Morning can be a sacred time. It’s a time of new beginnings every day—a time to decide how you want to live. As we come out of sleep, there’s an opportunity, a choice—either rush into high-gear life, or steal some time quietly in between.
While life in the fast lane pushes and pulls, and occasionally wins, this time has become sacred to me. I wake up and do my daily things—feed the dog, stretch, pack a lunch, tame my crazy hair, but after making breakfast the magic begins: I return to bed.
People talk about breakfast in bed as a periodic luxury, but I have decided to make it an everyday luxury—it hurts no one, costs no money, and is the main consolation to me—after forcing myself out of bed, I get to return.
I cuddle myself up with pillows, a bagel, and a book and read my way through breakfast. This never gets old—every morning when I settle back under the sheets, I feel calm and happy, and like I’m on vacation.
Once I’m finished eating, I turn to my journal where I write three pages, a practice I started while reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron three years ago. These three pages started out as a should, now they’re one of the main parts to starting a good day, or any day for that matter. More often than not, if I start out writing in a frustrated mood, I come out feeling hopeful. It is me talking to myself, counseling myself, inventing new paths of thought, and reinforcing my joy.
Once I’ve done my writing, I yawn, try to delay the inevitable, and eventually force myself into the day, as the clock ticks and it begins to seem unavoidable that I’ll be late to work again. But those 30 or 40 minutes are like a little respite, or a bridge from dreams to reality, during which I often think about trying to make dreams into reality, or reality into dreams. They’re one of the best parts of my day—the part where I am calm, slow, and thoughtful. Every morning they make me realize that anything is possible.
I think everyone has a morning ritual of some sort—whether it’s as simple as the order in which you brush your teeth, take a shower, and eat breakfast, there’s something comforting about the repetition. The word ritual connotes, in addition to meaning a regular order of things, some sort of spiritual element, like a rite of passage or a religious ceremony. However you choose to spend the in between time of morning can become a little ritual where you care for yourself.
It’s different for everyone—whatever makes you feel rich and loved, calm and kind, is a good place to start. It’s about choosing yourself and making the time to honor your heart. It’s about starting the day by being the person you want to be, instead of running around the house frantically searching for shoes. It’s about allowing some time and place to be yourself, and think about what that really means.
Whether it’s studying your backyard through the window while drinking a cup of coffee, or just allowing enough time to stretch and shower slowly, it’s so important to give yourself that feeling of abundance regularly. It’s a way of valuing yourself and your life.
Not only does this act honor you, it honors everyone you interact with. If you give yourself this time to think, relax, and prepare for each day, other people will be able to experience the best version of you, and you will be able to give your best self.