Over the past several years, I've adapted a wonderful ritual that has become a beautiful rhythm to my morning.
My morning tea.
Most often, I find myself sitting for tea for 20 minutes after I send the kids off to school, but on weekends, like in the photo below, I enjoy it with a gorgeous plate of sauteed greens and eggs. My husband is the breakfast chef in our home and makes these insanely delicious creations.
Over the years, my morning ritual has taught me some wonderful lessons. The most vital reminder: there is beauty in slowing down. In this hurried, fast-paced world, I have found it essential for my health, my mind, my soul, my family and my business to find rhythms that intentionally slow me down and reconnect me to my core values and desired feelings that I want to embody in my life.
I specifically remember a time a few years ago sitting at the dining table and looking at the wall arched over the family room. My husband had been out of town in Chicago at a conference and the boys and I were super excited for him to come home. We made a collage of drawings that they cut out to symbolize a map of his drive home from Chicago back to our lakeshore town in Michigan. The map included Chicago construction (of course...because that's what they remember anytime we travel there!) driving around Lake Michigan and up to our hometown. It was the month of May and there were actual tulips from our garden taped up there.
A few days later, as I sat and sipped my tea, looking at this silly and fun creation on the wall, I was reminded of the necessity of SLOW. Why? Because without my morning ritual, I would've into my list of to do's and would have missed the opportunity to really sit and study this work of art by my kids. I remember being filled with so much JOY for my children, their creativity, their amazing attention to details in their drawings, and I felt like I learned more about them and had a deeper love for their cute little creative brains and also for our memory together doing this project. This drawing is one of many I have been able to relish simply because I take moments each morning to sip my tea.
In these moments, I am reminded to reconnect to what I value in life instead of running off and being pulled away into hurry.
Other ways that this ritual feeds my soul is that I breathe. Slowly. Intentionally. If you stop for a moment and pay attention to your breathing right now, how is it? Stop at any random point in the day: waiting in a grocery line, driving your car, bringing kids to school, working at a computer, eating your food, and check in with your breathing. Many of my clients notice this essential practice is non existent. When we are stressed, we tend to breathe shallow, quick breaths, as many as 16-20 short breaths per minute.
However, when we are relaxed, we breathe deeper and slower breaths (as little as 4-8 breaths per minute), and we create more capacity to take in oxygen, the life-force for our bodies and minds. Breathing is essential to your body in so many ways, including detoxification, combatting your stress, supporting weight loss and soaring energy, and repairing the damage stress plays in your body.
My morning ritual is also centering. My mind can run in a dozen different directions at once. Can you relate? Most often, especially the women I support who are trying to lose weight, often make decisions with their logical minds (think: I should do this or do that, eat this or not eat that, this will make me fat, this will help me lose weight). We play games in our minds with food and lifestyle choices and make robotic-like decisions. When it comes down to it, when we make decisions like this, they don't work for you because they don't align with your heart's deepest desire for yourself.
What if instead, like my clients, you begin to reconnect your mind with your body and start inviting the body into the conversation. You'll see the conversation change completely:
- What am I hungry for? (vs. what should I eat to lose weight?)
- How would I like to nourish myself today? (vs. what do I have to get done today?)
- How do I want move my body in a way that feels good? (vs. what burns the most calories?)
- How can I honor my body's need for more rest and downtime? (vs. I'm tired but I don't have time to slow down. I'll just drink some coffee and push through.)
- How can I honor my body's craving for certain things? (vs. I shouldn't eat that. I'm supposed to move my body this way. I don't have time to relax.)
- What will energize me today? (vs. I am pulled in so many directions, and I am exhausted.)
- How can I enjoy what needs to get done? (vs. I hate doing laundry. I am too busy to cook. Grocery shopping is a hassle.)
It's a powerful connection to bring both body and mind back together.
My morning ritual connects mind and body and gives me space to ask these questions.
My morning ritual is also a wonderful way for me to reconnect with something bigger than me. People will come to mind that need prayer or that need a call to remind them that are loved. Maybe it's a date on the calendar to have someone for dinner or to bring them a meal. I love what surfaces for me during this time to reconnect with others.
Can you see that this ritual so much more than a mug of warm delicious tea? It slows me down and invites more joy, calm, gratitude and intention.
Our Nourish to Flourish Invitation:
What is one simple ritual you can implement each day to slow down and reconnect with yourself and what's most important to you?
Share with us! Email us or tag us on Instagram and Facebook and let us know what ritual you've chosen for yourself.
Ending on a fun note: let me share my favorite teas. My favorite brand is definitely the Numi brand of tea. Most mornings I enjoy a cup of Jasmine Green with a touch of raw honey. I also love their Gunpowder Green. It's a very smooth yet earthy green tea. My other favorites include the Numi Ruby Rooibos Chai, Chocolate Pu erh and my newest favorite is the Tumeric Amber Sun which we'll be sending as a sample tea bag to our cleanse participants in January. There are other great brands, but in case you didn't pick it up yet, Numi is my fave. :) It's really the only brand I buy right now, it's just that good. Organic. Fair Trade. All REAL ingredients.