There was a time that I rolled out of bed to my alarm clock, which sounded like a prisoner was trying to escape a maximum security prison. I’d turn on the news, then grab a cup of coffee before making a mad dash to the gym. There, I’d be greeted with blaring rock and roll music and six or seven televisions all on different stations competing for attention in the background. After a quick workout, I’d shower and dress, grab a smoothie and head off into the traffic jam that was my morning commute. My life was a blur of meetings; a constant rush from here to there that I called success.
All of that changed one sunny day in January twenty years ago now; the day I gave birth to the most perfect baby girl in the world. My shift started with turning off the television in the morning, the ads and the bad news, I just didn’t want my precious daughter to know the crazy world we live in straight away. Then it was the stress and anxiety I couldn’t seem to shake. I wanted to create a world of softness to welcome my baby girl, and to soothe my own soul as well.
Of course, I ignored the call for change at first; I tried to live the life I had lived before, but I no longer had the heart for it. Instead of choosing to stop, I ran myself to a frazzle and got sick. I would be seriously ill three times, and suffer from acute anxiety before realizing I needed to make sweeping changes in my life, starting with my morning routine.
I disposed of my old alarm clock in favor of one that slowly lit and gently chirped or chimed until I awoke. I discontinued the television watching in the morning in favor of inspirational reading. I added yoga, meditation and a gratitude journal. My stresses melted slowly away; I began to feel a sense of inner connectedness. While my routine has varied over the years, I have found that creating and maintaining a morning routine is a non negotiable for me now.
It’s tempting to map out what I would consider a perfect morning routine, for you, I’m not going to. You see, some of you love going out for a run or brisk walk. Others of you have family at home to care for. While I thrive on warmth and quiet, I have friends who take a cold shower and chant. So let me not dive into the weeds, Dear Friends, rather, let this be encouragement to take some time out and determine whether your morning routine is working for you, and what you might do to take it up a notch.
To help, you may find inspiration from the book A Beautiful Morning by Ashley Ellington Brown. It’s filled with inspiring rituals and routines created by women of many walks of life. It inspired me to once again evaluate my morning routine; to make sure I make sacred time for myself each day. I’d love to hear about your ideal morning, so be sure to let us know what works well for you.
*I’d like to take a moment to thank J.Jill for surprising me these beautiful pajamas made of the softest, silkiest, most comfy fabric ever. I enjoyed wearing them on vacation, where we took time out to enjoy a beautiful sunrise in Rockport, Massachusetts.
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