimately effect how you show up in your own life, in other people’s, and in the universe we all share.
So, what are the morning rituals that you already practice, or what new ones will you cultivate to start your day with intentionality and purpose? Let me know in the comments below.