[Self Discovery] Manifest Mindfulness in Your Morning Routine

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!


Yoga on Gaia

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?

Tiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal

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.

The Spirit Animal Oracle: A 68-Card Deck and Guidebook: Baron Reid,  Colette: 9781401952792: Amazon.com: Books
Animal Spirit Oracle Deck

The Wild Unknown on Instagram: “Holy 🌈🌈🌈! The archetypes deck has  obviously landed at @solar_return 👽👽👽” | Wild unknown tarot, Wild unknown,  Tarot decks
Wild Unknown’s Archetype Deck

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.


Science of Meditation |Dhyana - Isha

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!

[Self Discovery] The Power of Meditation

Breathing in – I know I am breathing in;
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.

With the calamity and chaos in the world at large, intrinsically we have to understand that the only control we ultimately have in this world is of our own emotions and reactions. The best way to be able to control those are to understand our true nature, and that’s our nature without external stimulus – it’s the you at your core, without thoughts, without emotion – the you that just is.

Breathing in, my in-breath has become deep.
Breathing out, my out-breath has become slow.

It’s a simple task, but it most certainly doesn’t come easy; all it requires is you to be fully present in the moment and within yourself. That proverbial it that I speak of, that transcendental feeling you get from meditation. Whether you’re looking to expand yourself inward and engage in a personal evolution, or revolution; focus your mind and sharpen your mental state, or simply reduce your anxiety – finding time in your day to work in even a five minute meditation practice has proven mind and body benefits that permeate far more than just that moment.

Breathing in – I feel calm;
Breathing out, I feel at ease.

If you’re a morning person – when you wake up, grab your morning coffee, tea…wine…whatever, and start with just five minutes as you’re easing into the day. If you’ve got a yoga routine, meditation is like the icing on the cake at the end of your practice, simply add five minutes at the end of your yoga session to settle into yourself. If you’re a workaholic – schedule time in your phone or your planner, put a five minute meeting into your Outlook or Google Calendars. If you’re a writer – find a cute meditation journal for daily reflections. And if you’re like me and can’t sit still, get oustide and take a brisk stroll through the world while letting each of your senses become engaged with your surroundings. Either way you spin it – you most definitely have five minutes somewhere in your day to spare – so find it; I promise, you’ll be better for it.

Breathing in – I smile.
Breathing out, I release all my worries and anxieties.

The best way to start is to just…well, start; and start small. Find a comfortable spot with soft light, where you can sit tall and be at peace – whether you’re sitting cross-legged on the ground, or are propped up slightly with a meditation pillow. Let the moment wash over you as you focus on your breathing; marinate in that feeling as you notice the tightness in your chest and back, the restlessness of your lower body and weight of your head. Now, your mind – it’ll wander and wonder, but the point of meditation is to acknowledge when your mind is manifesting anything. You can try counting to ten slowly, or counting your breaths, or – using this poem that I learned from the book You Are Here by the esteemed Thich Nhat Hanh.

Breathing in – I dwell deeply in the present moment.
Breathing out, I know this moment is wonderful

The internet is a wonderful repository and I’m thankfully there are tons of digital resources available and at the tips of your fingers. If you feel strange about sitting with your own thoughts at the beginning, or simply don’t know how to begin or where to go with your practice – there are ample resources for guided meditations throughout the internet to help you find your moment of zen.

Here are some of my favorites.


For Beginners

Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day Challenges + Guided Meditations

21 Day MC Creating Abundance - Chopra Center Download with Chopra ...

Whether it’s his 21 Day Meditation Challenges, or his guided meditations, Deepak Chopra has amassed an incredible amount of resources for the spiritually inclined. For those new to meditation – every few months the website offers a new 21 Day Challenge that intently focuses on one of many core emotional tenants. By the end of the challenge, you’ll be marinating in your mindfulness as you reap the positive benefits of meditation on the body, mind and spirit.


There’s an App for That

Headspace logo

There are a ton of different smart phone applications for those looking to take their meditation practice further. I’ve toyed around with both Headspace and Calm; and personally like the fact that both apps can be either iOS or Desktop based. But, a new favorite is Simple Habit – which is a free app, that you use for five minutes a day *ding ding*. Honestly, I enjoy what they all have to offer in terms of both length and type of meditation, but if you’re in the mood to shop around – here are a few other options that I’ve discovered:

Oak: Meditation and Breathing
Mindfulness: Meditation and Relaxation
10 Percent Happier


Go One Deeper with Spirit Daughter Moon Workbooks

Scorpio Full Moon Workbook from Spirit Daughter

For the astrologically inclined, I’m a die-hard fan of the Full Moon and New Moon workbooks from the mindful mavens at Spirit Daughter. Each one comes ripe with information about the celestial seasons, and have incredible resources for those wishing to either begin a meditation practice or develop theirs further.

With various subscription levels, including paper based versus digital, and monthly packages versus either their seasonal full or new moon books. I’m a bit old-school in that I love having things hand written, but I’ve heard fab things about the digital version as well!


Try Meditative Tarot

At the end of the day – each of us is going to have a mindfulness or meditation practice that is as unique as they are. I’m more of a yoga-journal-active meditation type of gal; I like to be more engaged than simply ruminating in the feeling – I also seem to have the attention span of a goldfish. So if I’m going to sit and journal my meditations, I eventually start bringing out either my tarot cards, spirit animal cards or rune stones; the whole practice brings up ideas, patterns and emotions that I’m more open to exploring with a clear head – often leading me to an existential epiphany that brightens my mood, day, or both.


What are some of the most useful tips and tricks you’ve learned that have helped you with your meditation practice?