I woke up this morning and decided to alter my standard wakeup routine. Typically, I’m guilty of reaching for my Smartphone within arm’s reach of my bed, I will check breaking overnight news and social media before my bare feet hit the floor. I will grab the television remote to switch on my preferred morning news program while heading to the front door to pick up the daily paper waiting outside. As soon as I rise and before filling my belly, I’ll stuff my head with noise and begin a long march of multi-tasking all day long. Today, I decided, was going to be different.
Could I spend the first fifteen minutes of my day differently, I wondered, and throw opposing intentions into the universe to clear my day for take-off? What could I do to get grounded and energize myself before my morning Joe?
This in mind, I glanced at the clock sitting on my night table and committed to ease into this day (or at least the first fifteen minutes of it) more mindfully. It was in that spirit that I began to slow things down. After sipping the glass of water sitting on my nightstand, I had a moment of gratitude for my ability to break with routine. Then instead of my cell phone, I reached for a bottle at the edge of my headboard — tangerine essential oil. As the scent of citrus, especially upon rising, is widely known to be invigorating, I inhaled the open bottle like my life depended on it. I noticed the bottle said the word ‘Cheering’ on it — indeed.
Next, I stepped into a pair of specially constructed slippers hiding in the back of my closet that slid between my tired toes. They made my sleepy feet so happy. Then, while sitting on the edge of my bed with my feet firmly planted in the moment, I made a quick, conscious decision to limit my thoughts strictly to my present activities. No list-making, no worrying about imperatives of the day — just being for the duration of this alternative rise-and-shine routine. And so in doing so I took a few moments to stare out of my bedroom window. This luxury is usually reserved for weekends. Staring into the trees, duck pond and golf course beyond my window, it all seemed routine. But as I allowed a couple peaceful moments to pass to really take in what was in front of me, I noticed that the tree right before my eyes was bursting with buds. I had not noticed that this weekend and had looked out this window more than once. In the stillness of this experiment I had already sharpened my view.
Other activities this morning included ringing a favorite set of chimes. The sound was so pure and enlightening. I placed a heaping spoonful of extra virgin coconut oil in my mouth to get in some oil pulling*, refreshed my face with a rosewater mist and my lips with a calming lip balm boasting eight organic oils. Up next was dry brushing**.
Off to the kitchen I went to heat some filtered water and add the juice of a small freshly-squeezed lemon to get the digestive juices flowing. Before I knew it time was up. I now felt unhurried, calmer, refreshed, invigorated and ready to seize the day.
What this made me realize is that we can either create our own chaos when we awaken or we can opt to stop, smell the flowers and build an arsenal of good vibrations to jumpstart our day. Those first minutes of activity or inactivity are crucial.
Turns out I didn’t miss a thing on my phone that wouldn’t be there after taking time to recharge my personal battery. Quiet time really is the best part of waking up. The world meets us very differently in that stillness. And if we are lucky, it seeps into our day.
*oil-pulling: an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for around 20 minutes to draw out toxins and improve overall health.
*dry brushing: one of the simplest and most natural ways to exfoliate the skin, unclog pores and excrete toxins using a bristle brush.
Originally published at medium.com