By: Ann Webb
If you’re into personal development at all, you’ve heard that starting off your day RIGHT means that you Center yourself before jumping into the world of emails, social media, newspaper, work etc. For many this can be challenging simply because it’s a habit they haven’t developed yet. They think because their morning routine currently consists of a cup of coffee, checking emails and surfing social media for 20 minutes before they jump into the shower and rush to work, that it will always be this way!!!
But it doesn’t have to be.
In my work as a LifeVision Strategist, I have found that the Biggest success stories coming from Creating a SPIRITUAL LifeVision is the Power of the Morning Ritual. So what are we talking about here? Its simply a designated time where you unplug from the world (preferably in the early morning before the busyness of the day sets in) and get yourself CENTERED and focused on Who you Are, What you Want and Connect with your Higher Power. And the overarching goal of this “ritual” is that you come away feeling inspired.
Let me paint a picture of what a morning ritual “could” look like. Setting your alarm 30 minutes before your usual time of awakening. Pulling on a pair of sweats and then walking out to your back patio to hear the birds chirp, while you read 1 chapter in a book that inspires you spiritually as well as 1 chapter of sacred writings (possibly scripture). 15 minutes later, you are done, so you grab your journal to capture any spiritual promptings you received that you know you’ll want to remember and act upon. And then you find yourself adding a short list of intentions you have for the day. And to wrap it up (as you glance at the clock) you realize you have about 8 minutes of time to meditate. So you grab your iPod, find some relaxing music (especially for meditation) and close your eyes and simply “BE”.
Yeah, it is. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that by reading this article that it will magically become a part of your life. The simple steps are first that you DECIDE! Ponder what this time with yourself (and your God) could actually do to improve your life. There are many reasons ~ including feeling more peaceful throughout the day, more purposeful in your actions and thoughts, a feeling of “centeredness” that’s been missing for awhile, a feeling of satisfaction that you are now FINALLY meditating etc.!
So DECIDE that it’s important and then figure out what you want to include in your own personal Power Hour or morning ritual and then determine how long that will take. For most people – general 30-60 minutes is adequate unless they want to add exercise – then add another 30-60 minutes.
For me, I’m in the state of life where I don’t have young children that need my attention early in the morning. So I actually have time to exercise, listen to my Ideal LifeVision, Read some scripture and from other spiritual writings, meditate for 15 minutes, pray and write in my journal. Yes, that is a 2 hour routine that has absolutely changed my life! Getting up an extra hour to get it done is absolutely worth it.
My current morning ritual (for the summer):
– Exercise with a trainer (1 hour) at a gym that is located 1 mile from my house
– Go to mountains (7 minutes to get there) to take a gratitude/meditation walk for 20 minutes
– read from scriptures and books for 15 minutes
– write in journal – 5 minutes.
If I have a little extra time each morning, I also give myself 30 minutes to write! (while I’m still in the mountains without internet access – I’m no dummy!) I have found that when I’m home it seems the internet is always wanting my attention and so I get distracted and find it hard to write articles, work on talks that I need to give, or copy for a program or website I’m developing! For me as a “creator”, there isn’t a better time to get things done than early in the morning and especially if I can do it in nature.
I think I’ve already mentioned the benefits, but to recap them, The PURPOSE of a morning ritual is to start your day off right by getting centered, focusing on who you are, pondering your intentions for the day and week, feel inspired as you read spiritual literature, capture insights by journaling and connecting to your higher power to feel more spiritually in-tune.
Create an Ideal LifeVision where you describe in detail what your power hour consists of, why you do it, and what it gives you. Going through this process of creating Clarity is the first step.
Decide on a time and stick to it. After all -we don’t call it “ritual” for nothing! Be flexible when something comes up by adjusting the length or the time of day.
Have a basket that contains your scriptures, journal, other books, iPod etc so you don’t frustrate yourself looking for them before you even get started.