morning rituals

24Apr10

this past week, the chiropractor’s office had morning rituals at 5:30am everyday. it was the third part of their motivating spring cleaning program to rejuvenate everyone in the areas of eating, moving & thinking well. i personally have been working on improving my morning time by waking up earlier, so that i can start the day off well. this usually includes writing down whatever crazy dream i had, reading, enjoying a decent breakfast & preparing a lunch for the day. so, i was excited to hear about the morning rituals the office was holding. however, my earlier time has not been 5:30am! monday was a bit of a struggle, but the rest of the week i somehow woke up a few minutes before my alarm. dr. nick was awesome to lead us each morning; we practiced sitting (with good posture & a proud chest) and focusing on our breathing- literally thinking solely on the words Breathe In, Breathe Out. it’s amazing how much our minds run; within a 5 minute period, i had to continuously pull back to those words. next, we stretched- in whatever way our bodies needed- and dr. nick reminded us how when animals wake up, they all naturally stretch their bodies before moving around.. meanwhile, we often get out of bed & jump right into our days without much of a transition. we then went into some spinal hygiene stretches & life extension stretches. next, we would go up to the top of the parking structure (beautiful weather & sky everyday) to read our affirmations together out loud. over the past year or so, i have been struck by the power of our words, the impact they have over our lives & the importance of speaking life over ourselves and others. after reading our affirmations, we found our own space and said out loud our thanksgiving- expressing thanks for what we are currently grateful for & expressing thanks for things to come (attitude of gratitude). this is a great exercise anytime you’re in need of a new perspective- i especially love being really specific about what i’m thankful for- not just the general blanket statements (which are good too!), but also giving thanks for the details in my day. there are ALWAYS reasons to be thankful.

on the last day, we did an exercise of focusing on the heart of a rose. we were to focus on the rose and keep our mind on what we were seeing for 5 minutes. the first few(or more!) times you try this, it takes some refocusing every so often to keep your thoughts on one object. after time, your mind is trained to focus on the rose. i really appreciated this exercise, as i have been reminded of the importance of the saying, be here now. this tells me to focus on living in the moment, enjoying the now & truly listening to people as they talk. the designer in me also appreciated the focus of the rose as i deeply appreciate the details of design in nature- it’s amazing how much you can discover about a rose after looking at it for only 5 minutes.

at the end of our rituals, we came back together & finished the morning with a group hug. on the last day, we fueled up with some apple cardamom scones. it was great week and i found such a shift in my overall outlook by the end of the it. thank you morning ritual friends!

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