Have you ever noticed that if you start your morning centered, with clear intentions, your entire day flows better? Your morning routine sets the tone for your day and your day sets the tone for your life. Think about how much better it would be to flow through each day in a way that’s balanced and harmonious rather than falling prey to the old cliche: “well someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.”
The good news is that the morning routine I suggest doesn’t have to be a burden. Just six minutes every morning yields a payoff that can literally change your entire life. Here’s how it works:
The Six Minute Morning Routine
As soon as you wake, do what you’ve got to do in the bathroom, and then immediately sit on your meditation cushion or blanket with your smartphone (ensuring it’s in airplane mode… key maneuver!) or a timer set to 6 minutes. There are apps that will sound a meditation bell or a chime when the time is up. One of my favorites is the Enso app. Enso also stores your progress day-by-day, so you can track how many minutes you’ve meditated over time.
Many of us are plugged into our mobile devices and computers all day. Meditating assists in focusing the mind to the quiet of spirit, unleashing the floodgates of insight and potential.
It has only been during my meditation practice that creative ideas flow in abundance. It’s almost as if the ideas are saying, “Where have you been all day on that smartphone? We have been waiting to come in, but your door was locked!” (Thank you Elizabeth Gilbert for so skillfully articulating this phenomenon for us).
Optional Add-Ons to six minutes:
The below are three little activities I like to add on to the above meditation. Sometimes I will add on just one, sometimes all three. Do these when you want to be in command of the direction of your life, if you are on a major mission to achieve a goal, or if you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure in your day-to-day.
Meditate and Journal
In a special journal, write down your recent accomplishments, big and small. This can include simple things like cooking healthy food and being kind to others, or big things like landing a new job or being interviewed by Oprah. We often dwell on our failures, while forgetting to celebrate our wins, which creates this false illusion that our life is not going as well as we had hoped. The process of recognizing and writing our accomplishments down reminds us of the good we are already doing and helps to keep us on an upswing.
Meditate and Get Grateful
Write down five things you are grateful for in a journal or use another of my favorites apps, the Gratitude App, to record what and whom you appreciate. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know how effective it is to have a gratitude practice to keep you positive and plugged into the spirit of abundance. The morning is the perfect time to jot down these thoughts.
Meditate and Visualize
Invest 3-5 minutes visualizing the specific goals and dreams you are working to manifest. See yourself enjoying the process of accomplishing each goal. Imagine that your goal has already been realized, and feel the emotions you’ll be experiencing at that time. Visualize the specifics – who’s with you, where are you, what are you doing? The nice thing about visualization is that if you’ve only got 6 minutes to dedicate to your morning ritual – but if you’re hell bent on achieving these goals – you can combine the visualization piece with your 6-minute meditation. However if you can, it’s ideal to give more time to each individually rather than lumping them together.
For an idea of how these add-ons work, this class on YogaGlo touches on these elements.
Take Action Now
I know you’ve read blogs like this before and it seems all well and good, but then you close your browser and go back to the daily grind. So here’s how you can take action right now to get these 6 minutes on your radar.
Make yourself a note or add a task to your to-do list right now to do the following:
- Before you go to bed tonight set up the space where you’d like to meditate. It could be right by your bedside, in the corner of your bedroom, or in a separate room all together.
- Put down something soft to sit on.
- If possible, place a small table or box low to the ground where you can display items that are sacred to you such as crystals, items you’ve found in nature, candles, flowers, photos of ancestors & loved ones, quotes, etc. Place any objects in this space that remind you of your purpose or the people and places you love. Store your pen and journals here. When you wake in the morning, this little slice of heaven will be waiting for you.
Remember, It’s Only Six Minutes.
Add the other three rituals in if they are fun and interesting for you and seem to be changing your outlook during the day. And do it because you enjoy the ritual, not ever because you “should” be doing more to better yourself. Start small and savor the stillness.
You’ve got this. Happy Lunar New Year!