Rituals Need not be Exhausting

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Rituals Need not be Exhausting

If someone asks you what is the best time of your day, what would your reply be? 

Our generation’s mornings are like candy floss; they melt away as soon as they begin. The annoying shrill of alarm, the rush of getting ready for work, preparing breakfast, the keys, phone, wallet and bag, make you stare at another long day that lies ahead of you. 

My grandfather passed me one wisdom that I always follow. Wake up and stretch in your sleeping position as if embracing the universe. Sit straight, and take a deep power breath, as if exhaling all the negative energies out from your body. Rub your palms against each other and press them on your eyes. When you do this, the warmth generated by the friction activates your third eye (Ajna Chakra), which represents intuitions and a direction in life. 

In this highly competitive world, everybody is busy being busy. You do not need to take time to have special mornings; all you need is to be mindful of your mornings and see the change.

  1. Slide your curtains & soak in the brightness.

Let the sunlight flow in and warm you from within. Looking out the window early in the morning to people walking by, hawkers throwing newspapers, kids going to school helps you gain perspective in life. Richard Branson, the Virgin Group founder, leaves the curtain open to let the morning sunlight straight in his eyes.

  1. Pump up the feel-good factor.

It is proven that mild exercising releases dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which are mood-lifters. Walk, Skip, jog, take your dog for a run, do anything that pumps your heart. If possible, exercise in the lap of nature. It makes you humble, just the way nature is. Michelle Gass, president, Starbucks, goes running at 5:30 in the morning every day.

  1. Breakfast is for the heart; lunch is for survival.

Before you leave for work to live your individual lives, take time to have a peaceful breakfast with your family. They are the roots that keep you grounded and make you believe in your core values, which are essential while working towards your vision. Barack Obama never misses having breakfast with his girls.

  1. Organize your mind, not your day.

The moment you list down your checklist for the day, you have organized your mind. It is the key to productivity. It could be a to-do list or something you have been thinking about doing for some time. Drawing your list further produces your creative juices and gives your mind space to take a step outside the box. Kenneth Chenault, American Express CEO, lists down three things he wants to do the next day before he goes to sleep, so he has a list ready to accomplish.

  1. Entertain yourself.

While on your commute to work, listen to podcasts, or books that touch your soul. The words will help you channelize your inner energy into the day ahead and keep you positively charged. You are also less likely to get frustrated with the traffic or the long day ahead. P.G. Wodehouse, author, and humorist read adventure books and entertaining mysteries to start his day.

  1. Play with your gut

Predict how your day would be. It creates a sense of mindfulness as well as wonder when you go about your day. It opens your inner feelings to things you would otherwise not notice. You can even practice meditation if you can. (Many people practice meditation without a guru, which leaves them more muddle-headed with all the thoughts left unleashed). Oprah Winfrey starts her day meditating and being grateful.

Many people maintain a journal and write their accomplishments to start a day on a positive note; others like Simon Cowell, creator of X factor, hit the snooze button twice and waits to be served a hearty breakfast to rise with a good mood. Some keep morning for themselves before they begin their work like Ernest Hemingway starts his morning by writing and working straight for hours. Or you can delve into the philosophical mode by asking questions that Steve jobs ask himself, “If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do today?”

It is your morning. It is your ritual. Customize it according to the person you are! 

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