I have never been much of a morning person. My morning routine used to go something like this:
A beautiful Zen-sounding chime would alert me to the beginning of a new day. Despite all my intentions to use this sacred time to get centered, express gratitude, and connect with my breath, I would always just hit snooze and roll over. I would repeat this pattern several times before finally rising with just enough time to catch the 6 o’clock train and, sadly, no time at all to caffeinate. Unfortunately, I would continue to repeat this pattern five days a week over and over for many years.
Fast forward several years. Now, my morning routine usually goes a little something like this:
- I wake up and take a moment or two to breathe in this new day, usually focusing my mind on a simple affirmation (“Today, I will choose joy ,” or “I express gratitude for this new beginning” are some of my favorites).
- Next, I do a quick and simple yoga practice followed by 10-20 minutes of meditation.
Instead of starting my day frazzled and already counting the hours until I can crawl back into my cozy bed, I wake up feeling grateful and emerged from my morning practice calm, balanced, and ready for the day ahead.
Not only have my mornings been completely transformed, but the benefits continue all day long! For example:
- I am more energized than ever before, even without my morning coffee (Don’t get me wrong – I still find coffee delightful; I just don’t need it in the way I did before).
- I also find myself less irritable in situations that used to set me off. Last minute canceled plans or a very tight work deadline no longer cause me to spiral into fear and chaos.
If any of this resonates with you, you may be curious as to how I created this drastic change. Maybe you are already thinking that you know what I am going to say. You must wake up earlier if you want to experience calm, peaceful mornings. Yes, the bad news is that you will have to wake up earlier. But the good news is that it is just five minutes earlier. I recommend taking a couple of minutes to make this go as smoothly as possible:
- Make your meditation the absolute first thing that you do every single day!
- Simply sit straight up in bed upon waking, set your phone timer for five minutes, and do a very simple breath counting or mantra meditation.
The amazing news is that when you implement this change, you will have already set a positive tone for your day no matter what happens next. I guarantee that if you are consistent about this, you will bring more peace into your life. My hope for you is that you will look forward to waking up to peaceful mornings and bring forth that energy throughout your day.
If you are serious about increasing your peace with this small change to your mornings, read on for some additional tips to help you stay on track:
If you dread waking up, I promise that it will be way more manageable to commit yourself to a five-minute practice than a twenty-minute one. And a few minutes is really all you need to experience the beauty of morning. You can always build up to a longer practice or extend your meditation on days that you think it will serve you. Just remember that your morning meditation is intended to be a joyful opportunity to connect with yourself. Do not make this another chore that you just have to check off your list.
Even if you spend the majority of your meditation inwardly grumbling about how you wish you were still asleep, I urge you to keep going; simply redirect yourself back to your breath or mantra and please come back the next day. The results will follow!
Be gentle with yourself
Remember that whatever comes up in your morning meditation is okay. Some days, you might emerge feeling perfectly calm and balanced. Other days, you may hear your timer go off and realize you spent your whole meditation planning your day or thinking about a breakfast sandwich. I cannot emphasize this enough: anything that happens in your meditation is okay! Just stay committed to some form of daily morning meditation and accept whatever happens. Taking this simple right action and turning inward at the start of every day will help you show up as a more fully authentic, grounded being when you emerge into the world.
I hope you are inspired to rise and shine on the right side of the bed every morning!
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