One of my favourite sections in the Sunday supplement of the newspaper I read, is a little side box where varied people talk about what they do the first thing in the morning. I often gleaned through those little paragraphs. What I read one day, completely changed my mornings forever. I think it was a life-coach who said that the very first thing she did in the morning was read her goals. This is because the subconscious was open to suggestion at that time. Ever since, I have been reading my life goals the first thing in the morning, with a piping hot cup of tea. Over time, I have come to realize that I am more mindful about my goals during the rest of the day. This personal experience with a morning ritual made me want to pick up A Beautiful Morning: How a morning ritual can feed your soul and transform your life by Ashley Ellington Brown.
“We spend much of our lives on autopilot, and can end up with a life we didn’t consciously create,” says Ashley in the book. The book gives suggestions on how to avoid this pitfall. She looks at successful and accomplished women who she admires and interviews them about their morning rituals. Each chapter talks in detail about the morning ritual of one person.
What comes up in this book is an amazing diversity of morning rituals. Some women exercise the first thing in the morning. Some write a journal, meditate, start off the day with art, plan the schedule for the day, enjoy a hot beverage, just relax and be with themselves, look at tarot cards for the message for the day, indulge in some form of self-care, listen to some uplifting music, pray and converse with ancestors, But what all of them have in common is the fact that a morning ritual gives a perfect start to their day and helps them live more mindfully and consciously.
Interestingly what all these women did NOT do was check their phones the first thing in the morning! The varied narratives also draw us to the point that the ritual one chooses to do every morning must have some kind of ‘lifeforce’ in it, for it to be able to help us.
They also discuss why they follow a morning ritual and how it helps them. One may wonder, why morning? I mean, a ritual could be done any time of the day right? The author believes that every morning is a fresh start. It is as if we are pressing the reset button. So, symbolically and practically a morning ritual infuses a fresh energy to what would other be ‘just another day”. There is also a point about mini-rituals throughout the day in one of the stories, and that also resonates well with the idea.
The women in the book talk about their own morning rituals that they have crafted with dedication and experience over the years. The chapters are all in the first person and that’s why it’s nice to hear these women talk in their own voices. It is also great to observe the sheer diversity of rituals. They also talk about why they do what they do every morning.
Handy tips and ideas for a morning ritual
These are just a few takeaways gleaned from the book. Of course, for detailed information it is best to read the entire book and make your own morning ritual!
- You need not have only one morning ritual. No harm in having a menu of things you can choose from every morning!
- Journaling is a very popular morning activity. Write down your thoughts in longhand or fill in an art journal.
- Some other quick ideas of rituals you can do: exercise, meditate, journal, sitting with your thoughts, going for a walk, relishing a cup of tea or coffee mindfully, prioritising the daily schedule, planning the day, going through your goals for life.
- Keep it simple and attainable.
- Start with a small ritual, but be consistent so you can add on to it.
- Whatever ritual you do, ask yourself if there is any lifeforce in it. It should not be a mundane ‘motion’, but rather something that feeds your soul.
- A good ritual works if you sleep well. So, don’t compromise on your sleep!
- The morning is also a time when different levels of consciousness are blended. That makes it an apt time for any kind of transition. It also helps you to access an awareness that you have not seen before.
- Be aware of your morning ritual. if it feels habitual and loses juice, and if it no longer serves you, make the necessary changes.
- Whatever ritual you choose to follow, remember this- “The way we start our day is the way we continue it!”.
Towards the end the author provides more suggestions and tips on crafting a morning ritual. The appendix has some useful resources; forms, trackers and bulleted ideas that serve as handy guides.
A Beautiful Morning: How a morning ritual can feed your soul and transform your life by Ashley Ellington Brown will help you craft your own morning ritual, by taking inspiration from women who have been there…done that! Well, here’s to a good dose of serenity every morning!
If you have enjoyed reading this, you may want to look at https://www.bookedforlife.in/books-and-ideas/the-5-am-club-own-your-mornings-and-elevate-your-life/.
Author: Ashley Ellington Brown
Publisher: Leo Press