The precious morning hours when you first get up and the golden sun is streaming in through the windows in the East . . . this is the best part of the day, when everything is just waking up and the whole day is still ahead and can be created just as you wish. Taking the time to plan and implement a golden morning routine is a key to creating the life you want; creating your life like a work of art. A life that feels uplifting, exciting and rewarding. We are creators who are meant to create and the morning is the perfect time to set yourself up for success for the rest of the day. If you are not a morning person you can still do this by preparing incrementally and adding in the elements listed here one by one. It will be easier for you to do all of the evening preparation, getting things ready to flow smoothly the next day. As a kid you may have packed your backpack the night before to get ready for the school day; this is such a great habit to bring back as an adult. Even if you were a kid who frantically grabbed things in the morning last minute, it is never too late to change your habits and learn how to do things the night before for a most successful next day.
I have had a morning routine for many years now. It took me a while to perfect it and it has evolved over time as my needs have changed. My routine consists of journaling, reading, affirmations and twenty minutes of meditation, plus drinking two cups of warm water, eating a banana with berries and tea with milk. Now I am also incorporating some professional writing into my morning routine. I like to start the day by placing my hand on my heart and saying “hello” to myself. Acknowledge any dreams you had, and if there was something disturbing in them, breath that out and let it go.
Of course you can see that this all takes time and requires you to get up quite a bit earlier than you would have normally. I am naturally more of a morning person, but still I don’t love getting out of bed at 4:00 A.M. It can feels rather jarring. However the routine is so nice that I look forward to doing it, so after the first few moments the feel-good juices start flowing, at least most of the time.
Now since leaving my Department of Justice job, I no longer need to be out of the house at 6:40 A.M., so I am getting up around 5:00 A.M. which may feel more realistic for most people. If the entire morning routine feels too daunting to add to the start of a busy day, you can start by adding increments of twenty minutes and begin with journaling. Journaling is key for me to starting a meditation practice because it allows you to find a place for all the thoughts going around in your head to find a spot to rest prior to going into quiet meditation or contemplation.
If you do this practice on a continuous basis the journal will quickly become your best friend and confidant – just be sure that it is safe from anybody looking at it so that you feel confident in placing all your thoughts and fears in it. The journal is a wonderful way of connecting with your Inner Self. You can address the journal to Yourself, Your Higher Self, God or simply Dear Journal, whatever feels right to you. Write for as long as you like. For some the writing just flows and it is hard to stop, for others it is difficult to get started, but just doing some free writing on whatever is on your mind and just keep trying it. Remember the journal is meant to be only for you; it is not about having the greatest writing style. What is on your mind one day may be radically different the next day and this is why it is essential to keep the sanctity of the confidentiality of the journal from others.
If it is too difficult to meditate in the morning, you can start your practice in the evening and as you add more minutes to your morning add it in eventually. I do think the benefits of meditating at the beginning of the day are great. The world is silent in those golden morning hours and that silence makes it easier for you to quiet your mind. It will give you clarity and calmness for the rest of your day that is hard to beat; so continue to set the intention and the goal and get to that place where you can do it. This will of course have to be something that is set the night before, as when we are groggy and sleepy in the morning it is hard to do something unless the plan was already in place. So the night before set the intention that you will get up (and set your alarm). Make sure your meditation area is ready, with a comfortable place you can sit with your back straight and your feet on the floor or where you can sit cross-legged. Have a candle and matches ready to set the mood. Make sure you have your journal near by with a writing instrument. Get your breakfast things prepared and have your clothes already laid out. I would also recommend going over your schedule for the next day so that you know if you need to do anything else. Put items by the door or in your car that you will need to take with you. Check the weather to determine if you will need a coat or umbrella. Write down a realistic to-do list for the next day. This will also help you to focus on your meditation in the morning rather than going over things you need to be doing in your head. The to-do list serves as a parking lot for your thoughts. Perhaps most importantly, go to bed at a reasonable time so you get enough sleep.
When you are asleep drifting off think about how nice it will be to write in your journal and spend time meditating in the morning. Go over in your mind all the things that went well that day that you are grateful for, even if the day was difficult you can be thankful for simple things, like that you have a bed to sleep in at night. You can also go over how you envision your next day going. How easily it will be to get things done, how people will be kind and helpful and how you will receive all the of the information that you may need to get things done. This kind of preparation work will go a long way towards making the next day a success. And your will find that the more prepared you are the better your day will flow!
So now it is time to meditate . . . there are many resources on meditation and different methods. Light your candle and start off with a few stretches and neck rolls to get your body settled in. I also do eye stretches by rolling my eyes in one direction three times and in the other direction three times. I like to have my diffuser with essential oils of Sandalwood or Frankincense for setting the mood. Donna Eden’s 5-minute energy vitamins routine is a great one to add in as well. This routine is available on YouTube. I found that at the beginning having a mantra to repeat was very helpful. My mantra was, “God is love, love is light, I am God’s light, I AM.” I would say each phrase with each breath. You can shorten the mantra to “I AM.” I bring my focus to my heart center. I think it is safest to focus on the heart in meditation and focus your breathing in the heart area as well, by visualizing expanding your rib cage to the sides with each breath. Your breath needs to be just normal depth. Close your eyes and bring your attention and energy to the area of your heart – the middle of your chest. Set your timer for 20 minutes. If you find 20 minutes difficult, start with 5 minutes and work up to 20. As you get more comfortable in your meditation practice, you may experience all kinds of pleasant sensations, visions and insights, but even if you struggle with staying focused, taking the time to be in silence will be beneficial and will give you a lot of insights into what your untrained brain is doing. And this is an important point, your brain is like an untrained muscle when you first begin to practice meditation, contemplation and mindfulness. It will be difficult and you will want to quit, but just like training for triathlons, you have to stick it out for a while and then one day you will have a breakthrough, where things begin to flow, where the juicy good feelings come in. The trick is to have the vision and do it no matter how you feel, do it anyway when you are tired, when you don’t feel like it, just keep going after it. Following the goals and path you set out for yourself to achieve your goals should have nothing to do with how you feel in that particular moment. If you just go with how you feel your practice will be very sporadic and you will not gain much from it.
After meditation I like to go over my affirmations of what I am working on bringing into my life. I also like to review my goals for the year. I write my affirmations in the present tense and my goals in the past tense, as if I had already lived this year and this is how it turned out. You can write these in a page of your journal, or you can have a separate little book just for these, which is what I do. I would encourage you to read your goals and affirmations out loud while you trace your finger over the line of text. This has been shown to increase the effectiveness of goal setting. I think energetically there is great power in the spoken word. You are creating a powerful vibration and also making it more real to yourself.
I mentioned that I have 16 oz of warm water in the morning and then I make some tea which I enjoy with milk or almond milk. I just bring the tea to sip as I do my meditation. Some may prefer to just have some cool water before the meditation and have their warm water afterwards. I am very used to drinking this much water so it is easy for me at this point, but it may need to be something to work up to if you are not used to it.
Well, there you have it my “Golden Morning” routine. There are little additional things I add such as a candle and essential oils for feeling awake, having a banana with berries for my breakfast and essential oils for focus after I take my shower, and of course now I have added writing a page of whatever I am working on, my blog or book or speech. I no longer write in my journal everyday, as I have dealt with many things and my mind is much calmer, but I kept this practice for years.
You will have to tailor the morning routine to your needs and try different things to see what works for you. Leave a comment or send me a note as to how it is working for you. I would love to hear from you. If you want more personal coaching on this process try out my Spiritual Cleanse program or my Spiritual Life Coaching. I look forward to working with you, Dr. Eva at 303-242-7824.