Morning Rituals

Without question, morning is my favorite time of day. Its silence is sacred, restorative & grounding.

I love being up before the rest of the world around me, witnessing the gentle transition from night to day, and soaking in time exclusively with myself. This is one of my favorite forms of self-care as it allows me the space to consciously step into my day. The rituals shared below are the building blocks of not only each day but ultimately of my life because each morning I intentionally build this healthy foundation. I firmly believe the relationship we have with our own self is the most important and so my early mornings are spent honoring that. Whether it’s ten minutes or a few hours, early mornings are foundational to the way I carry on the rest of my day.

IMG_0602.jpg

Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.

-Dalai Lama

Shared here are my tried and true morning rituals, no matter how small, they each hold significance. Over the years I have learned to fully embrace whatever my spirit feels called to do, so nothing is set & stone. I find it healthier to know what practices nourish & ground you, yet also not be attached to them & your entire day be thrown off because if you didn’t do any one of those things. I once felt so attached to journaling, that a morning without it made me feel like my thoughts were jumbled all day. Yet that attachment to something, no matter how “healthy”, isn’t sustainable. Recognizing attachments are reminders for us to redevelop our relationship to whatever it may be & learn to let go, whether it’s journaling, yoga, coffee, whatever. It reminds me of the idea that you won’t always have the ideal scenario for meditation or yoga… and that’s the whole point. Life is not and will never be perfect; we can’t go looking for the ideal situation. It’s learning to adapt, be fluid, and find our grounding despite whatever is going on around us.

Gently Rising

I think it’s worth speaking to how we wake up. What kind of alarm do you use, if any? Is it loud & aggressive or gentle? Do you use your phone, a watch or stand alone alarm?

For years I went back and forth between my phone and a watch alarm. I much prefer to keep my phone away from me before & during sleep but then I discovered bedtime mode {an iPhone feature}. Bedtime mode has a different set of alarms than regular iPhone alarms, which was a complete game changer. For months I have been waking up to a really gentle sound of birds; I truly feel like I’m rising from sleep in the jungle, surrounded by tropical birdsong. For my bird loving self this is so calming to hear first thing. I highly suggest seeking out one of the incredibly relaxing tones in bedtime mode - I am so in love with them all! And while I’m not a fan of my phone being close to me on my nightstand, my compromise is to keep it on airplane mode (which I always have at night) to minimize radioactive waves.

Gently rising to peaceful sounds supports waking up in a calm state. I much prefer this than to be jolted awake by something loud, aggressive and that immediately makes me feel “alarmed”.

Morning Mantras

First let’s define mantra for anyone who hasn’t heard this word before:

Mantra (originally in Hinduism and Buddhism) is a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation. You can use mantras to help aid in meditation as well as incorporating them into speaking or writing daily affirmations.

I%2BAM%2BSTRONG%2B%25281%2529.jpg

After I wake up, before I even get out of bed, I click on a recording of myself speaking personal affirmations & mantras. I listen once, twice or three times through until I feel I’m FULLY connecting to the words I’m speaking to myself. Listening to affirmative, positive thoughts and mantras is POWERFUL; this is one way we train our subconscious mind. There are so many powerful motivational Truth speakers to tune into, one of my personal favorites being Abraham Hicks, but I find there’s something even more connecting and vibrationally aligning when you hear your own voice. After all, the mantras you write or say to yourself, are FOR YOU. So hearing them come from you, is supercharging the intention and power behind those words.

If you’re having trouble conceptualizing this, start by writing out affirmations you resonate with, the things you want to call in or align with. i.e. “I am financially abundant, money flows freely and easily”. There are countless mantras & affirmations you can use; the key is to speak what aligns for YOU… not what you think you should be saying. This may feel incredibly uncomfortable for some people but I promise you’ll quickly get used to hearing your own voice speaking to no one but yourself :)

Coffee

There have been many phases in my life where I simply didn’t desire coffee; going months upon months without it. But I’d say I’ve been pretty consistently on the coffee train again for the past five years. Living on Maui turned me back to coffee when my dear friend Charles & I would take Sunday trips to Hana and have breakfast at a local farm stand with fresh coffee from their land. I mean who can deny organic coffee grown, harvested, roasted and brewed right where you are!? And so it’s been such a key player in my mornings ever since. There have been some mornings when I’ve swapped out for tea but 99.99% of the time, I’m having coffee. There’s just something about heating my kettle, steeping the grounds in my french press and sipping on a warm cup of coffee while writing that makes me so happy. And so I do this. Every morning.

Writing

I’m one of those people who wakes up with incredibly clear thoughts in the morning; inspiration flows effortlessly & steadfast. Knowing this, I dedicate morning to writing. Most often this entails journaling, pen to paper, as my preference is to minimize screen time early morning to lessen outside noise & distraction. But sometimes I find that I’m more inspired to write a post, newsletter, or catch up on emails. Or I do it all! Regardless of how or what I am writing, I love the words & creations that flow in the morning.

