I think we all know how important it is to start our mornings off right. There are tons of colloquial sayings we grew up with: "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day," "Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning..." "I'd be a morning person if mornings started later..." I could go on and on, but I won't. However, the reason there are ALL these sayings about mornings is because they truly are so important: .How you wake up sets the tone for your day. When you miss your alarm, you tend to spill your coffee (THAT YOU NEED SO BADLY) all over your shirt, your dog won't poop on her walk, you get stuck behind an f*ing bus driving down a one lane canyon road, and over all have "one of those days." Right? Just me? DOUBT THAT.
Last week I received an email directing me to check out a blog post by Courtney Buchanan about her top 3 apps. The post, and her blog, are hilarious: I mean…I probably wouldn’t mind if coffee was fed to me in bed every morning by my man. Her post, and her spotlight on Yoga Wake up, really got me thinking about MY mornings and the things I have implemented into my morning routine.
I’ll be completely honest with you, I don't have a lot of time in the mornings. There is only one weekday that I am not having to jet out super early to get to a client or a class. But even on the days where I have no time to sip my coffee out of a mug (that's literally one of the hugest luxuries and fantasies of mine nowadays), no time to walk my dog at a pace slower than speed-walk, I still make time for these rituals:
1. Yoga Wake Up
Shameless plug? Yes, and no. I actually LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this app! Tamal Dodge is on it: and if you read my prior blog posts you’ll see that is who I became certified under when I studied to be a teacher. Waking up to his voice is pretty rad! And while it is a bit odd and I don’t like hearing my own voice: I really love my wake ups. I curated them to move your body the way I like to move mine in the mornings. Today I did my Reggae Reset and it was sooo lovely to hear Bob Marley and move my body before getting out of bed. Every wake up is different, some are 3 minutes some are 9 minutes some are more meditation based, some are in your bed, some are on a mat. It’s amazing. It's free to download, and there are lots of free wake-ups, or you can subscribe for a monthly fee that is less than the cost of coffee to access all of the recordings. I actually used the app before I got lucky enough to be asked by them to record wake-ups. So this plug is not coming from a pure "download and listen to my recordings" place, but because I truly love the ritual.
I'm sure you've read about the "Five Things I'm Grateful For" list, and if you haven't...well now you will. When I teach, and train, before we begin our first sequence I say these words to my students:
"Regardless of what is happening in your life outside of this space, there is always something to be thankful for. I want you to take this moment, close your eyes, and think of something. Anything. It can be a pet, a moment, a manifestation, or if this is too hippy dippy for you: take a moment and realize how fortunate you are to physically be HERE and not sitting in a hospital bed. Whatever it is, just take this moment and see it in your minds eye. Fill your body up with that gratitude as you inhale, and let the joy that comes with it settle as you exhale."
When you express gratitude, whether it's for ACTUALLY physically waking up that morning or for something else, joy takes over you. And there is NO better way to get going in the morning than with joy. I like to list five things not because it's trendy, but because five is my lucky number. And sometimes, waking up at five in the morning, even when that's your lucky number, straight up BLOWS. So to cure my "Oh but I'm so tired" woes I take a moment and reflect on how thankful I am: for Dusty, for my job, for the health of my family and friends, for the man that I share my life with...I make a quick list and it gives me that pause, that time, to start my day off on the RIGHT side of the bed.
3. Oil Pulling
OMG GROSS right? I always thought so. I tried it a few years ago when everybody started doing it and... I hated it. HATED it. So, I stopped and never looked back. Then, a while ago, one of my favorite podcasts That’s So Retrograde had a holistic dentist on and she suggested a few things everybody do: of course, oil pulling was on the list. Still not into it, so instead I got the other two things: a tongue scraper and a water pic. For most of my life, I have had gums that bleed, so figured if I could be a little more up on my oral health game it couldn’t hurt.
A couple of months ago I was talking with one of my clients and he was saying how he’d started oil pulling: how much he enjoyed it, and how much better he felt. Much like this blog: I decided if I was so resistant to it, I should just give it a try! I mean, if I can take the time to put a small drizzle of coconut oil on Dusty’s food and in my coffee…why not put it in my mouth?
I started with two minutes. Because a little bit is better than nothing at all. I think that also may have been my initial problem: it’s suggested one oil pulls for anywhere from 5-10minutes, and I just was not into that. So, I decided to start with one minute. Yes, one. But I ended up pulling for two, and then went on with my day. I didn’t find it bothersome and I was impressed with myself! I decided to keep it up just for a week.. The next day I pushed it to five minutes. And later that week I went up to ten! And I DID, in fact, feel better in the mornings. Something about it made me feel more energized, more productive. I’ve kept it up for a few months now, only probably skipping a total of 4 days. I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect, if it’s really doing anything or not, but it doesn’t hurt me and it’s not gross to me anymore. And since I’m piddling around in my kitchen for that amount of time anyway: why not?!
