You speed up by slowing down
I often get asked about my daily rituals and routines so I thought I would share them in the hope some elements may help you too. I am not an expert at all, but at the age of 50 I just want to feel my best, to nurture my natural curiosity to learn and to do a few things to care for myself that just sets me up for my day and helps me create balance.
All it costs is a little pocket of your time, which you more than get back when you notice the sense of calm and the incomparable comfort of feeling more in control of your life. Taking care of yourself is productive, to commit to a daily routine thats yours and makes you feel good so you can head into your day feeling your best.
I am lucky as I naturally wake early, I adore the mornings, it brings a peaceful silence that is my anchor and brings me instant calm, my quiet time to nurture, reflect and re-fuel. January is the perfect time to create space in your life to be more mindful and to set some rituals that make you personally feel good.
We are all given 24 hours a day and how we choose to live them helps shape the quality of our lives.
My morning routine has been heavily influenced by three people, author, purpose coach and former monk, Jay Shetty, expert Chinese Medicine practitioner Katie Brindle (who is featuring on our website very soon!) and Morning Routine Expert Hal Elrod.
Jay Shetty’s book ‘Think Like A Monk’ is one I have read many times, it helped me find my purpose in life and is a book I return to all the time.
When I read Katie Brindles book ‘Yang Sheng, The Art of Chinese Medicine’ a few years ago, it totally captivated me. Yang Sheng, is the self care part of Chinese medicine, Katie talks about the principles and practices with a series of exercises to nurture your body, mind and spirit.
Hal Elrods book ‘The Miracle Morning” which I have followed most mornings for a number of years, until last year when I prioritised the steps every single day, the change in my mindset of my day since has been a huge game changer for me.
Each day is different for me, work is either sourcing trips, site visits, client meetings or desk days and my home life is ever changing with life, family and friends but one thing that remains a constant in my life is my morning ritual. It doesn’t matter what I have on that day, whether I have an hour spare or ten minutes I can make it work for me.
I thought I would map out what I do each morning, it incorporates elements from all 3 experts above, maybe parts can work for you, I hope so…..
Bear and I come downstairs early and whilst she has her breakfast, I drink a glass of warm water and lemon and then make a pot of jasmine and green tea.
I love tea and collect both tea and tea cups from wherever I am in the world, here are a few of my favourites ….
I have a little space in my home that is my safe space, its quiet, cosy and calm. I always open a window to let fresh air in, light palo santo to clear the room and then I light incense.
Here are a few of my favourites ....
I then follow Hal’s Miracle Morning steps - SAVERS.
You can do the steps in any order, I do the below ….
This step I always do first, meditation for me is something I have been practicing for over ten years, its become as normal to me as brushing my teeth. It isn’t always easy at first, but the point of it is simple, it calms the mind allowing it to do what its meant to do, which is to think and it is a time to really focus on your breathing. Breathing is the foundation that our lives are based on, it can completely calm you and bring you back to the present moment.
Stepping into your own space helps restore your mind and sprit. At the beginning of the day it helps by creating clarity of mind and to re-set. At the end of the day it helps you wind down and to finish your day with thankfulness and positivity. Stillness allows you to have access to listen to your inner compass, we all have one but often you need to get really quiet in order to hear it.
Here are a few of my favourite guided mediations and tools:
I personally love the Chopra app and the Daily Calm app (the only time I pick up my phone during my ritual!) its brilliant, I listen to Tamara Levitt, Jay Shetty and Mel Mah every day
Insight Timer is also good
You don’t need any special tools, but I personally love to use my Tibetan sound bowl, mediation balls, wind chimes, mala necklace, Ganesh (I carry one with me at all times) crystals and oils - but not all at the same time!
I adore my wind chimes which I often use at the beginning and end of my sitting and my friend brought me this beautiful candle for my birthday which has three pins in, as it slowly burns the pins drop which helps bring you back to the present.
In my bag at all times I carry a Ganesh, a spirit shaker and a small meditation ball which I often use on the go.
