When thinking about mindfulness practices and maintaining a commitment to practice meditation I believe having a morning ritual is a great place to start. Rituals are an important part of the human experience and bring calm and healing just in themselves. I personally start my day with the following:
1. Check in with my heart.
I feed the animals, all the animals. Birds, squirrels, my beloved dog, and of course the crows (more on the crows later). This ritual opens my heart to the new day.
2. Light a candle.
This starts to set the intention that I am going to sit on my cushion to meditate today. It also soothes my senses, which encourages my body to sit. You could also use a diffuser with oils, incense, sage, whatever you prefer.
3. Grab my meditation shawl.
Now I live in the Northwest where in the mornings it’s a little chilly so this works for me. When I am vacationing in warmer weather I will use a sarong. Regardless of conditions grab something that says to your brain. “Hey time to meditate”
4. Coffee, tea, or water with lemon.
I’m not going to drink the whole cup, the last thing I want is a meditation practice of feeling into my urge to pee. Just a few sips to wake up my senses. I want to be alert so I can have wise attention to my practice.
5. Insight timer
If you don’t know about the Insight timer app, check it out. It’s a great way to start and there are plenty of guided meditations on the app as well if you are just starting out. There is a timer that will ring a lovely bell for you when your time is up. It also connects you with people all over the world meditating with you at that time. I love seeing all the red dots on the maps and knowing I am connected.