4. Lemon water with apple cider vinegar
When I was little, before I ate my breakfast in the morning my mom would squeeze a lemon into a glass and make me drink it. I’m sure she added water, but at the time, it sure didn't seem like anything was added to dilute the taste and... I HATED it!
See a theme? Lol
Apparently, my grandmother used to make my mom drink lemon water in the mornings as well when she was growing up. I know I used to whine and argue "BUT WHY DO I HAVE TO DRINK THIS?!" And my mom would always reply that Bami (my name for my grandma) made her do it, and that it was good for my skin.
At age 6 I had no idea what that even meant: what 6 year old knows anything about zits or wrinkles?
Cut-to-present day: People consistently guess I’m 24 when they meet me (Except for PIXIE who blew my mind and made me feel real good about myself after her classes when she told me she thought I was 20), and getting told “I know this is a weird compliment, but you have really good skin" by my now boyfriend on some of our earliest dates.
I’m not 24, guys…I don’t even think I can slide by and say I’m “close,” to 24. Because I’ll be 32 in September. So…just to do the math for you: 98% of the people I meet think I’m 8 years younger than I am.
OH and let me also clarify: I've never had work done, I've never had skin peeled off or had needles rolled on my face. I've never had things pulled up or anything injected into my body. I don't judge people that do: I just haven't. I have, however, had lemon water every morning consistently for most of my life. (Save for college when we never do what we were taught, sit in the sun covered in tanning oil and only use lemon with vodka or to make our hair blonde...
Oh was that just me? Cool cool...)
Lemon water is one of the oldest health tricks in the book, and I’m here to tell you: just do it. AND my little fun secret that I do to make it even more delicious, is that I add a shot of apple cider vinegar to it, as well. Yet another little health elixir Dusty gets on her food in the morning. And the only way you’ll ever get me near a shot glass (again, I’m almost 32.)
There are hundreds of articles on why drinking both of these things are good for you: so I won’t sit here and list the reasons. I’ll just tell you that when I wrote “to make it even more delicious” I was being sarcastic because there’s nothing delicious about an entire lemon and a shot of apple cider vinegar being mixed with a little water. Some mornings it's NBD, and other mornings my boyfriend thinks something horrible has just happened to me with me by how turnt my face gets after chugging it. That's how you use the term "turnt," right?
I also should add that aside from the ages of 12-14, I usually get two pimples a year. I freak out and think my world is over, that nobody will come to my classes, and that my boyfriend will leave me when it happens. But it only happens twice a year. And if I continue to listen to the wise words of my mom and don't touch it: it's usually gone in 48 hours.
Lemon Apple Cider Vinegar Water is the first thing I drink every morning, and if for some reason I forget or am away and don't have it: I feel and notice the difference in my body. So, while I may grimace and squirm, I know my grandmother would be proud, and my skin and immune system are all the better for it!
5. Make my bed
There’s just something that makes me feel more like an adult that has her shit together by taking a few moments to perfectly puff my pillows and make our bed every morning, no matter how quickly I need to get out the door.
(Plus look how cute our bedroom is! That's, obviously, the image at the top of this blog. It was the last room in the house I decorated and I am still very proud of myself for hanging things up on our walls without any assistance.)
I love coming home to a nicely made bed!
This is one I do not always have time to do in the mornings but let me tell you: it is so amazing! When I was a kid somebody introduced me to the book The Artist’s Way. But…I was a kid, so a lot of it went right over my head. Then probably six years ago I revisited it and I remember enjoying the “morning pages” and “Artist Date” very much. After I left my last partner two years ago I desperately needed to get back to who I was. As the relationship had, as multiple friends told me “taken my light away” and I got lost over the 4 years I was trying to appease an un-appeasable other half. In an attempt to de-program from the emotional abuse of always being yelled at and punished for simply just being, I had to get back to my roots. So, one of the things I did was journal every single morning and every single night. I liked the dumping of information before my day and at the end of my day to help me get out of and into bed. Lots of stuff has happened over those two years, some wonderful and some terrible: and I found that writing in my journal really helped me move through all of those moments. Plus, it is nice to look back and see the things I wrote after some of my first dates with Anthony. So now when I can, I sit and do my “morning pages.” It’s three pages of writing whatever. Literally, whatever! You can sit and write “Uh, I still have a page left…” or just about your schedule for the day, it literally doesn’t matter what you write: you just write!
My days feel significantly more grounded when sit down with my journal: plus, three pages can fly by in less than five minutes! You can do it while you oil pull!
See what I did there? I did a "call back" to one of my earlier morning rituals.
Hope you liked hearing about some of the things that help me kick off my day on the right foot! Feel free to comment below on anything you do in the morning that makes your life brighter: I’m always looking to try new things, and I’m sure other readers would love to hear about it too!! Xo xo!