Morning routines and rhythms bring predictability to our days. Whether your mornings involve children or pets, workouts, or simply walking to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, our day often begins with a comfortable sequence of events that get us out the door. The smallest, seemingly insignificant moments give us the opportunity to bring awareness to what's going on inside. Many of us hold on to thoughts that make us suffer and cause stress, worry, frustration, or fear ... or if we're in a good place that day, maybe joy or gratitude or excitement. Regardless of your thoughts, those repetitive actions we go through each morning can be a place to ground yourself, a reminder that in that one moment, you are okay. You are breathing today. You are safe today. You are loved today.
My ten-year-old daughter often has stressful thoughts before going to sleep. Our ritual has been to simply state the facts: "I am in bed. My walls are pink. The wind is blowing. I am listening to Harry Potter." While the initial goal was to help her fall asleep, this ritual between us has become a ritual for me, too, when I am feeling like I need to re-ground myself. Sometimes I don't only state the facts - I also say what I'm grateful for that day.
When I'm "all in my head" and I want to get out, I go outside - even for just 30 seconds - close my eyes, take some deep breaths, and state the facts: The sky is blue. The leaves are falling. The bird is flying.
This time of year is difficult for a lot of people, especially ones that thrive in the warmer months. Those that follow the cycle of the year closely subscribe to the idea that as the nights get longer and the days get colder, we must go inward to find the light within. One way to find that light, regardless of the time of year, is by bringing awareness to your day - simply one moment to ground yourself, say thank you, and take a breath. Show gratitude for all the brilliant things in your life. Your future self will thank you for it.
Inspiration for awareness:
"It's not what you say to everyone else that determines your life; it's what you whisper to yourself that has the greatest power." - Robert T. Kiyosaki
"Awareness is the greatest agent for change." - Eckhart Tolle
"Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots." - Rumi