Now you knew that title was a joke. How about the morning rituals of a few wise friends of mine?
Wake before anyone else (even the sun). Hug the cat. Hug the dog. Put on clothes, go outside and breathe.
Waking without alarm…both internally and externally is my first practice of the day. Then open dog crate, and up she comes to lie in the middle between us and join in commenting on remembered dreams or other reverie. Then make pot of tea and retire to the “facing bench,” a small love seat turned to face out the picture window onto our view of our front garden, neighbor’s roofline, Puget Sound, and the Olympic mountains (visible or invisible). For 30 minutes we write in our journals or speak our journaling to one another: gentle free association on whatever is in our hearts. At the close of this, we set intentions for the day. And then it all turns on and we’re off…
Greet the day with gratitude for the beauty of nature. Gave up the ritual of coffee to go alkaline yet the hot water with juice from an organic lemon has become a welcome substitute and habit after 2 months. Write my morning pages of whatever is up in my Artists’ Way Journal. Ask for guidance and listen – and write the responses. Then the luxury of today – listening to a Marion Woodman CD on the Crown of Age. Rich, deep material affirming that attention to my soul life is what is being asked in this year which will move me into a new decade of my life. So – today I’m feeling blessed and happy!
I wake to the sound of a Basu bowl on my alarm clock (ok…iPad alarm) and take a moment to feel through the dreams and untangle the mass o’ cats that have wound their way around my legs. Skim through overnight emails. Give thanks for the good news that’s most often there and… then there are three paths that I take:
At my best: warm lemon water, then yoga, followed by coffee, then meditation.
Most mornings: meditation then coffee and chat with husband, then get to work.
At my worst: just the coffee and straight to work.
Before I even OPEN my eyes, I ask myself: What do I appreciate about what I did yesterday? What do I GET to do today? and How do I want to feel when I do it? I just ask the questions; answers may come, but the questions themselves align my energy with my creative self. Then I drink tea, do 15 minutes of yoga, write a Pulitzer Prize winning poem, put on my wings and fly into the blue.
Image source: Susannah Conway
On the days I can wake up slowly (as opposed to rushing to be somewhere) I like to make a coffee and bring it back to bed. As I sip and savour, I’ll read a chapter or two from whatever non-fiction book is currently inspiring me and do a little journaling. I give myself this half hour to enjoy something creative and nurturing before I open my laptop — once that happens the rest of the day goes by in a blur!
Every morning after I put on the kettle, I light a candle on the household altar. I murmur a prayer for everyone I know who is going through a rough time, and I give thanks too. I open the door and step outside, to greet the morning and to listen and look. Back in my comfy chair with a cup of coffee, I turn up a tarot card and use it as a writing prompt. I usually give myself an hour of writing, reading, or sketching before I jump online and connect. I love starting my day like this.
I’m pretty inconsistent when it comes to morning rituals. Some mornings I make a cup of tea, take it outside and sit for a short meditation. Some mornings I make coffee and toast and get straight to work on the computer. Some mornings I get out of bed and head straight out the door for a run along the coastal road. I guess the only thing consistent about my mornings is that I aim to take care of my body’s needs first.
Waking up in the morning is a mini-miracle ~ reincarnating for another day of life. So when I first become conscious, I pause to breathe in awe, gathering impressions from the night’s dream journey.
Then I get up, make my tea (black and green, soy milk and a dollop of organic heavy cream – uh huh), and sit to meditate. I feel into the multitude of inner movements as every level of my being tunes itself up and comes into harmony, preparing to engage with the world.
My ritual culminates in a wacky naked after-shower dance, reaching high then bowing down to earth as I squeegee the walls. Cracks me up every time.
Image source: Liz Lamoreux
On the days when I remember to begin with ritual because it grounds me and brings me home to myself, I wake up and seek a rhythm in getting my daughter ready to start her day. I let her set that rhythm, and I follow along because this is what works best for my three year old and me. Then, after she and my husband leave for school, I make breakfast for myself, sit at the kitchen table, take five deep breaths as my morning prayer, and read some poetry. Then I dive into email and social media and all that must get done pausing for a dance break early on in the day because this gets me into my body and heart so I can really show up as me.
But there are a lot of days that find me checking email and Facebook from my iPad when my eyes are barely open and I’m still in bed. Those days begin with a clunkiness that sometimes even feels like an emptiness by the time 9:00 rolls around. So I shift gears mid-morning and remember what I know. I take five deep breaths. I make a cup of tea and stand looking out the kitchen window and see the birds. I turn up Tina Turner and dance it out. I settle back into myself and begin again.
Cuddle Bob. Marvel at love. Cuddle a doodle or two. Marvel at animalness living by my side. Feel the pang of knowing my daughter is not down the hall but away at college. Hone in on gratitude: skin against sheets, simple fact I am alive.
Brush teeth, take vitamins, let dogs in and out, wipe paws: grounded in dailiness.
To the studio. Plop butt on meditation cushion. Meditate. Pray. Turn on Freedom. Go back to house. Make tea, maybe green juice. Come back to studio, try to check email, can’t. Sigh. Get to writing. Remember my daily intention: to grow, to learn, to keep my heart open.