Here are a few of my favourites ….
AFFIRMATIONS & VISUALISATION:
I personally group this together which may not be right but it works for me as affirmations is the only bit that doesn’t feel totally natural to me. I have them written down along with some vision boards to help with my visualisation - mine cover all the areas of my life that I want to focus on.
I adore reading, I went through a stage of not reading for years when my girls were young and now I am making up for it! I tend to have multiple books on the go and dip in and out depending on what I am feeling. If I am super pushed for time, I will listen to a podcast when I am driving instead.
Here are some of my favourite podcasts…
News Briefing - Financial Times
How To Fail - Elizabeth Day
Amanpour - Christiane Amanpour
The Goop Podcast - Gwyneth Paltrow
Ruthies Table 4 - Ruth Rogers
The Art Of Being Well - Dr Will Cole
Oprah Super Soul - Oprah Winfrey
Crisis What Crisis - Andy Coulson
The Daily Mastery - Robin Sharma
Achieve Your Goals - Hal Elrod
Minnie Questions - Minnie Driver
House Guest - Carole Annette
Creative Conversations - Suzy Menkes
More Than One Thing - Athena Calderone
The Style Files - Paloma Contreras
Lipstick on the Rim - Molly Sims
News Agents - Emily Maitlis, Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall
Here are some of my favourite books ....
Think Like A Monk - Jay Shetty
The Miracle Morning - Hal Elrod
Nurture - Carole Bamford
The 5am Club - Robin Sharma
Yang Sheng: The Art of Chinese Self-Healing - Katie Brindle
Thrive - Arianna Huffington
If In Doubt Wash Your Hair - Anya Hindmarch
A Ride Of A Lifetime - Bob Igor
The Artists Way - Julia Cameron
This is something I would like to do more of, as I would love to get into the habit of doing Julia Camerons ‘morning pages’ but at the moment I just write things I am grateful for and my intentions for the day - which can be anything from drinking more water to learning French!
This is usually stretching as I have found my body needs that more at the moment, so I do ten minutes of QiGong, yoga or pilates (very basic, I love them but I am not very good any of them!) or I do a 20 minute Apple Fitness workout.
The last step for me is Yang Sheng, I have been using Katie Brindles Gua Sha tools for the last few years, I use the Jade body comb, beauty restorer, drummer and my very favourite the bamboo body tapper. It is about developing a mindful approach towards ourselves, holistic wellbeing and the ultimate selfcare. This is something I am hugely passionate about and I will be sharing my recent conversation with Katie very soon.
Then I check my phone, where I look at my diary, my emails and make notes of the things I want to get done that day. I then shower, change, walk Bear in our favourite park and then I am ready for my day.
My job is 95% organisation and logistics and I need to be super organised. I have very detailed ‘to do’ lists, I am a creature of habit and have always done them on Word, one for each project I am working on plus a ‘general to do’. They have absolutely every detail related to that project and I constantly update them all throughout my day.
On Sunday evenings or Monday mornings I plan what I want to achieve that week and then each morning, after my routine, I break that down into micro-steps of how I will actually get the ultimate goal done on that day, I do this in a journal and tick off (super satisfying) as I go along.
I am slightly dyslexic so have always been super organised as I find it really helps me to not feel overwhelmed. A lot of time is spent organically growing my company and focusing on marketing, social, digital, finance and most importantly looking after my clients. I find starting my day with such a positive mindset means I have much more productive days.
My routine makes me feel clear headed and ready to tackle whatever my day throws. We all juggle a lot, I am naturally a very calm person, I don’t like stress and I will do anything to avoid it and I find this positive start really helps me stay on track.
It sounds a lot and if you are pressed for time always remember that you don’t have to do all in one go, I habit stack and often do a walking meditation, listen to a podcast in the car instead of reading, visualisation and exercise as I am walking my dog. I am not sure if Hal would approve 🙃 but I am pretty sure he would!
Do you have a rituals? I would love to hear more xo