M.O.R.N.I.N.G.S (self-love intentions to build positive mindfulness into your day):
How many times have you dreaded the morning? How many times have you got to work and just felt terrible - knowing you are in for a bad day. I found that if I didn’t wake up and instill some kind of simple, positive pattern I was at the whim of the weather, my mood and the people around me. If it was wet, I was late and a bit grumpy and my colleagues were being challenging it would wreck my day. Now, I don't profess that this routine will solve that completely - but my experience is that it helps me to feel good, to cultivate connection, creativity and conditioning of my mind-body in a way that provides reliance against the challenging aspects of my day and also seems to lighten up the people around me. So why not give it a go? Or do a modified version, if this is too long. I sometimes stop at MORN, or you could use the SAVERS routine, which inspired mine (by Hal Enrod of The Morning Miracle): Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribing. Other morning routines by Chase and Tim Ferriss, more and more
Enjoy your MORNINGS (Meditate, Open up, Reconnect, Nourish, Inspire, Nature, Grace, Self-Care.)
M: MEDITATE & MUSE: Find balance in silence, afterwards jot down some musings to capture insights. 20-30
O: OPEN to OPTIMISM: Spend some time thinking about your past-present-future. I use a document combining this with pre rehearsed ideas and values to visualise. Revise your mission and vision - focus on one thing that you’d like to be, feel and do. Imagine and feel yourself as if you’ve done it. This is akin to mental contrasting.
REACH OUT & REVIEW: . take 5 minutes to check in with friends, send a few messages and have a tight boundary of 5-10 minutes on Facebook, BBC, The Guardian and Positive news, so that I get a balanced view of the world. I share ONE story on FB tyo spread positivity. Now I’ve checked in with the world and shared. 10-15
N: NOURISH MIND & BODY
(NOM & KNOWLEDGE)
Brekkie And a good book! What you put in comes out, so make sure it's good quality 10-15
I: INTENTION & INSPIRE:
Every month I set an intention. This month it might be to write more in my book. So spend 10 minutes doing that! Write one crappy page! Then.. get inspired...Dance, Move, Create or Play. This part is about connecting with something inspiring for 10 minutes. I combine it with the breathe sometimes (like power breath or box breath). I put some music on and dance or move in a way that catharts and inspires you. Or sometimes I play guitar, practice juggling. or sing. 15
N: NICE in NATURE: Get outside and appreciate, run, say hello and smile to people, trees, birds - breathe it in 15
G: GRACEFUL GYM: Introduce quality and pressure in movement. Do something to challenge your body, with a sense of grace (Remember the Gym is just a concept, it can be anywhere). 20
S: STRETCH & SHOWER: Stretch, Soothe muscles (STRETCH & massage), Shake off and Self-celerate as you Shower with a Song! All the while I congratulate myself for completing this! I use the RAISE tool as I stretch. 20
This routine isn’t set in stone, it is an example of one that can bring in a sense of mindfulness, gratitude, and connection into your day, whilst also allowing you to learn and grow. If you take only 5 minutes on each element that would be around 1 hour. That’s it - go to it!
The rest of this page is just silly elaboration.
Opposites: I like to play with them, for instance, just think of how this acronym might fit into a completely unconscious habit:
M: Messages: Immediately after waking get the phone and see if anyone messaged you in the night - start looking for validation straight away. Check emails and texts.
O: Orgasm: Get your rocks off quickly and early, instant gratification and release of vital energy. This is especially useful if there were any emails or messages from work that you don't want to face and need a relief from the tension they brought.
R: React to social media: Another way to relieve tension is to use this time to build up your superficial social networks and gossip.
N: News: Fuel the worry by reading a newspaper or internet news - allow the corporate controlled media to drip feed you fear and inaccurate information so that you maintain the illusion you are up-to-date on current affairs and in touch with reality.
I: Irritating imagination: Allow the mind to worry or get annoyed about what lies ahead, without any conscious control or awareness. Bury your head back under the duvet and wish for the world to go away. Make an intention to hide from that imagined reality.
N: Nicotine: nothing starts the day and calms the nerves temporarily like a fag or another Nap: probably good to snooze again now, until it's nearly time to leave
G: Get up - time to leave the bed, begrudgingly
S: Speed - move your ass, get what needs doing done fast,without care and get out the door. Start your day as you wish to go on, stress-fully, speedily and satisfying any cravings along the way.
