Morning Ritual (For A Creative Soul)
New Year means new resolutions, new goals and new commitments. For me, it's getting back and fervently sticking to a routine that can motivate, inspire and better myself. I've always had a morning ritual but I realized that I can still improve and dedicate myself to it even more. This year, I'm committing to breaking my sleeping habit and starting my day way earlier than usual.
Where you are is a result of who you were, but where you go depends on who you choose to be, from this moment on.
Due to traveling and staying home for less than a few weeks' time, my mornings have been completely thrown off, especially during the past holiday. When I stayed for a few weeks in San Francisco, I constantly woke up in the middle of the day and slept in until 2am (albeit, I'm used to sleeping at such an ungodly hour). I could have blamed the cold weather for staying in bed more than necessary, but we all know it boils down to the discipline of waking up and actually getting up at the right time. It was hard for me to greet the day and I found doing the dishes to be the only way of warming up and waking my senses. It was a bit therapeutic to say the least. Despite logging in more than 8 hours of sleep, which is more than I can say back then, I still felt disconnected and off about it. Even a 5-year-old questioned my sleeping habit and told my brother: " Why isn't she waking up yet? People should already be awake in the morning!"
Needless to say, that was my wake up call. Now that I'm back home, I'm turning my habits around by waking up before 8AM and starting my mornings on a productive, inspired and energized state.
We all have a morning ritual that we go about every single day, whether we're conscious about it or not. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about mine and how it affects the rest of my day when I start my mornings on a good note, (trust me, it's a domino effect).
That being said, I discovered three key aspects that I nurture and focus on when I go about my routine. Mind. Body. Soul. Like plants in separate pots, I water and tend to these three that make-up who I am and affect the person whom I want to be.
Feed The Mind
I start my morning by feeding my mind with creative inspiration or information. I love learning and expanding my knowledge about certain things, and this is usually the time that I satiate my curiosity. I would read articles, newsletters, short stories or passages from a website or book that I'm currently reading and this would get me revved up for the day. With my mind awake, I would get into meditating and become aware of my feelings, thoughts, and emotions; allocating time to reflect on these and sometimes penning them down.
Another habit I've recently been developing is saying positive affirmations to myself. Believe it or not, the first time I did it, it felt incredibly uplifting. To be honest, I thought talking positive statements out loud to myself would seem absurd, (I mean why not just think about it?) but surprisingly the feeling was far from it. When you say it out loud, it somehow makes it more true and convincing.
Try it. List down positive statements you want to improve on or believe in - such as "I am confident and empowered." or "I can achieve the impossible — there are no limitations." — repeat them to yourself with conviction. You'll be amazed at how it will positively affect yourself and your mindset.
StumbleUpon. It contains lots of fascinating stories, articles and news gathered from different websites which cater to your specific interests. Be warned though: once you start, it's hard to stop.
Feed The Body
A cup of warm lemon water warms me up and get my digestion moving. It's a habit I picked up last year and it's the first thing I would always drink in the morning. I love to get my body moving while my stomach is still on a fasted state, meaning before I take my breakfast, which is usually a green smoothie. This makes me feel more flexible and light whenever I do yoga or cardio.
Yoga is so flexible (pun intended) that I can simply create a flow depending on what I feel for the day. And that's what makes me so enthusiastic about practicing it. It's never limiting and it always leaves me feeling good internally and externally. On the one hand, running has recently been added to one of my favorite exercise routines. When I run, I feel strong; I feel light. Best of all, my thoughts become clearer. It's one of the best ways to push myself, especially when I do intervals and I can feel my lungs and legs burning from sprinting. Whenever I workout, I feel like I'm releasing negative energy, not just sweating out all the toxins that get stuck.
So eat well, sweat it out, get your body moving, and head out there. Trust me, you'll feel 10x better and energized than you have ever been. Not to mention, it's also one of the best ways to slow down your thoughts, be in tune with your body and generate ideas.
Calla In Motion. An inspiring lifestyle and fitness blog by Lindsey Calla.
Feed The Soul
Feeling energized and ready to take on the rest of my morning, I would set aside time to work on my passion projects. Whether it's something I've been wanting to do but haven't found time or something I've always dreamed of doing. A few of my projects and commitments consists of: curating posts for my blog, creating behind-the-scenes films, planning a creative business and so on.
Painting and sketching are one of the most therapeutic things that I ever get to do - whether may it be work or personal and it's something I devote time to do on a daily basis. Nothing calms me down faster than holding a brush or a pen and letting my ideas flow.
Dedicate time and focus on what you love doing and constantly engage and explore it. Find something that you're passionate about, feed it, and let it grow.
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. It guides you through achieving the levels of success you want in every aspect of your life - from your career down to your happiness. It was recommended to me by my brother and I started reading it right before I left San Francisco. It's been an eye-opener and it's rapidly making an impact on how I define myself by the way I wake up and spend the first few hours of my morning.
Find Your Balance
In all things, you need to find balance. I found that focusing on these three things is what makes me feel most balanced and in tune with myself. No doubt we would be hit with rouge waves in life and we would lose our ground every now and then. Just always remember to hit pause and breathe.
If you ever find yourself stuck in the whirlwind, find a way out and focus on what's significant. Most importantly, find time for yourself so you can grow and develop into the person you want to become.