I am not a morning person. Let me rephrase that: I am not a getting out of bed person. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who pops out of bed in the morning and starts the day with a smile. Instead, I drag myself out of bed after hitting the snooze button twice and then stumble into my office to yawn into the work day.
While working through The Artist’s Way I surprised myself by managing to roll out of bed twenty minutes early each day to complete my morning pages (three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing). I have a lot of gunky thoughts that stick in my brain and the morning pages were a great way to clear them all out and give me a clean slate for the day. Aside from the getting out of bed thing, I was sold on morning pages. I told myself I’d keep doing them forever.
I didn’t keep doing them forever.
I’m back in the routine of begrudgingly dragging myself out of bed at the last possible minute. As I sleepily start sifting through work emails, I have a cup of coffee and watch The Daily Show. That’s my new morning ritual! Once the show ends and I have enough caffeine in my bloodstream to function, I barrel into the rest of my work day.
Now don’t get me wrong, I dig my current ritual and I don’t plan on abandoning it. I often joke to my husband that I would never be able to get my butt out of bed if Jon Stewart didn’t exist. But there’s something lacking. It’s a noisy way to start the day. It’s starting the day by pumping my body full of caffeine and my mind full of ideas from the outside world. This ritual needs some augmenting.
And so today, once again, I awoke and wrote my morning pages. I still find them useful, but I am now feeling there could be another ritual for me. I’ve noticed that the actions and emotions of my mornings usually correlate with how the rest of the day pans out. When I complete morning pages or another type of quiet contemplation, the day seems easier. I’m happier, my brain works better, I’m more productive. Maybe a morning ritual sends a message to my subconscious. It sets the tone for the day.
For now I’m going to get back in the gear of morning pages, but I’m open to exploring other morning rituals. I’ve come across a few suggestions. Prayer, meditation, deep breathing, stretching. Looking at this list makes me groan. I’d like to be a person who gets up and does something spiritual but that’s not quite my style. I still have a healthy does of cynicism even though I try to be open minded. But hey, maybe I can try some of those options. As long as I can still indulge in the Daily Show when they are complete!
Do you have a morning ritual you’d like to share?