Admiral William H. McRaven shares in his iconic commencement speech 10 lessons he learned as a Navy SEAL. The first being the importance of rituals, like making your bed everyday, which I do, thank you.
Anyone in my life knows there are some things I hold sacred, like exercise, fun, and learning. Whether I have 20 minutes or 3 hours, my morning rituals have remained fairly consistent for over 10 years. As a result, I start each day feeling anchored and ready to embrace what comes my way. I often get asked to share my routine and have even created videos for some clients. Note: I do not claim to be an expert on any of this, and much of it is borrowed, adapted, or self-created (as far as I know). Also note: this routine has grown over the years, so, caution to newbies to start small to stay committed.
Here is how I start 95% of my mornings to set myself mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually for my mind, body, and soul:
- Hot water with lemon – I start each morning with a big squeeze of lemon and hot water to get the digestion going. Sometimes I use apple cider vinegar.
- Atmosphere – I light a candle and read a short passage from one of my “365 Daily Inspiration” books to set my intentions for the day.
- Energy Work – This activates and aligns my meridians, centers me and creates positive flow. This link sums it up perfectly and only takes about 5 minutes… (http://blog.theshiftnetwork.com/blog/8-simple-energy-practices-unlock-your-body%E2%80%99s-natural-ability-heal). And for an extra layer of energy work (especially when traveling), I trace my meridians: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv5dkvMg1z4&list=RDVv5dkvMg1z4&start_radio=1 (there are many videos available – search for what works for you).
- Stretch – Whether it is just flinging my body around or a more structured approach, I move for 5-20 minutes to loosen up the body. Usually, after dynamic stretching, I have a three part yoga series – stretching, warrior poses, floor series.
- Breathe – Proper breathing is essential for good health. I clear toxins with breath of fire and nostril breathing, and tune coordination and concentration with “Sa-Ta-Na-Ma Meditation.” Google any of these for more details.
- Meditate – Depending on time and how cluttered my brain is, I will do as little as 2 minutes, but strive for 20 minutes. Sometimes experimenting with different versions besides just focusing on breath, like loving-kindness or guided (i.e. Calm, Oprah/Deepak, Headspace, Insight Timer- all in App Store).
- Play – Journaling (see my blog on Joy of Journaling), singing, dancing, drawing or whatever!
- Exercise – I have my own daily goal. At least 60 minutes 5-6 days a week. I have been experimenting with the Fitbit as well – jury still out, but great for conscious awareness.
On a good day, I awake before the rest of the house and I can leisurely move through this routine before work is calling. On my busiest days, I still honor most activities, even if brief. What rituals do you have? Please feel free to engage below…