When I was younger, I thought the idea of ‘waking up on the wrong side of the bed’ was a silly notion; but thanks to 2020, I now know that one can wake up on the wrong side of an entire year. Not to say last year was pure chaos, dissonance and struggle – but, between COVID and quarantine, racial injustice, protests, the dissolution of the office of the 45th President, and three surgeries to recover from – I’d be remiss to think that I was in any way grounded in the present moment, nor efficient at using my time wisely.
Waking up and taking charge of your day is a powerful feeling; when the world feels out of control, doubly so. The fact of the matter is, the only thing we can personally control is ourselves; our mental space and mental dexterity, our boundaries and desires, our emotions and how we react. This year, I’ve recommitted myself to some necessary changes and have noticed my mindset shift by leaps and bounds, simply by implementing a solid, consistent and fulfilling morning routine.
Let’s start with something basic, but vital to this conversation: why should you create a dedicated morning routine? Besides being able to set the tone for your day, it let’s you control the clock and gives you some personal power back in your pockets. By choosing where we place our focus from the start of the day, we can both harness our potential energy and turn it kinetic, in addition to being able to attack the tasks at hand, schedule our time better and raise our productivity levels. I’ve honed in on some fantastic methods that have my mind, body and soul set right over these last few months and can’t wait to share them with you – so let’s jump into my morning routine!
Notoriously not a morning person, creating my morning routine literally took me 36 years. And it actually starts the night before; call me silly but I set the autodrip on our coffee pot and have it go off at the same time as my morning alarm – that way, the second I get up and at the day, there’s a fresh cup ready for me (because let’s face it, we all need caffeinated reinforcements!).
Then I head to the living room, get my essential oil diffuser kickin’ with an invigorating fragrance (more on aromatherapy later!), roll out the yoga mat and get down to business with Gaia. I’ve tried a few different yoga and workout apps for AppleTV, Gaia is hands down my favorite – probably because it’s so much more than just yoga; they really have things for the mind, body and spirit. Whether it’s an illuminating video on a variety of transcendental topics, diving into one’s meditation practice or browsing through their immense catalog of instructors and classes. Classes range from 10 minutes to an hour, at a variety of levels with instructors from every walk of life I’ve become quite fond of everything they offer, and even have a favorite yoga instructor (Tiffany Bush, you give me LIFE!).
Once I’m limbered up and a sweaty, happy mess of a human – I bust out a gratitude journal and my Animal Oracle Cards and take my metaphysical temperature for the day. I tackle ideas like what am I going to work on for the day, where in my spirit do I place my personal focus, and what tools do I need to become the best version of myself. One thing I’ve learned about gratitude journals, is that there is one for literally every personality – do you want one without dates, or with them? Do you want a full year of journaling or to jump in on a whim?
Keen on my personal evolution, I decided to splurge at the end of last year and am currently juggling between three different gratitude journals and three planners, that each offer something different and unique. To be fair, some I think are better for work life, like the Passion Planner, while others like the Writual Planner with daily, monthly and weekly Tarot spreads for self discovery are keen for those of us who have committed to the spiritual side of life.
Now, for the morning – I love setting my mind right by working with the Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal. The prompts are thoughtful and poignant, and if you’re like me and love a good doodle sesh – there’s plenty of space to both color, draw and explore. and jump in there a few times a week. Once I’ve given grace to the day, I’ll set up my Spirit Animal Oracle Cards, get into my Moonology Diary, and write a bit about how the card I’ve pulled relates to the moment.
Just like there’s a vast variety of journals and diaries, there’s no one right oracle, deck, Tarot Deck or runes stones. These things aren’t one size fits all souls; we each have a preference for what calls to us innately, and how the world resonates with us. Personally, Colette Baron-Reid’s deck is one of the most beautiful pieces of art I’ve ever owned. Each card is embellished with impeccable, incredible detail.
If you’re looking for something a bit edgier, Kim Krans’ The Wild Unknown has an incredible set decks – whether you want Animal Cards, Tarot Cards, or my personal favorite from their assortment – the Archetype Cards; plus, their journal is super fun and open form. Some people still have a preference for old school tarot decks, and I’ll use those some mornings as well. I have several different tarot decks of my own, from a Thoth Tarot deck (technically, two of them) to the Rider-Waite Deck, my Cat Oracle Tarot cards and the circular Tarot of the Cloisters. Just like the animal cards, there are also tarot decks for every person. Don’t worry if you found this paragraph confusing, I’ll dive more into Tarot (a true art and love of mine) at another time.
Last but most certainly not least, after set my intentions and tone for the morning; I give myself a few minutes locked in Meditation. When your brain more closely resembles a web browser with dozens of tabs open (a la, mine), meditation becomes a great way to settle into your breath and the present moment. Some days, I’ll take it to the shower or bath – others, I’ll go back to my Savasana and marinate in the moment. Meditation has been proven to lower blood pressure, increase circulation, and boost mood and mental health. Gaia has been a fantastic resource for guided meditations, as well as applications from Calm to Headspace.
What tips and tricks do you have for settling into your morning and manifesting what you need for the day?
Let me know in the comments below!