Magic Morning Rituals
I first heard about the concept of making mornings a magical ritual two autumns ago, at the end of one of Melyssa Griffin’s e-courses. It seemed like an afterthought to mention Robert Kiysoaki’s theory of “Miracle Mornings” as part of her very helpful productivity lecture, but for whatever reason it’s what stuck with me the most. I started researching him and his theory/concept immediately and thoroughly, and immediately became obsessed. That winter I dedicated each morning to the breakdown he suggested to start your morning with (a specific time period devoted to exercise, meditating, reading, writing, and affirmations). The year quickly became one of the hardest years I’ve ever dealt with, and this technique easily moved to the back burner. Toward the end of the year I picked it back up, but decided to make it my own, and I haven’t looked back.
Truth be told, I felt more amazing every day even when I conformed to his itinerary, which I think is the point. The idea of dedicating the first moments of your conscious morning to self-development practices and things that will only make you feel good can only help. But once I opened up my mind to the idea that his time constraint wasn’t something I needed to set my alarm to, my joy and potential expanded even wider. I realized every morning could not only be different, but that I could tune into my body and figure out what I was needing the most that day. If reading wasn’t something my body didn’t crave that morning, I’d rather devote that time to stretching or meditating instead. There doesn’t need to be a rigid schedule to follow. Robert’s formula is simply a guideline that sets you out on the right foot and helps you realize that if you start your days on an intentional note instead of a passive one that you will have a more productive, joyous experience.
Towards the end of the year, Gala Darling got back into the vibe and started talking about “Sacred Morning Practices”, and for the first time ever I felt like her and I were completely in sync. I even told her that her Wonderland sessions were so on point that if she kept it up till the end of her six-week session that I would send her a special trophy as a reward (stay tuned). It felt like the universe was vibing with me and telling me in so many ways that start my morning with intention and deliberate action was not only important but necessary that I couldn’t hear much else.
I’ve noticed a significant difference in the days that I neglect this Magical Morning Routine, as I call it, and the days I don’t. And that’s with positively thinking, “It’s going to be okay that you didn’t do the routine”. Things just seem to not go as well. It’s incredibly interesting from an objective point of view. And quite honestly, whether it’s a placebo effect or not, if all I have to do is dedicate less than a half hour of my first waking moments to doing things that I know will make me feel good anyway to have a great day… I’m on board.
I did an Instagram Live about the main ways I start my Magical Morning Routine, but I wanted to share with you those ways in print so you can have a reference guide to come back to if you’re thinking of starting this practice yourself. Keep in mind that you can add, delete, edit, etc. things from this list as you please. The whole idea is about starting your day in a way that’s full of intention and feeling good instead of just haphazardly checking your e-mail, Instagram, texts, etc. after your alarm goes off or falling back asleep after you hit “snooze”. Let’s be excited about waking up, starting the day, and creating an amazing life we’re proud of.
Here are 10 ways you might want to consider beginning your day…
Magical Morning Routines
First off, the original concept implies that you need to spend an exact hour on this practice. That is not true. I would much rather devote five minutes to meditating as soon as I wake up than jumping right into answering e-mails as soon as I rub my eyes awake. Would it be amazing to spend an hour every morning to your Magical Mornings Routine? Of course! But let’s be realistic: you can’t always. So make a vow that you’re going to spend 5 minutes, no matter what they are, before you check your phone or dive into work, etc. every single time you wake up. Yes, five minutes and sixty minutes are a pretty big difference, but so is zero and five. Meditating five minutes every day versus none at all has a huge impact on your life whether you want to admit it or not. So if you can make a pact with yourself that you get five minutes before you check your phone, computer, etc. that’s amazing.
Speaking of meditation, that’s an amazing way to start your day…
I’ve always found benefits in meditation, but I’ve only ever really done it in “one-off” scenarios where someone was leading, or I was feeling inspired to do so. Until this past Fall, I haven’t experienced the benefits of doing a meditation daily, and Holy. Crap. After just a week the first thing I realized was my unconscious breathing had improved. I have always a terrible breather. Even when I was in the best shape of my life as a dancer, I would exit the stage and start panting because I had been holding my breath in the entire time. I love when yoga teachers and guided meditation instructors remind you to “find your breathe”, because I never had already found it. I always found myself, at best, very shallowly breathing.
