Updated: Nov 1
As far back as anyone can recall, Rituals have been an important part of human culture, providing meaning, structure, connection and continuity to the participants.
Many anthropologists propose that modern society lacks clearly defined, supportive rituals. I argue that modern humans have instead created their own rituals, such as cultural work norms and hazing rituals, to name a couple.
While some of these rituals can feel supportive, others can be harmful and damaging: Hazing rituals can lead to extreme fasting, binge drinking and loss of life. Work rituals can indoctrinate individuals into a culture of crunch, overworking and stress.
Due to the lack of intentional, healthy rituals in the modern day, I have found one of the easiest, most supportive rituals a person can do: A Morning Ritual.
To put it simply, it is a structured and healthy way to start your morning. It can become a way to prepare yourself mentally, physically and emotionally for the day. It can be a way to connect with yourself, with the natural world, with your community and with your partner. It can be a way to set intentions and goals for the day.
The possibilities are endless!
While there is no limit to what a morning ritual can look like, there are several factors that I suggest you adhere to:
Make it repeatable. Take into account if you travel often, are nomadic or spend nights at a different house. Make sure you can do some semblance of your ritual regardless of where you are.
Make it consistent. Some do the same ritual each day, others do something different each day of the week or each day of the month. Others still prefer a more fluid approach. Regardless of the structure, make sure you are following roughly the same consistent structure to build it into a habit.
Be intentional! Laying in bed scrolling through social media is not a morning ritual.
Create balance. Make sure that you have equal amounts of “inward” and “outward” components to your ritual. For example, meditation AND exercise.
Make it a priority. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
Below is my own Morning Ritual. Feel free to use, experiment, dissect and combine, in order to create your own!
And please share your own ritual in the comments below!
Integrated Impact Morning Ritual
First thing upon waking is to scrape your tongue: This gets rid of all the toxins and bacteria that have built up overnight.
Take a big drink of water!
Go outside to greet the day: I do a series of 5 sun salutations, drawing up earth energy throughout my entire body and sending it back into the earth. Make sure to get a good backbend in! If you can, be barefoot on the earth!
Do something cold: if going outside is cold, then great! Try to be naked or in your underwear. If you live somewhere warm, splash some cold water onto your body. This increases your circulation and triggers a neurological response, both of which are good for you in a variety of ways! (UNLESS YOU SUFFER FROM A HEART CONDITION! Please do your research.)
Body scan: close your eyes and check in with your body, starting from your feet and moving up to the crown of your head. Notice and feel every sensation.
Meditate for 10 mins: I do a basic Shamatha Meditation. I recommend doing something that grounds and calms you.
Draw a card: I prefer Tarot cards, but you can use whatever you wish. If you don’t have any deck, I highly recommend The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck.
Tend to your bodily needs: Use the bathroom, brush your teeth, shower. Whatever you need to feel comfortable in your body.
Visualization meditation: I do 10-30 minutes of visualization, calling in health, abundance, connection and whatever else I want to create in my world. If you need some help with a visualization, below is a step by step guide. Or you can check out this or this.
Sit somewhere quiet and comfortable. Close your eyes, tune out the world around you and tune out your own bodily sensations. Settle into a deeply relaxed state.
Start painting images and feelings in your mind's eye of what you want to experience. How would it feel in your body right now to have what you are desiring? What kind of impact would it have in your life? What would change and be different? Focus on the feelings and experiences (freedom, love, prosperity, etc)
Open your eyes and release all expectations and desire to have what you want. You are happy NOW, not when you get what you want. If you focus on the desire of not having what you want, you will create more desire, by not getting what you want.
Workout: Spend 45-90 mins exercising your body. Checkout my friend Buddha Building for mindfulness based workouts.