My morning ritual is the most important part of my day. It's an incredibly powerful tool to help me bust through the challenges that sometimes get thrown my way. I start my day by practicing anywhere from 11 to 60 minutes of kundalini meditation, journaling, and sipping tea before I make breakfast. This is my sacred time. It’s how I harness my “superpowers” in the crazy world we live in.
Below, I’ve outlined three practices I recommend if you're interested in starting your day in a more mindful way. Find one of these rituals that resonates with you and commit to it for 40 days to fully establish it in your mind, body, and soul.
After 40 days, you may want to continue with it or you can also experiment with a different form of meditation or perhaps add another practice on to your initial ritual. Start by designating a special place in your bedroom or living space as your “sacred spot,” put a pretty pillow there, maybe some flowers, and find a place to feel comfortable. Then, try one of these practices:
1. Visualize your best day.
Take some time to create a clear vision for your best day. This can be done by sitting up in bed after your alarm clock goes off, in the shower, sitting in your favorite chair with a cup of tea, or sitting in your sacred spot. Close your eyes; start long, deep breaths; and once you feel calm and centered, start visualizing the best version of your day.
How do you feel after breakfast and getting dressed as you're walking out of the house? How does your day at work go? What do the different interactions feel like? How does that meeting go? What does it feel like to send that email or complete that project? Get clear on each part of your day until you tuck yourself into bed at night and hold the space for the highest vision of your day.
2. Try a let-go mantra for release and surrender.
Are you someone who wakes up and instantly has a rush of anxiety as your entire to-do list floats to the forefront of your mind? Then this practice is for you! This simple mantra allows us to surrender our negative thoughts and feelings and release to a deeper place of peacefulness.
Simply repeat “LET” in your mind as you take each inhale and repeat “GO” on each exhale. With every repetition, breathe deeper and release further; keep your eyes closed, palms up to the sky, placed on your knees; and either sitting in easy cross-legged pose or in a chair with your legs uncrossed. This is a great meditation that you can take with you anywhere, from the subway to your office to your in-laws' house.
3. Connect with your inner light.
Connecting to the source, remembering who you are, tapping into your true potential — whatever you call it — can expand your life exponentially when you start taking the time in the morning to connect to your limitlessness. For this process, I suggest selecting a powerful “theme song.” It can be anything you want as long as it’s a song that makes you glow from the inside out and awakens you to your greatness. My personal song is India Arie’s “I Am Light.” It’s a soft, soulful song that makes me feel like a giant fireworks display.
Pick yours and play it while sitting in your new sacred spot, eyes closed, palms up, legs crossed. Imagine a giant ball of light at your heart's center; watch it grow with each breath until the golden light expands throughout your entire being. Let the light pour out each every cell and surround you in a giant cloud of golden light. When your song comes to a close, take a deep breath in and hold it, soaking in all the light inside and around you. After a ten count exhale and slowly bring yourself back into the room. You can also use this song throughout the day as a positive trigger to take you back to that place inside of you.
If after 40 days, one practice isn't resonating with you, move on to the next! I promise that when you connect with a mindful way to start your day, you'll experience happier, more productive days.
Cassandra Bodzak is a holistic lifestyle expert who helps people all over the world design a healthy life from the inside out through food, meditation, and self-care. She's the author of Eat With Intention: Recipes and Meditations for a Life that Lights You Up, an inspirational speaker and mentor. Her upcoming cooking show, "Eat with Intention," teaches people how to eat from a place of self-love, fuel their bodies, and nourish their souls. You may know her from from ABC's "The Taste" or her healthy, plant based cooking videos on SHAPE.com.