Take one: Your alarm goes off for the fourth time and you drowsily hit snooze. You eventually roll over, grab your iPhone, and are flooded by a barrage of updates—20 new emails, multiple Instagram notifications, and a couple of text messages. You barely look up as you make your way into the kitchen to pour the first of multiple cups of coffee to get your through your hectic day ahead.
Take two: You wake up to the sound of your old-school alarm clock that's several feet away from your bed so you actually have to get up. Once your feet hit the floor, you head to the kitchen for hot water with lemon and a delicious caffeinated concoction. Since you spend the first hour of your day sans cellphone, you head to your yoga mat for a creative combination of writing, yoga, and meditation and to set your intention for your day ahead. You doze off a little in meditation but awake feeling inspired.
This take one and take two is taken from my own life. Take one is when I'm acting out of habit or even addiction. Take two is when I design my morning from a creative, intentional space.
As co-founders of a yoga-inspired coaching movement, my partner Mary Beth and I liken rituals to guideposts in our days, weeks, and months that bring us home to ourselves, remind us of what is true and move us toward a life we love. And to be honest, they feel really good.
Ritual can be a full-on ceremony at your altar every morning with sage burning and crystals, or it can be as simple as a morning walk to your favorite coffee spot with that weird neighbor along the way who brushes her cat every day at 7 a.m. and never says hello. The magic is in the repetition, the commitment to a space where you feel that comfort. Here are our favorite rituals we've been exploring lately.
1. Put your phone on airplane mode.
Airplane mode isn't reserved for just airplanes. I've found it immensely helpful as a way to carve out uninterrupted quiet time. When you hit the hay, switch your phone off or to airplane and keep it that way for the first 30 minutes you are awake.
2. Get in the habit of mindful moments.
Taking a moment to pause early in the day is a great way to check in, feel the body and clear the mind. And this can be as short as 3 minutes or as 30. Need tech support? Check out Headspace, Insight Timer, and CALM.
3. Drink a warm beverage.
4. Take a walk.
Jacki and I recently ordered ourselves Fitbits as a way to remind ourselves to get moving. Though we are total proponents of mindfulness, we, too, get sucked into our phones, computers, email inboxes, etc. A morning walk, sans cellphone, is a beautiful way to clear your head.
5. Try oil pulling.
Wake up with quiet. You literally cannot speak if you're oil pulling! Grab a spoonful of coconut oil and swish it around in your mouth to start the day fresh. The combination is the perfect way to stay quiet for at least 10 minutes while enjoying a pretty delicious treat.
What are the rituals you commit to daily, weekly, yearly? Do they bring you that feeling of home, that safe space to feel connected? Share so I can add to our list and try on new ones.
This piece was co-written by Jacki Carr.