Until recently I thought of myself as a person who didn't like routine. As a writer, I wrote when the mood struck or when there was a pressing need to write. I thought that because I was a person who liked variety and a change of pace, a morning ritual wasn't for me.I had heard the good advice from other writers about writing every day, sitting in the chair at the same time every day and putting words on the page no matter what. Work ethic wise, I always respected this. I just thought it wasn't for me.
Well, then I tried adopting a morning ritual, and I love it. I'm a believer. I've been converted. Now my morning ritual is the highlight of my day because I get to do what I really want to do, and I get to do it first thing, before I concern myself with anything else.
An Aromatic Morning: Rosemary and White Sage
I use aromatherapy to support me: rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis (L.) and white sage Salvia apiana (Jeps.). I practice a bit of yoga, do some breathwork, and I write. Those are the main things, though I have come to appreciate every texture and nuance about my morning ritual: the fresh air outside, the silence, bringing my wife a cup of hot tea. The repetition enriches the experience.
The morning is a ripe and precious time, a buffer between the outer world and the inner world. With a morning ritual, time is blocked out before the external world can inundate us with business and busyness.
All the time we have is precious, but the structure of days creates an opportunity to set apart some portions as sacred and dedicate those to a heartfelt purpose, perhaps one that doesn't have an immediate payoff in the outer world.
For me, particularly now that I have established my own morning ritual, morning seems to be the natural choice. It presents its invigorating cool quietness to me every day.
Several years back, my wife and I visited Rome. I had the idea that we should get up really early and visit some of the sites before they got crowded. We woke at dawn and had the city to ourselves. It was just us and the guy hosing down the Spanish steps. There seemed to be an abundance of time to walk all over town and sightsee.
No matter how busy a place is during the daytime hours (and often well into the night), the early morning hours tend to be more subdued. Most people are asleep. As soon as the city wakes up, the noise begins, the machines roar, and the responsibilities and complexities are piled on. Yet somehow there is a pattern to all this. We all have to sleep, and our responsibilities can usually wait until we wake and officially begin our day. So why not claim just a little bit of time in the morning before anything else can?
Creating Your Ultimate Morning Ritual
Your morning ritual might last 10 minutes or it might last a few hours. Make your morning ritual flexible so that you can easily stick to it, and you will.
Here's what I recommend:
Here are a few more ways to combine and layer things you enjoy to make your morning ritual a sacred and rejuvenating time:
- Listen to two of your favorite songs
- Do some form of exercise you love
- Meditate on your breath
- Have your coffee and warm slippers ready before you wake up
Keep up your routine in some form every day, but don't be a slave driver. Be open to your ritual being longer or shorter some days. Be forgiving; don't be hard on yourself. Reward yourself for the challenge no matter what.
If you want to use your morning ritual to write, just do what you can each time, and eventually you'll find that the situation supports you so that you fall right into a state of flow.
Do you have a daily ritual that helps you feel more productive? Calm? Invigorated? Share your ritual revelations and best how-to tips in the comments section below.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a faculty member of American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.