I used to study very successful people - I was curious about their lifestyle, habits, beliefs, and routines. I wanted to know how they remained focused, stayed productive and gave the world their "all".
The similarities amongst most were very consistent; waking up early, working out, and creating a to-do list that was a mile high.
I never asked or sought to find out if any of these MOGULS were happy.
Did they create a day that was centered around joy, or did they just create a day that set them up to perform?
I am not sure how it really worked for them but I have a confession to make about how it worked for me.
I followed what the 'successful' did, and it left me burned out, yearning for meaning and "working" for the wrong reasons.
BUT, over time, when I learned to approach my life from a place that sought happiness, fulfillment, pleasure and joy FIRST - I set myself free from success and discovered flow.
Today, I no longer ask myself how to become more productive or perform at a higher level, because I now know that if I am in flow - what is meant for me will not pass me and 'success' then becomes an effortless byproduct of the magic that I am allowing to flow into my life.
Flow - the act of moving along a continuous stream.
During my reframe of "success", I asked myself:
What if my business could just flow?
What if my relationships felt in flow?
What if my state of being and my contribution to the world fostered flow?
Ahhh....what pleasure, joy and "productivity" addressing these questions brought to my life.
So today lovely, I am sharing some of my secrets with you.
To ignite each day with alignment and flow, I have learned that it is best that my morning embodies these 6 rituals.
These are not "must have's" but they have helped me. I invite you to consider them and share what has been helpful for you too. =)
To a week of alignment, joy, pleasure and flow - here are my 6!
1. Wake Up Early
The saying “the early bird gets the worm” certainly rings true for the entrepreneurial self-employed go-getters that we are. In fact, many articles claim that the most successful people wake up between the hours of 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. Being up this early helps to ensure that you get the time to focus on you and do things that help you get off on the right foot for the day.
I used to beat myself up a lot about oversleeping. Getting up early used to be a chore that I desperately wanted to offload to someone else. That was until I found work that I loved and people who I loved to be around.
Then [magically] I couldnt WAIT to WAKE up.
So if you struggle here, you might want to consider examining if the work that you engage in or the people that you are around make you want to jump out of bed in the morning.
Change that and everything changes. (I promise) =)
2. Show Gratitude
Before you get to the fridge, take a few moments to experience positivity and set the tone for the day. If you are a prayer warrior, this a great time to demonstrate your thankfulness for another opportunity to wake up healthy and face the world. Gratitude journals have also been instrumental in lifting spirits.
Before you step out of bed, take five minutes and write down five things you are thankful for. The effects of filling your mind with happy emotions before other realities start to creep in are astonishing.
I like to sometimes walk out in nature and just appreciate God's wonders, or sit in a silent meditative practice in a sunny room.
Gratitude doesn't have to be writing an arduous list of "what you are thankful for today" but living in a spirit of gratitude will change how you show up in all of your relationships (not just in business).
3. Drink Water
Any medical doctor will tell you that most of the ailments that otherwise healthy people suffer from on a daily basis are a result of not getting enough water. Fitness gurus call this morning ritual an internal bath and recommend drinking at least 1 pint first thing upon rising. Some people spice it up with lemon and cayenne pepper for a cleansing effect, whilst the non-plain water drinkers prefer a tea. Either way, getting pure water into your system will help you feel more energized and enable you to fight the dehydration from the night before.
I like to add some lemon in mine to get rid of any morning bloat or toxins hanging around from the night before, and if you like to get fancy, strawberries and cucumbers can also make an interesting cooling morning drink.
4. Get Moving
This is nothing new, movement in the morning gets your endorphins going and wakes your body up.
Your preferential workout should be something you enjoy and helps you get the results you seek to acquire from physical fitness.
If just moving is a priority, you may want to go for a daily morning walk; alternatively, if mind-body is your thing, yoga and soul cycle are perfect.
I like to reward myself by listening to my favorite podcast while on the treadmill or catching a Masala Bhangra class on a Friday afternoon. When I create a positive association with my "workout" I see results, and honestly, I LOVE seeing my body transform.
5. Skip the Pancakes
There is more and more research arising that details the impact of carbs, specifically grains, on our blood sugar throughout the day. Thousands of people experience this when they get the midday “crash” and suddenly feel extremely tired around 2 p.m., after the coffee and doughnut effects have worn off. So instead of the bacon, egg and cheese on a kaiser roll, try a healthy green smoothie!
Here is a favorite of mine that gives me a ton of sustained energy:
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup frozen mangos
1 tbsp. goji berries
1 tbsp. “Green Vibrance”
Or, if you like something hot, here is a substitute for your coffee, “blender style”:
1/2 cup warm almond milk + 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp. raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tbsp. agave syrup
3 dashes cinnamon
1 pinch each of cayenne + sea salt
Either way, make breakfast enjoyable, do what feels good, and make it pleasurable for your taste buds.
6. Make a beautiful list of inspired actions that you desire to take to move closer to your goals.
Here is the fun part. Now that your head is clear, your heart is open and your body feels good - creativity and intuition begins to take the lead.
Ask your heart:
"What do I need to do today to support my desires?"
"How can I best live out my calling in this moment?
"What am I not doing that I feel led to complete?"
These areas will support you in joyfully moving towards your highest vision instead of feeling a "hustle" for success.
It all starts in the morning -
What do you do to start your day off right? Share with us...and remember
...Make it beautiful - beautiful!