After just a week of daily meditation practice I had a huge break-through. I was doing a very easy five-minute morning meditation, guided by YouTube, and at the ~ four minute mark the speaker reminded us to find our breathe and I realized that the entire time I had been breathing very deeply in through my nose and out through my mouth. That might not seem significant to a lot of people, but to me it was huge. After just a little over seven days of dedication to this technique, my body had figured out how to start breathing. Imagine if I had started this as a 16-year-old!?
If you’re not a naturally calm person, meditating for even five minutes can feel daunting. Guided meditations are an amazing alternative so you feel accountable and also can check back and see how long you were in that calm state (with the reminder of a third-party to check back in when distractions arise). Here are a few of my favorite morning meditations I’ve found on YouTube for you to check out:
- 5 Minute Morning Meditation [Productive, Joyful Day]
- 5 Minute Morning Meditation [Bring Positivity Into Your Life]
- Meditation For Mornings [Clear Negativity, Open Chakras, Awaken Vital Energy After Sleep]
- Morning Appreciation [Abraham Hicks]
- Guided Morning Meditation [10 Minutes To Kickstart Your Day]
Another amazing technique that helps you focus on specific thoughts that are creating energy blocks in your life is the Energy Freedom Technique, otherwise known as Tapping. This technique is simple, and relies on you just lightly tapping on specific meridian points in your body while you say affirmations/things you’re working through.
Lots of people say that EFT is only helpful due to the Placebo Effect, and you know what I say? So what?! If you can do something for less than five minutes every day that tunes you into your conscious decisions and thoughts and helps you to work on your goals during the day and isn’t necessarily proven by science, who cares?! I take a bunch of medications every day and they help me with my mental illnesses. If I found out tomorrow that pill #2 was full of sugar, maybe I would try to ween myself off of it and utilize my coping skills, but if the reality was that taking that pill every day made me feel intensely better then there’s no harm! Do you see what I mean?
There’s no proof that EFT doesn’t work either, so if you find that devoting a few minutes to yourself (like a meditation) and free-associating your thoughts directly related to your current issue, etc. helps you to be more conscious of it and work through it throughout the day/week, is it hurting anyway? Not really. Maybe eventually you can stop, but I find that tapping is a great grounding exercise and brings me back to not only my cognition but my body’s processes, and I tend to have a lot of physical reactions like my nose or eyes running, sneezing, etc. during the process. If that’s all placebo, I quite honestly don’t care because it’s helping me work through the things that tend to be more difficult in my life, and I follow those difficult thoughts up with, “and I deeply love, honor, and accept myself”.
