Whether you realize it or not, you probably already have a regular morning ritual.
You might wake up, use the bathroom, make some coffee or tea, prepare and eat breakfast, shower and get dressed.
Maybe you include spiritual practices like morning meditation, prayer, reading or journaling.
You see, a ritual is a series of acts that you repeatedly take in a prescribed order.
Whatever your morning may include, you already have a rhythm and an order to how you start many of your days.
I bring up this idea of morning rituals because some of my clients ask me what tips I could offer for starting a regular spiritual practice in the morning.
My question back to them is, “What are you already doing in your mornings? What rituals do you have in place?”
If you’re looking to introduce a new activity into your life, it’s helpful to recognize what routines you already have in place.
Recognizing your routines does two things for you.
One, you realize and appreciate that you already have regular practices in place.
Some people think it will be challenging to maintain an everyday practice, like meditating for 10 minutes or journaling.
But, in fact, you already have everyday practices (like brushing your teeth or taking a shower), and you didn’t realize these were practices you initially had to learn and had to give consistent energy for them to become a habit.
Two, once you recognize what your regular practices are and the order in which they happen, you can decide where you can insert your new spiritual practice and how long you want to do it.
For example, say you want to start meditating more regularly in the morning.
Figure out how much time you’d like to start meditating. Is it 5 minutes? 10 minutes? 20 to 30 minutes?
(For people new to a meditation practice, I advise starting with a few minutes and doing it more consistently, rather than aiming to do an hour everyday, so you first build up a consistent habit.)
Then, write out what your regular morning ritual already looks like.
In other words, list out the activities just as I mentioned at the beginning of this article: wake up, use the bathroom, drink water, make and eat breakfast, read the paper, watch the news, shower, get dressed, etc.
Now, next to each of those activities, write down how much time on average you take to do these activities.
Writing down times for each of these activities is very eye opening for some people because you might be needing more time than you thought you used.
That’s why some people always feel rushed in the morning, because they don’t allow themselves the time they thought they needed to engage in all their morning rituals.
After you list out your existing morning ritual activities and the amounts of time they each take, then figure out where you’d like to insert your new spiritual practice and start testing it out.
Do you want to meditate before you eat, or after you eat? You get to choose!
(And make sure you increase the total amount of time for your morning ritual as you incorporate this new practice. Sometimes this means getting up a little earlier to make this happen.)
Here's the thing. Even if you decide not to introduce a new morning spiritual practice, the exercise of uncovering your regular morning ritual can be wonderfully surprising.
You get to learn more about who you are and the morning rhythm by which you operate.
If you’d like extra credit for this assignment, see if you can uncover what your evening ritual looks like.
Overall, this is an exercise in bringing greater awareness to how you create your life.
And once you have greater awareness, you can decide if you want to keep how you do things, or if you want to change it up in any way.
Either way, you get to choose how you live your life, rather than operating on auto-pilot.
The spiritual truth behind today’s article is this:
You are imbued with the divine gift of choice. When you realize that you are always at choice, you can more easily embrace the truth that freedom is already yours.
Here’s an affirmation that you can use to support you:
My mornings reflect how I choose to start each day. Today I choose to say yes to life. In return, life says yes to me.
When you wake up in the mornings, how are you choosing to say yes to life, more consciously and more freely?
Abundant Blessings and Namaste.
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