Journaling before I venture out to do anything else for the day is my favorite way to collect my thoughts, set intentions & simply tap in. It’s always a free flow of whatever wants to be expressed, whether that is one or five pages; sometimes I like the influence of journal prompts, other days it’s an entire page of expressing gratitude, and sometimes it’s me writing an entire page of the same mantra.

A word after a word after a word is power.

-Margaret Atwood

Making My Bed

I cannot remember a time I didn’t make my bed first thing in the morning. Even as a child, I was organized, tidy and always, always made my bed in the morning. My parents had it real easy with me in this department!

Why am I obsessed with making my bed? Because this simple action helps me feel clear in my headspace.

I’m a firm believer that the physical space around you directly affects your mental space. So this extends to all aspects of my life. I keep my living space, car and office clutter free, always. My mind never feels clear when I’m surrounded by piles of unkept stuff and you bet an unmade bed definitely fits into this category! As simple and perhaps weird as it sounds, a made bed helps me nurture a clear head to journal, meditate, or focus on whatever task I’m working on. And in some way, this simple act helps me finalize nighttime and commit to daytime.

Tongue Scraping

I was introduced to a tongue scraper five years ago and not once have I skipped a day since! Before I have water, coffee or anything else, I first scrap my tongue to remove the bacteria that has accumulated overnight. Once you see what is removed, no matter how clean your diet, you’ll have trouble not scraping first thing every morning - I promise. Because think about it! If you’re not removing the bacteria & toxins, you’re flushing all that back into your system when you drink your morning liquids. NO thank you!

Tongue scraping has been shown to reduce oral bacteria that contributes to bad breath, supports a stronger immune system by preventing bacteria from being reabsorbed, and overall promotes healthier oral hygiene. I feel so much healthier & cleaner starting my day with this simple practice.

Read more on the health benefits of tongue scraping! And when getting yourself one, I highly suggest one made of stainless steel or copper!

Hydration

I always start my day with 1 full liter of clean, alkalized Kangen water to rehydrate & help facilitate the flushing of the body’s overnight cleansing. I also happen to have access to incredibly clean well water at my family farm when I’m there. But most people don’t have access to truly clean water from a well in this country! Water contamination is a very real issue these days and with water being such a foundational part of our body’s wellness, I cannot stress enough this reality enough.

Our culture is so tunnel visioned on food + exercise as being the two focal points of our physical health but there is SO MUCH MORE. Click on this link to read more on the importance of drinking clean water here!

Drinking enough water is a real issue for most people, whether it be that other drinks are replacing water, their thirst receptor is lacking, or they simply don’t like the taste of water (well, likely cause it’s contaminated and tastes like shit). But proper hydration effects EVERYTHING.

Hence why I love my water hacks!

Below are my top three that help me ensure I’m drinking anywhere from 3-5 liters of water a day:

sugar-free lemon & limeade

Despite always drinking clean & delicious water, on most days in my morning liter I squeeze a fresh lemon or lime in & a touch of liquid stevia to make a sugar-free lemon/limeade. Side note, the only liquid stevia I like is whole foods 365 brand. It’s less expensive and does not have an off/bitter taste that most stevia does.

This is my go-to hack for getting people to love drinking water! It tastes SO good that I promise you’ll look so forward to that morning liter of hydration.

apple cider vinegar + cinnamon water

I add about 1-2 tsp of ACV to a liter of water, a pinch of cinnamon, some drops of stevia and here again, we have an incredibly detoxing drink. If you’re not fancy on ACV, start with smaller quantities and add as you can tolerate. Apple cider vinegar has so many health benefits & is a multi-purpose staple item in my life. Read more about the myriad of uses & benefits here, and make sure when you purchase ACV you’re getting ones with live culture, such as Bragg’s.

fruit & herbal infused water

Infusing water overnight with fresh sliced cucumber, citrus, berries, and/or mint is incredible and so refreshing. Some of my favorites are fresh mint, cucumber & mint, blood orange & lemon, or strawberries & cucumber. There are so many delicious combinations you can come up with, find the ones you love!

In Everything, Be Intentional

So regardless of what exactly you are doing each morning, I believe it’s the intentional awareness you cultivate that is most important. Whether you are a writer like myself, having coffee with your loved one, exercising first thing, or meal prepping, it really all just comes back to mindfulness. Carve out the time to just be; just be present with your thoughts, your body, and the space around you. Give yourself the time to set your healthy foundation. No matter where I’ve lived the past ten years, or what trip I am on, no matter what my day looks like, I always give myself extra time in the morning to find time for myself & prevent rushing out the door.


I hope this inspires you to discover what morning rituals speak to you; the ones that nourish your mind, body & spirit and encourage you to start your day in a state of true presence.