Whether or not it’s an elaborate affirmation process or not, I think it’s worth a go for you. If you don’t identify with it after a couple tries, move on to other techniques! Magical Morning Routines are intended to feel good, not forced or strange. You are in control of your routine. I just want you to be simultaneously open and educated. Here are some EFT videos for you to tap along with:
- EFT For Motivation: Getting Stuff Done
- Getting Inspired – Motivation And Inspiration
- Tapping For A Focused And Productive Day
- Meditation For Morning Clearing
- Tapping To Have A Great Day
It’s so easy not to read. There are more and more books that come out every day, and yet we read less and less as a society. We’re busy people, and I completely get you when you say you don’t feel like you have time to read. Hell, I had time to read for almost a decade and didn’t just because of my intense OCD symptoms! There are so many reasons not to do something, but when we know that it can help us, we’re denying ourselves help, growth, development, pleasure, etc. If you read for just ten minutes every morning, you would have read for sixty hours in a year. That’s SO MUCH MORE than not reading at all! You think you get to December 31st without reading anything or anything near to what you wished? Imagine what you could do with 60 more hours of reading? Yeah, it’s spread out over time, but that doesn’t dequalify it. Consider adding just ten minutes of reading to your Magical Morning Routine. You can even set a timer on Google.com (“type in “set timer for 10 minutes”) and it will beep after the time allotted for you to move onto your next task. After a month you’ll be finished with your book instead of wishing you had started it. Here are some books I find that are uplifting to read in the beginning of your day:
- Living Juicy – SARK
- Things Are What You Make of Them – Adam JK
- Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
- Yes Please – Amy Poehler
- You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay
4. Special Drinks
Part of your Magical Morning Routine can be as simple as making/pouring yourself a specific drink and taking the time to consume it. Maybe you want to brew a new pot of coffee, make a pot of tea, or straight up pour your energy drink into a pretty mug and sip it as you stare out your window at the squirrels running around in the AM bustle. Get yourself a beautiful morning mug, brainstorm different drinks you’d enjoy taking in as you start your morning. Maybe you want to shake in a little Maca Root powder for energy? Maybe you want to blend a smoothie with fresh berries and enjoy the process of creating the drink even more than you enjoy putting it in your mouth. There are so many options! Sit down to enjoy at home, take it to go, there’s no wrong answer! Here are some resources for making special drinks a part of your Magical Morning Routine:
Even when I was obsessed with loosing weight in my teens, exercising was one of my least favorite things in the world (and remains today). But it’s so important to move your body and engage with it (at least so you know what it’s up to), and that doesn’t mean you have to get a gym membership and run on the treadmill! (Of course, if going to the gym and using the equipment is your jam, I’m not crapping on that at all; it’s just what we’re taught to associate with exercise, and I want to provide options… do what feels good/fun to you!) There are so many ways to get your body moving, even if you’re not burning 400 calories that show up digitally on a machine. It’s more important to consistently engage your body in movement than it is to make sure you’re doing it on Olympic-approved equipment.
If you just want to take brisk walks around your neighborhood with your family member or friend, that’s so much better than not! You can also engage in activities like hula hooping, team sports, dancing/Zoomba, jumping on a trampoline, having sex, or even a hearty game of laser tag that get your heart rate up. Try to get your body moving a little bit every day, and a lot three times a week ideally. If you can start your day out with one of these activities, that’s amazing!
I classify stretching and yoga as a different experience than exercising because not only are you usually focusing on your flexibility and balance, but it can honestly be as simple as finding your breath! Maybe you just do a few Sun Salutations or Warrior Poses combined with conscious breathing and realize more and more what your body is capable of.
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7. Affirmation Card
Drawing an affirmation (or Tarot) card is a super simple ritual to start out your day with. You can palm through the deck, or draw one at random and it can give you inspiration for the rest of the day! You can even share it on social media for fun and inspiration. Here are some of my favorite decks I’ve been using recently:
- Juicy Living – SARK
- Power Thought Cards – Louise Hay
- Notes from the Universe on Abundance – Mike Dooley
- Unicorn Affirmations
- Oliver Hibert Tarot Deck
8. Getting Dressed
Another easy one that might not always occur to you (especially if you work from home)! Shower, put on a new outfit, make-up, accessories, whatever… present yourself like you’re ready for the day and whatever action is ready for you! Today is your performance, not your dress rehearsal!
There are so many ways to journal, bullet/free association/poems/lyrics/listing, whatever works for you is okay and GOOD, just DO IT, Try writing out your thoughts and feelings and goals, putting a pen to paper is a different experience than making a note on your phone or typing up a Word Document… see how it feels!
Connecting with your body in a state of pleasure — Can be with yourself or someone else — Be present and aware — Seek orgasm but don’t feel like a failure if you don’t find it; (You can also produce the neurotransmitter, Oxytocin, just from cuddling with someone you enjoy!)
If you’re interested in getting more into self-love practices, consider coming to my Self-Love Party this February!
What do you think? What do you want to incorporate into your Magical Morning Routine to start off your day on the right foot? Share in the comments!
Photos: Maura Housley