6 Steps to Cultivate a Morning Ritual

When clients first come to me, and I’m inquiring about their “typical mornings,” I will hear things like, “I don’t have a ‘typical morning;’ life takes over!” or “I jump out of bed, grab my phone, scroll, and rush to the next thing.” Either one sound familiar?

While each person’s life, occupation, needs, etc. may dictate days that are more unpredictable than others, there’s something that we always have control over and that is our first few moments of consciousness in the morning.

So much of my early life was chaotic and as a young adult, I perpetuated that out of habit, out of familiarity, out of a sense that perhaps I didn’t deserve the peace and ease for which I longed. (This is a major symptom of Feminine Shame, by the way). Today, I have a daily sadhana or “committed spiritual practice” that I have engaged in everysinglemorning.  

My morning practices are one thousand percent non-negotiable.

I know the richness they bring to my life, the peace, ease, sense of grounding, purpose, clarity, and strength so that I am more than equipped to fully embrace whatever the day brings.

I am never in the business of creating an army of mini-Devons out of my clients and don’t tell them how to do anything!  I guide, teach, and empower.  I am interested in helping clients identify and create what it is they most need each morning and beyond.  MovementMeditation?  Journal time?  A breathing exercise?  All of the above?  Something else?  Identifying the desired outcome is the first crucial step and then the specifics mechanisms can be experimented with, rotated, changed seasonally, etc. (the type of movement, the specific breathing exercise, and so forth).

Our practices should be nourishing, enlivening, and they should spiral with the ever-changing internal and external seasons. Align them with your own internal Wheel of The Mother.

Establishing what you most need and then consciously creating the container each morning is the greatest gift and soul pledge you give to yourself.  Showing up for myself each and every single morning strengthens my conviction, my character, my discipline, my internal listening skills, my awareness of my needs, my intuitive abilities, and so much more.  From there, the benefits trickle out into every area of my life.  All from consciously creating a container each morning – how empowering!

Whether elaborate and multiple hours long or simple and only five minutes, the power to set the tone for your day, your health, and your radiance is entirely yours.  The bottom line is this: you have the power of choice, so exercise it!

Here are some steps to get you started!

1. Conduct An Audit

To create the morning ritual of my dreams to sustain and nourish myself each and every day, I first honestly identified what wasn’t working, next I asked myself what I needed, and then I created a list of action steps and a plan to begin implementing these things into my morning.

Start backwards – how do you want to feel during your day?  How do you feel currently?  What does a morning look like right now and how do you feel it prepares you (or doesn’t prepare you) for your day?  Are there things you find yourself “wishing” you “had done,” “could do,” “should do” in the mornings?  What are you looking for from these proposed activities? 

If you want to feel more peace during your day and currently your habit of jumping out of bed, reading emails, gulping down coffee, and getting to work makes you feel like a nutcase, there’s clearly a disconnect.  If you want to feel more energy during the day and your current habit of Netflix binging the night before and then hitting “snooze” many times and fueling on coffee instead of food has you feeling like a zombie… well, you see the issue.

Get clear, be honest, and be kind to yourself.  Awareness is the first step!

2. List Your Favorite Activities That Create Said Desired Feeling

Based on your audit and identifying how you most want to feel, make a list of activities that create that feeling for you.  More peace?  Meditation, yoga, writing, tai chi, calming breath work.  More energy?  A jog, a real breakfast, energizing breath exercises, etc.  More creativity?  A fun journal prompt, an mini art practice, guided meditation, etc.

3. Be Real

First of all, how important is this change to you on a scale of 1-10?  If it’s anything lower than perhaps a 7, maybe now isn’t the right time to implement any changes.  How much time can you devote to yourself first thing in the morning?  What would need to change to make this a reality?  What are actions steps you can begin taking today?

4. Be Gentle and Compassionate & Start Small and Simple

Take action, my dear!  You have decided to try 30 minutes of yoga each morning and know that in order for this to happen you’ll need to wake about 45 minutes earlier.  Sweet!  And, if you’re not a “morning person” or practices such as these are brand new to you, consider starting even more simply knowing that you’re working up to this 30 minutes of yoga goal.  Maybe begin with a few sun salutations and waking 10 minutes earlier and gradually working your way at a sustainable pace.  The greatest rewards of a daily sadhana come with time and dedication.  Get to it and be gentle and compassionate with yourself as your entire being adopts this new habit.  The benefits will be worth it and you’ll become more used to it day by day.

 5. Go. To. Bed. 

Seriously.  Just do it.  Truth be told, the morning ritual begins the night before.

Staying up on your phone, the computer, or watching television are only making your endocrine system angry and are sabotaging your morning ritual and the whole day thereafter.  The blue light emitted from these devices, especially after dark, confuses your pineal gland.  The pineal gland’s sole purpose is to release melatonin to regulate your circadian rhythm (and really, all of your hormones) so that you sleep soundly and wake refreshed (ready for your new morning rituals).  Perhaps implementing an evening ritual is the first action step that’s needed!  I love tea, warm baths, and cuddling in comfy fabrics with my dog.

 6. Keep a Journal

Reflect upon the changes you’ve made so that you have evidence that your new plan is working (or not working) and so you can tweak, add, etc. as needed and so that you have motivation to continue despite any perceived set backs.  Yes, “perceived” because in reality, as long as we’re consciously striving to move forward, any hiccups we face only serve as learning opportunities – not the end of the world.  So, document it all!  Get to know yourself.  Your relationship with yourself is the greatest one you’ll ever have, after all!

Creating your morning ritual is an invaluable step in manifesting the day-to-day life you deserve, the one that bring you joy and fulfillment, and there’s lots of other steps you can take as well.

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Greetings! I’m Devon Ray Battaglia, MS, AHA, ACC. As an Integrative Health Expert, Ayurvedic Health Advisor, and Holistic Life Coach, I’ve devoted myself to living and sharing the timeless wisdom of Nature’s rhythms to unlock our natural resilience and joy!

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