- On July 1, 2015
Does your morning generally consist of rolling bleary-eyed from bed, triggered by anxiety over the anticipated pressures of the coming day?
Brushing your teeth while simultaneously picking out the clothes you will wear?
Stumbling out the door with a cup of Keurig coffee in your hand?
Shaving or putting on makeup while sitting in traffic on the way to the office?
Lots of articles around about the impact of a morning routine on success. Here’s one of my favorites fromFast Company highlighting the various morning routines of 10 very successful people. I especially love Steve Job’s question and Ben Franklin’s daily schedule.
I’m going to make the case for going beyond organizing our To Do list and setting our intention–Add in a small focused ritual that is multi-sensory and totally positive and enjoyable.
Consider it a brain health exercise. Our neural health benefits from this practice of engaging wholly with our present and our sensitivity is stretched beyond the seeing and hearing senses which make up the bulk of our day.
For example, I recently spent a few days with a dear friend in California while I was attending a class. My friend is a very successful entrepreneur engineer with a thriving business and a more-than-full days worth of priorities on her calendar.
Every morning, she makes fresh chai. Not from a mix—she actually cuts slices of fresh lemongrass, peels ginger, crushes cardamom pods and simmers these with other spices for 20 minutes. The smell permeated the house and my senses actually felt more alive and awake. This 20 minutes in her very busy day is just about the enjoyment of the experience; a moment to be fully in the present with all the senses.
Another friend, a successful government executive, makes cappuccino every morning from scratch. Grinding the beans, steaming the milk. Even using an old-fashioned copper-clad coffee machine, the kind you find in Italian cafés.
Doing, smelling, feeling, tasting, hearing. These rituals provide a very small mindful and sense-stimulating practice that sets the tone of enjoyment for the whole day.
My ritual is steeping a cup of beautifully scented Earl Grey tea while I spend 5 minutes in deep breathing and gratitude. Usually on the back porch listening to the birds in the morning, feeling the cool (sometimes cold) air on my skin, sensing each part of my body as I relax into a cross-legged position.
Five minutes of the day devoted to me and something that makes me happy, and I am more prepared to positively address whatever lies ahead.
What kind of multi-sensory mindful ritual can you add into your morning routine?
Photo credit: JMaliszewski