By: Dionne Witter

Morning Rituals

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Last week was an especially trying week.  I waited, or I should say I procrastinated which cost me dearly.  It cost me time, it cost me money, and most definitely it caused me a lot of stress.  Actually, it was not as stressful as it could have been, because of my morning rituals.  More than ever, last week, I had to find ways to cope through what could be quite overwhelming.  These daily rituals helped me to deal with my situation much more effectively.

My morning rituals are all done one at a time, none overlapping the other.  I awake a few hours prior to starting my day to allow myself enough time to go through all of my rituals.  I’m normally awake between 5 to 5:30am, which means I go to bed early the night prior.

The moment I awake, I drink two glasses of water with freshly squeezed lemon juice.  As simple as this is, I understand it has enormous benefits ranging from a boost to the immune system to helping to aid digestion.

I have an oversized cup of tea.  I refer to this as my tea meditation.  I am addicted to David’s Tea Organic Peppermint Armour.  It has the most exotic aroma and awakens me fully in the morning.  I am never fully awake until I have my cup of tea.  For many it’s coffee; for me it’s my cup of peppermint tea. I feel the warmth of the cup inside my hands, I savour the tea’s great flavour, and I drink it slowly with much delight.

As soon as I finish my cup of tea, I grab my gratitude journal.  There is absolutely no way one could stay in a funk doing this mindful practice.  It starts with me replaying the events of the previous day from the moment I awake to the moment I go to bed.  This is the most soothing, calming, cathartic practice and I cannot imagine going a day without doing this.  Rather than staying focused on any pressing issues, I remove that fully from my thought.  Instead, I mindfully take the time to remember and to store on paper all the moments from the day before where I felt blessed, or was given the opportunity to bless someone.  I call this my “grats” journal, but another way of looking at it is seeing it as my book of thankful prayers!  It truly is my moment of stopping and thanking God for all my moments of gratitude.

I then exercise.  This is the single best thing I can do to soothe my mind.  When I exercise, it keeps me from the thoughts in my head.  I am not given the chance to relive my stressful thoughts again and again.  Last week’s workout was a deep spiritual self-love, a stop blaming yourself kind of workout.  Instantly, my mood was enhanced and my anxiety was decreased.  I did nothing but yoga.  I was introduced to the five Tibetan Rites[i], and I did this repeatedly every single morning.

Now I grab my shower.  I absolutely love the shower and could not imagine not starting my day without one.  While it’s important to maintain hygiene, the shower provides therapeutic activity.  I shower because my body accumulates dirt.  My mind develops dirt as well; these are all the negative thoughts I gather and ultimately vibrate.  I feel as though the shower cleanses me physically and spiritually.  I also love to pray while in the shower.  Here I ask God to cleanse me of all negative energies.

Last, but definitely not least, I eat!  My breakfast is my absolute most favourite meal of the day.  After sleeping all night, and exercising on an empty stomach, by this time I am normally very hungry, and feel quite deserving of my meal.  This makes me appreciate my meal so much more.  Mind you, most mornings, my breakfast is a shake, but it tastes like a divine gourmet meal.  I sit and I drink my shake slowly, enjoying every last sip.

I time myself to do each task, but my timing is quite unique.  It is not a reminder to stop, but rather a reminder that I cannot stop before the allotted time.  For example, I give myself 10 minutes to drink my cup of tea.  I may finish much sooner than that, but I will not get up and do anything until the ten minutes is up.  This helps to keep me grounded in the moment, as often, I find that I rush  from one event or task to another too quickly.  Ultimately, the rush robs me of the moment to truly savour the experience.

Whether we are moms, employed by a company, self-employed or we are students, what we do first thing in the morning matters.  These morning rituals prepare our mindset for the entire day.  They could build up our resistance or tear them down.  I know my rituals saved me from myself last week!

What are your morning rituals? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on your morning rituals.  Please share in the comment section below.

[i] The Tibetan five rites are said to normalize hormonal imbalances in the body by stimulating energy flow in our glandular system.