Updated: Oct 8
Cultivating a morning ritual that opens you up to meet the day with vibrancy, clarity and buoyancy.
Sometimes I get asked what I do to get in the 'flow-state' as a writer, so I thought I'd share it here for anyone else wondering how to up their efficiency, and strangely it begins with a morning ritual that has nothing to do with writing.
Having a morning ritual was something I began as a teenager to align with myself.
A deeper self than the one I yet knew, but sensed beneath the layers, the fears and limitations I'd wrapped myself up in over time.
A peaceful, assured, centered self.
It was here, in the early hours of the morning that I began to set aside time to explore that vast space within that's beyond conceptual understanding, yet so rich, so alive, so real... That space before the mind starts racing into daily tasks and getting lost in thoughts and nonsense. Before thought itself; is where the floodgates of our true potential pour open. And also, I believe by experience, our creativity.
A morning ritual doesn't have to be 'spiritual', or even a practice of self-exploration. It can simply be a way of awakening higher clarity to be more successful at your job, or more present for those around you... But in my experience they go hand in hand; For when you know your true self, your ultimate potential is naturally unlocked. Whether your motivation is success or self-realization, spending time in silence each day will sky-rocket whatever your endeavor.
"Only in silence, truth can be heard." - Quote every Yogi master ever.
Truth can mean Inspiration. Creativity. Energy. Joy. For there's an abundance of all we need available within the true source of our being. It just takes stopping, dropping the worries and tension, and allowing our infinite resources to rise from the stillness and silence beneath it all.
But in the modern world, we have such busy lives, busy minds, that to stop and "be silent" is an almost laughable task. When I started meditating, it seemed impossible to stop attaching to thoughts, and irritating to just sit there with thoughts on loop. So I began following the yogi's way, and using both erratic and flowing movement to drop from my head into my body and shake up any heaviness, then swim it all off in cold, cleansing water before finally being able to sink into a space of calmness.
Movement became a portal into stillness and silence.
My Morning ritual;
5.30am wake up, leap up. Before I have the chance to think, I have a cold shower.
I walk to the paddock or forest at the edge of my property and roll out my yoga mat. The air is always crisp here in the mornings. Invigorating. In winter when it's still dark, I stay inside by an open window with a candle.
I flow through at least a half-hour yoga sequence depending on how much time I have. (I'd advise learning the alignment of each pose from a teacher before starting a home practice. I began going to yoga classes when I was 14 with my dad and spent two intensive years of doing classes every morning + evening when I lived in NSW!)
During the practice I try to keep my attention on my breath, and allow its rhythm to govern the movements. Through softening the mind, I can work through any discomfort without getting overwhelmed and wanting to quit! I've also found it's trained me to become comfortable with uncomfortableness in many areas of my life.
Then I sit in silence and allow the openness within my body to expand. Dive into the unknown and be swept away by the exquisite beauty of stillness.
I often go for a swift beach walk, then swim in the ocean! Through summer, through winter, rain, hail or shine, I rarely sacrifice a morning splash in the cold sea. It awakens every cell and shakes off any negativity. It's one of the most therapeutic things you could do for yourself and I'd recommend to anyone at any time of the day if your starting to feel a little sluggish and want to re-ignite your clarity!
From this space, I'm buzzing like I've had 3 coffee's (Without the shakes or comedown). And I write. It can sustain me for hours of focused, inspired, productive writing. The channels of creativity are wide open and stories flow out with little resistance. Of course there are still blank days... Well actually I just wrote that to avoid sounding arrogant. Honestly, if I start my days like this; it's become very rare to have nothing to write, for it's like I'm plugged into a wider pool of ideas now. The river has broken through to the ocean so to speak.
The short version.
Tea and Journaling or creative writing.
Higher clarity throughout the day, and sky rocketing levels of efficiency and energy that last into the night!
After cultivating the ability to sit in silence for a block of time in the morning, the practice expanded. I got curious;
Is it possible this sense of space and peace could last over the whole day? Without getting trapped in worries, fears, to- do lists? Can I do, while still be?
It hardly seemed possible for no matter how high and light-as-a-feather I felt in the mornings, I'd often feel fatigued and heavy in the afternoon. I'd get caught up in the demands of day-to-day life and struggle to find the balance between maintaining both internal and external presence simultaneously.
But I'd heard there are indeed people claiming that ongoing peace, joy, energy and contentment is a state in which they live. The enlightened ones. More-so; they humbly claim to live in silence. In a deeper awareness that's detached from passing thoughts.
"May your thoughts be clouds simply passing by an endless blue sky, and the sky be the vastness of your true being." - Prem Rohan
I didn't realize how addicted to thinking I was until I heard this, and started examining how often I spent free of thought. Noise was so constant that I thought it was normal, which made sense of why I'd be drained by the days end - thought's have been calculated to use as much energy as running!
And so morning yoga and silence continues to evolve, continues into the day. It's become a way of being rather than a mere sequence of poses and series of moments. And life continues to enrich beyond imagine.
If your have your own morning ritual I'd love to hear about it in the comments below! Or if you're inspired to start playing around with one! You can email me any questions. I love sharing yoga sequence's and adapting them to suit people's level of experience, so if it speaks to you, feel free to get in contact and I'll put something together for you :)
And if your interested in learning more about transcending the mind with someone who's been through the process himself and has dedicated his life to guiding other seekers to freedom, Rohan Heaton is a powerful teacher based in W.A.
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