Until recently, I never watched the news in the morning. But lately, with all the unprecedented events unfolding around the world, I’ve found myself turning on the television within an hour of waking up.
Yesterday, I was so eager for an update that I jumped out of bed and skipped my regular morning routine to turn on the TV. As I listened to the latest drama, I noticed changes in my body. I felt a rush of adrenaline. My heart began beating faster. I became fully alert, even a little bit excited.
I felt uncomfortable in my body.
I turned off the TV and switched to the routine of meditation and self-Reiki that I have been starting my day with for decades.
Here is the most interesting thing: my experience of this reliable and grounding routine was completely different from usual that morning. My mind raced. I felt tense. It took me longer to relax, and I could not relax as deeply as I normally do.
It was an important reminder to me that the first thing we do when we wake up is crucial to setting the tone for the rest of the day—whether we realize it or not.
What is the first thing you do each day?
“I think about the millions of things I have to do.”
“I complain about how tired I am before the day even begins.”
“I tell myself to stay in bed even if I’m late.”
“I read the news.”
“I check my emails.”
“I mindlessly scroll through Facebook.”
Why is it important to pay attention to the first hour of your morning?
Start your day how you want to live your day.
One of the foundational principles I live by and share with the women I work with is the importance of developing a morning routine that helps you kick things off with a positive state of mind and a grounded feeling you can carry with you into your day.
I learned this practice from Louise Hay, a motivational author and the founder of Hay House, who recently passed at age 90. Louise was one of the most inspiring women I’ve ever known. In her book, You Can Create an Exceptional Life, she emphasized how crucial the first hour of the morning is. How you spend that first hour will determine how you experience the rest of your day. In the book, Louise describes her morning routine and offers affirmations such as, “Good morning, bed, thank you for being so comfortable. I love you,” and “All is well. I have time for everything I need to do today.”
Don’t get me wrong. I know not everyone realistically has a whole hour for herself in the morning. Maybe you’re a mom who doesn’t even have time to breathe until your kids have completed their own morning routines. Maybe your work day starts really early. Make it fifteen minutes instead. Wake up earlier. Go to bed earlier so you still get enough hours of sleep. Make whatever adjustments you need, but become intentional about the first thing you do in the morning.
Becoming intentional is the name of the game.
The key is to become aware of your auto-pilot habits and make a choice about the first thing you do in the morning.
You can scroll mindlessly through Facebook or you can do some inspirational reading. You can listen to depressing/horrifying/scary stories about the world or you can meditate.
My suggestion? Avoid the news and start your day with an inner light connection, especially if you are an empath or a highly sensitive person. (My Empath Quiz will tell you if you are a strong, moderate, or light empath—or if you’re not an empath at all.) Regardless, the news can wait until you feel centered, connected, and at peace. When we allow ourselves to find that calm state, we can choose to respond rather than react to difficult situations—with faith, optimism, and trust instead of fear, worry, and hopelessness.
What would you choose to do first thing in the morning if there were no limitations? Ideally, it would be something on this list:
- Say gratitude
- Read devotions or inspirations
- Chant positive affirmations
- Mindfully drink a cup of tea
- Practice yoga
- Treat yourself with Reiki
What’s the deal with stretching?
A few years ago, I wrote about building confidence through body posture after watching a TED Talk by social psychologist Amy Cuddy. Mornings can be difficult, but, according to Cuddy, stretching makes them better.
“It’s obviously bi-directional,” she said. (In other words, the action might genuinely follow a good feeling, and vice versa.) “But the people who wake up like this?” (here, Cuddy throws her arms up in a V) “are super happy, like annoyingly happy.” She goes on to say that preliminary evidence suggests people who sleep in a fetal ball wake up more stressed out.
How about experimenting with stretching first thing in the morning? Before you even put one foot on the floor, stretch your body out as widely as possible.
A word about treating yourself with Reiki first thing in the morning
The minute I wake up each day, before I even get out of bed, I give Reiki to myself while expressing gratitude. Here is what it looks like: I start transitioning from being asleep to being awake. My eyes are not fully open. I bring my hands to my face, cover my eyes and forehead, and pure universal energy starts to flow naturally. My hands get warm. It feels like covering my face with a cozy blanket of love and protection. For the next few minutes, I move my hands gently around my face, throat, heart, mid-body, and lower body.
Treating myself with Reiki charges my body with the energy it needs to function well and support me throughout the day. The Reiki helps me clear any emotions or energy that I am hanging onto from the previous day. On a spiritual level, I feel connected and supported by a power greater than myself.
There is one catch—tapping into the universal life force in this way requires two things:
- Learning how to give Reiki to yourself
- Undergoing an attunement ritual
Once you have taken a Reiki class, you can start to align yourself with the universal energy.
Let’s make it practical…
- Make a list of the things you do during the first hour of your day.
- Evaluate how satisfied you are with your list.
- Challenge yourself to become more intentional in the morning and choose one option from the ideas I shared.
- Consider taking a Reiki Class with me and learning to give Reiki to yourself. You can take the class from anywhere in the world. I’m an expert in creating an interactive, meaningful experience, even when we are interacting through a screen!
Waking up in the morning might be a struggle, but taking responsibility for how you start your day could vastly improve not only your morning but the rest of your day as well.
What questions do you have, beacon? I’d love to answer them in the comments area.