Personally I’d rather not live like that. I know that way brings me a lot of frustration, craving and my mood for the day is unproductive and unhappy. Here is an example of my average morning, which I’m aware is very indulgent and allows for about 3 hrs!. That’s because I’ve decided to rebalance my life with more focus on enjoyment and less on working, particularly on someone else’s dreams. I know, from speaking to terminally ill people that the big regrets of people near death is wishing they’d allowed themselves to enjoy life more.
7am: Usually about this time my consciousness awakes and I have some lucid dreaming whilst I snoozr. My imagination is taking me on a journey, but instead of completely allowing it to go on a worrying journey I bring it round to someone positive - I imagine my vision, or something arousing, or my day going really well, a pleasant old memory, or a crazy idea.I used to be very negative and anxious in my thoughts, but with my DREAMTIME practice my morning thought patterns are very different.
7:30am: When my alarm goes off the second time I clock my time in Toggl as having started the MORNING routine (I like to track my time). I check my phone. I only allow a few programs to send notifications, so I’ll only get important messages.
7:35am: I go pee, brush my teeth rinse my face and then I go get a pint of water (with a lemon slice), and another pint of tea. I always step outside to take in a breath of fresh air while the kettle boils.
7:45am Meditate:I put the bright light/ heater on and sit on a meditation stool. I do 20-30 mins of Meditation. My meditations tends to focus on breath, then a body scan, then with focus on my heart I do a loving-kindness or gratitude meditation. My favourite mantra as I breath is currently ‘Wel-come’ or “I’m enough”
8:15am Muse: If anything came out of that I'll Muse for 5 minutes just to record it and get it out of my head - to express myself. I usually do this on my smartphone or notepad.
8:20am Optimism: I'll sit or lie, looking outside and drinking the tea and I'll do one minute of thinking on the distant past, recent pat and the present moment - exploring memories and asking myself what do I appreciate?
8:25am Ownership: Looking ahead I like to read out and visualise my mission and vision. I think that repeated visualisation practice of something we want can really help bring it into our lives because we engage all the senses and the mind to attune to it. I use a timer for 2 minutes to make sure I don’t over indulge. I love self-affirmations to help me own the day.
8:30am Read & Refresh: I'll lie back, set a timer for 10 mins and Read A bit of a book I'm interested in whilst hydrating; drinking all the water. I use a pencil to make notes and I might do 5 mins more if I'm fascinated. No more than that though, strictly.
8.45am Nourish & News: One I'm done I go get some food. I go get some food; fruit or toast and eggs - something 'healthy' and Nourishing. I come back to my laptop and take the first few bites mindfully. Then I set a 10 minute timer and choose to consciously find out the News. For me this is a balanced mix within the 10 minutes of Facebook (where I might share a positive thought/story), The Guardian, BBC and Positive.News.
9am Inhale. This bit I often get stuck at -if I'm on a roll I want to read/write more, so I might allow time for that - but strictly no more Facebook/youtube after the 9am. I change positions and practice one of three breath exercises
9:10am Inspire: After sitting for a minute, feeling the effect of conscious breathing in my body I put some tunes on some music and dance. I like to use shuffle to find me some Inspiring music and dance around the room in whatever mood I'm in.
9:20am Nice Nature I usually get changed during the second song, into running kit. I put my iPod in my ears and take a key. I leave my phone. I run for 10-20 mins and go to the park and really enjoy the wildlife, smiling at people I pass.
9:40 Graceful Gym: I dance outside, I exercise too, paying very close attention to the movements - aiming for quality not quantity. It’s important for me to remember this so I don’t injure myself and so I enjoy it more. I really like to combine all of the elements by climbing trees. Otherwise I’ll actually go to the gym and work out for 20 minutes. HIIT training is my preferred method.
10am: Self Soothe: Arriving back at home I self-stretch outside, using Franklin Method (a method that combines creative visualization of anatomy or analogy to aid the physical and mental exercises) and then self-massage my legs and back using a foam roller and tennis balls, self-shower (where I like to sing) and then I sit in front of the heater and read a final Self-affirmation. This is where I really set in some positive affirming words like:
You get the idea - these are customizable and I have 10 sheets of motivational prose. I just vary which I read to keep it interesting and varied.
10:30am: That is the MORNINGS routine complete. I then move directly into the START routine, where I begin my work, then my FINISH routine, at the end of the work day and the DREAMTIME routine before bed.
It’s quite common for me not manage to do all of these in a day and also to skip a letter at times. A big part of this is intention. It’s okay to not get it all perfect, but I have found that by trying and doing it regularly, even if only 30 minutes of the routine I tend to start my day more positively. This is a checklist and if I wanted to I could achieve the intent of each point in 1 minute. The object of this is not become religious, but to cultivate a fertile soil for positivity to flourish.