As I begin to write this article that I have felt called and compelled to write, I wondered why. For curiosity’s sake, I did a Google search on the same topic and found that 13,200,000 articles covering the same topic were listed, Bing boosted 16,300,000. On a random basis, I read numerous articles on the topic from Forbes Magazine, Psychology Today, Inc.com, HuffPost.com, Today.com, and many more. And there it was, the missing link.
All of the articles focused on “ritual”, but basically substituting “ritual” for the word “habit.” The articles focused on “morning”, but basically as that time when you get out of bed.
The articles list the benefits of “Morning Rituals” as setting the tone for the day, building focus, and eliminating stress. The Morning Rituals span a list of activities from unloading the dishwasher, walking the dog, checking the stock market, meditating, journalling, to working out.
Each of these articles brought value to someone, I am certain of it. But allow me share another side of Morning Rituals that I have come to appreciate, and even more, that I have come to depend upon, need, and absolutely have to have.
Let’s begin with another interpretation of the words Morning and Rituals. Another word for Morning is dawn or daybreak. In Biblical terms, morning signifies a special time for meeting with God; it is a state of being in the light, or of the truth, and of knowledge. Ritual, in its truest sense, relates to a sequence of activities in a sequestered place, in a prescribed order, a solemn ceremony.
And yes, the establishment of a Morning Ritual reduces stress, sets the tone for the day, all that good stuff; but more than that, a Morning Ritual allows you to grow. A Morning Ritual allows you to grow in your relationship with God, it allows you to grow into more of who you are to be. Because it is in the Morning Ritual that you have a Stillness in your mind and heart that is open to listening to God. It is in the Morning Ritual that you simply Breathe in the Present Moment with Grace. It is in the Morning Ritual that you set your Intention for the day.
How do you establish a Morning Ritual? It begins with a Desire that nothing in this material and human world can satisfy. It is a need for Clarity because we are overwhelmed with sounds, emails, texts, to-do’s, meetings, budgets, and demanding responsibilities from an over-complicated life. It is a need for a Shift because you know that something is off and you feel like you are going to tip over one of these days. So, you begin by getting up 20 minutes earlier, before anyone else does and finding that sacred place where you can have the quiet time. Or maybe you get up an hour earlier and you go to the gym for 30 minutes and then you take another 20 minutes for the quiet time. But you begin to find a ritual that allows you to clear your mind and let God speak to you.
What is my routine? Are you ready? I get up at 4:00 am and go to the gym for an hour. While I exercise, I listen to an Audible book. I come home, make a cup of coffee, go to my sacred place and meditate for 20 to 30 minutes. Then I read a book for 15 minutes that challenges me to grow from my heart; right now, I am studying the Course in Miracles. I journal for 10 minutes. I read my devotions for 10 minutes. And then I ask what it is I can do today for the Greater Good, as I pray. I am at work by 8:00 am.
This works for me because I don’t have children and my commute is 10 minutes. And yes, most nights, I am in bed by 10:00 pm. But I share this with you to show you what it has grown to become, a true Ritual. I honor this time. It is through this Morning Ritual that I have personally grown the most. I have listened and learned to surrender my will and trust His. I have more Peace in my life now, so much so that people often comment that something is different with me.
Developing a Morning Ritual, such as this, is a process. But it does not take a life-time, it only takes discipline and an open heart. Truly, if I can do this, you can, as well.