How can you make sure that you squeeze every drop of goodness out of this day?
The simple answer might surprise you: start with an energising, purposeful and meaningful morning routine. The value of a morning routine is that it allows you to start the morning with intention, rather than allowing the day to run its course. It enables you to fully live each moment, savour each experience
An effective morning routine consists of 5 steps. Some of these you can do while still lying in bed, but I suggest that you get out there and do all of them outside, surrounded by nature. If you are currently on retreat here, there are various places you can sit quietly outside, around the house, and further afield there are vineyards, woods, meadows and lakes to make your morning routine especially powerful and productive.
This routine will empower you to be present and connect with yourself and the world around you. It is best to go about your morning routine in silence so that you can connect to a place of rest deep within yourself, away from the noise of the world.
Start your morning routine with a quick review of the day before, using G.L.A.D. Name one thing that you were Grateful for, one thing you Learned, one thing you Accomplished and one thing that Delighted you yesterday.
Start by breathing in the new day, with all its possibilities and opportunities. Breathe in deeply through your nose as you count to 5. Hold your breath for 5 counts. Breathe out completely through your nose as you count to 5. Hold your breath for 5 counts. Take your time with each cycle and repeat 10 times.
2. Be Grateful and Generous
Think of 5 people that you are grateful to have in your life. Note their names in your journal, in a notebook or on your phone. Take a moment to think why you are grateful to know them: what have they done for you? Or is it because of specific character traits that you appreciate them? Or are they role models? Choose one of these people today and send them a short text, WhatsApp or email to thank them for something specifically.
3. Be Mindful
Do the 5 Senses Mindfulness Exercise in Nature. When you do this exercise, during your retreat, you need to be outside. Our senses are our window to the world. Notice 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and one thing you can taste. Spending time in nature not only makes you feel better mentally, it also contributes to your physical well-being reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
Go for a short, invigorating walk. Bring your attention to the present moment, become aware of your surroundings and how your body and mind feel while moving. Stop along the way to explore, or take in a magnificent view, and bring your camera with you so that you can take pictures as souvenirs.
5. Set An Intention
Pick up your favourite morning drink: tea/coffee/water. Find a peaceful spot to sit and think about your day. What do you want to pay attention to today? Set an intention. “Today, I am going to eat mindfully,” or “Today, I am going to do something for someone else.”
Remember, there is no one mourning routine that fits all practitioners. Make time to create a morning routine that is meaningful, empowering and enriching to YOU.
“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.” -Mark Twain
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