How would you describe your morning routine?
Rushed for time? Still half-asleep? Desperate for coffee?
What about on the mornings of your days off? How do those mornings compare to those of workdays? Are there any differences? How significant are these differences?
I realize that mornings do not come easy for the majority of people. Growing up with parents who both worked early and naturally woke up before the sun, I’m lucky to say that I’ve always been a morning person. My energy seems to surge in the first few hours that I’m awake. I work an early, laborious job when I’m not teaching yoga and generally, I enjoy it! For me, the morning is the best part of the day. I feel most creative and energetic.
To some degree, I do feel like nurture and a lifetime of consistency has kept me in the habit of waking up early and with enthusiasm. However, I feel like a solid morning ritual is a wonderful way to start the day.
Depending on when you start work, your ritual will vary. As I start work very early in the morning, I try to keep my ritual as short as 15-20 minutes. I also make sure to prep for the day ahead of time by preparing my meal/snacks for work, as well as laying out my work clothes, the night before. This allows me to spend more of my morning on my ritual, rather than digging through my laundry basket.
To give you an idea of what kind of “ritual” I’m talking about, here’s a general outline of my own personal morning ritual:
- First alarm goes off; hit SNOOZE (sorry, Mel Robbins… but it’s for a good purpose!)
- Meditate or practice breathing exercises while laying in bed (~5-10 minutes); use your SNOOZE to time yourself.
- NO, this is not an opportunity to go back to sleep.
- Use this time wisely to prepare yourself for waking life (including co-workers).
- Alarm sounds again; turn off entirely!
- Stretch for a few minutes in bed; come to seated position (~5-10 minutes)
- Write down a few intentions/goals for the day (~3-5 minutes)
- Pull a tarot card(s) for the day (~1-2 minutes)
- Stretch and come to standing (~1 minute)
- Finish getting ready for the day!
There is always the option to extend stretches, meditation, and journaling if I have plenty of time in the morning. However, if I don’t want to wake up much earlier than necessary, I simply stick to a brief meditation, short stretches, and a list of 3-5 intentions. Consistency, above else, is key.
Figure out what works best for you! Start by simply adding ten minutes to your morning and see what happens.
Because I find myself feeling most energetic and alive in the morning, meditating and setting intentions feel most effective during this time. For others, setting intentions at night for the day ahead may work better (… but that’s for another blog on Evening Endeavors).
My best advice is to simply be honest with yourself about your available time, preferences, and habits; from there, try to bring a little more mindfulness into your existing morning and evening practices. Whether that’s taking a few minutes to set intentions, meditate, stretch, turn off your phone, enjoy a tea in silence, take a hot bath, or read peacefully – be sure to spend time at the beginning and end of every day honoring yourself and offering yourself a little TLC.
This morning, after the admittedly not-so-enjoyable day I had yesterday, I felt in need of some guidance. I just wanted some sort of visual… validation… that, somehow, everything was going to work out. To say that I was feeling spiritually depleted this morning would have been an understatement.
After shuffling for what felt like minutes, I was passed these cards as they fell from the deck into my lap almost simultaneously. Paired together, I feel these cards possess a very powerful message and it was definitely received loud and clear from my end.
CONSCIOUSNESS belongs to the Minor Arcana, specifically of the Clouds (Mind) group.
“Most of the cards in this suit of the mind are either cartoon-like or troubled, because the influence of the mind in our lives is generally either ridiculous or oppressive. But this card of Consciousness shows a vast Buddha figure. He is so expansive he has gone even beyond the stars, and above his head is pure emptiness. He represents the consciousness that is available to all who become a master of the mind and can use it as the servant it is meat to be.
When you choose this card, it means that there is a crystal clarity available right now, detached, rooted in the deep stillness that lies at the core of your being. There is no desire to understand from the perspective of the mind – the understanding you have now is existential, whole, in harmony with the pulse of life itself. Accept this great gift, and share it.”
Osho Zen Tarot
THE REBEL belongs to the Major Arcana, giving this card great weight in the reading.
“The powerful and authoritative figure in this card is clearly the master of his own destiny. On his shoulder is an emblem of the sun, and the torch he holds in his right hand symbolizes the light of his own hard-won truth. Whether he is wealthy or poor, the Rebel is really an emperor because he has broken the chains of society’s repressive conditioning and opinions. He has formed himself by embracing all the colours of the rainbow, emerging from the dark and formless roots of his unconscious past and growing wings to fly into the sky. His very way of being is rebellious – not because he is fighting against anybody or anything, but because he has discovered his own true nature and is determined to live in accordance with it. The eagle is his spirit animal, a messenger between the earth and sky.
The Rebel challenges us to be courageous enough to take responsibility for who we are and to live our truth.”
Osho Zen Tarot
To me, this pairing indicates that, probably most importantly, it is time for me to take responsibility for who I am becoming and share my self, my love, and my truth with others. DUH!
I would say that I have not lived a very conventional life, given today’s standards. I have made choices some people frown upon; choices that others simply don’t understand. The truth is that I’ve never aspired to live a life that was understood or accepted by anyone, other than myself. I’ve always been a bit of a rebel in the sense that I have always been committed to myself and my best interests, first and foremost. Life has taken me on one hell of a roller-coaster ride, as a result, and I really don’t think I would’ve wanted it any other way…
Jeeze, perhaps it is time to trust in myself more!
I seem to have done pretty well for myself, thus far.
Consider this a sign to trust yourself, as well, and keep sharing your love with the world. It is time!