Mindful ritual is an important aspect of daily life.

It is centering, and it transports our consciousness to realms of expanded possibility.

Many spiritual traditions emphasize ritual—it is a matter of connection to what powers us, inside out.

As far as a morning ritual is concerned, mine evolved from noticing how being “super productive” first thing was sabotaging my peace of mind. I thought I was being mindful (the ego loves doing and abhors self-awareness), but the only thing that was happening was an increasing feeling of overwhelm. Sure, I could say that I had “handled a lot of stuff”—but how much stillness of heart could I attest to?

Everyone has a morning practice, believe it or not.

For so many of us these days, it is:

Open eyes, reach for thoughts, engage monkey mind
Scroll through Instagram…
Jump out of bed, rush into the day…
Do, do, do!

This ritual is so common that I believe we are suffering from being chronically un-grounded and under-inspired. And as the individual is, so, then, is society.

How we greet the day is one of the most empowering things we can do to change our lives. If we begin the day with grace, we can rest knowing that all of self was honored, all of self was allowed expression.

Here are a few steps toward that end.

This list is what works for me, and when needed, I pick a few favorites according to my timeline. The only one I never abandon is “Gratitude.”

It is also not an exhaustive list—feel free to substitute in whatever you may already have going. In addition, these suggestions can be layered, as in, music is playing while you’re making your bed or laying in Child’s pose. Gratitude can be felt or spoken while doing the same.

There are many ways to make this a pleasant ritual to look forward to, even if time appears to be short. Waking up early enough to create space for it is an empowering habit. Pretty soon, you will be guarding it with your life!

Once you see how nourishing it is to honor one’s awakening, and how beautiful the quiet of the house and heart are in the early morning hours, your soul will crave it.

If sitting down to meditate is something you really cannot get into, let this practice become your stillness and precious solitude.

“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.” ~ Pema Chödrön

The Rest Here

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