Sunday, September 15, 2013

a morning routine

Rising sun through the window,
wild dogs barking outside on the dusty gravel.

A cup of warm chai tea,
made with milk delivered yesterday on a bicycle.

A lemongrass beeswax candle,
with the sweet burnt smell of a wooden match.

Finding stillness in an open book --
In the day, before it begins.
- Morning in India, KARMOMO

Right when we wake up, it often seems that the world rushes at us with all its demands: emails to read, activities to schedule, meals to prepare, work to finish, things to plan and worry about...

Finding a tranquil moment in the morning is not always intuitive, but it sets the tone for the rest of our day. If we jump out of the bed and straight into the mayhem, we will likely feel frazzled all day. But if we spent five minutes -- even one! -- to create a place of stillness, we could maybe carry that peace with us throughout the day, an inner garden tucked away from chaos and stress.

But how to find that place of stillness?

I've found that tea, music, reading, journaling, walking, stretching, deep breathing, a slow breakfast, even some cleaning, can be helpful. Though it is almost not so much important what one's morning habits consist of, but rather that:

    (1) they are enacted with a certain intentional mindset -- research has found that people engaging in the same activity (even bed-making or toilet-cleaning) can reap different benefits from it depending on how they view that activity, and

    (2) that they are practiced every day -- routines create a sense of predictability and calm, and over time (if thoughtfully crafted) become in themselves a source of anticipation and joy.

What are the components of your ideal morning routine, and what do you enjoy about them?
Thanks to Besotted's Inspiration Rx for its theme of Tranquility!


  1. like! I agree that taking those few extra minutes in the morning to "be still" helps me to ground myself before the hustle and bustle begins.*

    1. yay, glad to hear you've experienced this too !

      i used to think "being still" would take too much time out of a busy day -- but it is actually so helpful FOR a busy day (and really only takes a few minutes) ...

  2. So with you on this!! I'm usually a 'hit the snooze button until I'm almost about to be late for work' type girl, but on those rare days I allow myself more time it 100% helps set the tone for the day and it's so much more calmer.

    After reading this, I'm going to practice setting myself a routine, giving myself 15 minutes to just be, each morning, instead of rushing around getting my stress on!

    1. oh yes, definitely have my fair share of "snooze" & dashing madly out of the house ... those days convince me of why it's so important to do otherwise (i.e., carve out time for stillness).

      let me know how your practice goes, ruth, and what you end up enjoying in your routine ! it always starts with just one morning ;-)

  3. Lovely image and poem K... my morning routine is a bit chaotic with two young boys heading to school, but before the marathon of the day begins, I try to "set" my mind in the right direction - toward tranquility. I love the idea of creating more predictable routines throughout the day to help prolong the calm :)

    1. thanks catherine ! i imagine this looks different from person to person, esp. for busy/active moms ... would eventually love to hear how you manage to move towards tranquility within that kind of schedule (& kudos to you for wanting & trying to do that at all !)