Creating Ritual from Routine
Throughout September I was actively testing out different ideas that I could fuse into a solid morning routine in the hope of creating an ongoing ritual for myself and my son.
In my search for ideas, I found that most of them wouldn’t apply for us moms.
What I have: A beautiful, bright and spirited two and a half year old who wakes up daily at 6:30 am.
What I don’t have: 20 minutes of alone time (I am not waking up at 5:30 to meditate!), a hot tub, time for morning colonics, enemas (a real theme here with lots of childless ladies), oil pullings, dry skin brushings.
You get the picture.
What I was looking to create was a ritual that was inclusive of my little one. A celebration every morning to ground and inspire our days. If you are looking to create a ritual for yourself and your toddler, try stuff out! See what works, what doesn’t, be flexible and be compassionate with yourself.
Here is what we have worked out together.
Having a daily ritual has allowed me to be happier and more grounded and so therefore my son is too!
Taking the time to cultivate our morning with intention and regularity has had an enormous impact on my day and how I face each challenge. Happy Rituals!
1. Alchemy Bath
This part of the morning ritual actually begins the evening before. You want to do this right before you go to bed, so any business or pleasure you need to take care of prior, and take the bath only when you are ready to slip directly into bed following. (The first time I did this bath I was not prepared to get into bed right away—I had to take my contacts out, get sheets out of the dryer, find something to wear. Bad idea.)
Begin pouring a nice hot bath. Add:
- 1/2 cup epsom salt
- 1/2 cup baking powder
Add ons: I like Lavender essential oil. Any essential oil like rose would be nice. You can also mince ginger and throw that in too.
I light a candle, turn off the lights, and sip an herbal tea while soaking in this alkalizing bath that flushes the toxins and increases your magnesium levels. This bath can lift low spirits—so to enhance that benefit I started a practice of only positive thoughts from bath time on.
If negative chatter surfaces, let it go. Start thinking of problems and challenges that are stressing you out? Let em go. Actively tell yourself, now is the time I think of uplifting and inspiring thoughts. Have none? Make a damn list of everything you are grateful for! Name out the people you love or who make you feel happy. Whatever works.
Try doing that every night and see if you don’t wake up in the morning in a better state of existence!
Yay mom! A new morning with your little one! If you co-sleep you are already ready for cuddling. If your little one cries out for you from a different room, gather your dearest and spend a few minutes laughing, snuggling and being grateful for having this unique and special time in your lives together. (Whenever I get overwhelmed or impatient in my dealings with my son, I often take a moment to reflect on how fleeting it all is. It has an immediate affect on my attitude and patience.)
3. Water/Face Cleanse
Drink your water! A large glass (I start with two!) to begin your day. Add lemon or apple vinegar if desire. Give a glass to your kiddo. Waters all around! I then head to the bathroom and my son can sit on his little potty or brush his teeth as I wash my face with oils and hydrating tonic. Contacts on, throw on my yoga clothes, get some pants and shoes on the kiddo, and boom! You are now ready for…
4. An Outdoor Walk
Get outside! Right away!
In our modern world we are often so cut off from the seasons and the cycles of nature, so start your day by getting outside of your house. Hand in hand, stroller, or baby carrying, take a nice short brisk walk together. (My son likes to ride on my back for these walks.) We’ve had an extended stay at my parents house in Nevada, so luckily no rain here (back in the PNW soon enough though!) and we bathe in the sun, and say Hello to the neighborhood. My kiddo points out the trees and the animals and the planes that he sees. He greets morning dog walkers and asks to touch and smell the pretty looking flowers.
Getting outside and moving my body first thing in the morning has a direct correlation to how happy I feel during the day, and helps to maintain a positive inner landscape for myself instead of just reacting to external events and triggers through my day. Living with mindfulness, for me, it starts with a walk.
5. Koala Bear Yoga
We get back and go straight to the mat. Last month I did a few sun salutations with my son climbing onto every plank, and down dogging underneath mine. This month as we move through the Jewish High Holidays and Mercury in Retrograde, I focus on Balance. Some days he wants to hold my hand in Dancer, some days he wants to be a Tree, and other days he wants to run in circles around me in the yard while I stretch. It’s all good! My son also really loves to fly (acrobaby!) so you can have a lot of fun in the morning supporting your child in partner poses in the air.
6. Blessings and Intentions
When we are done with our short stretch time, I take my son in for a hug and give us a Blessing for the day. Then I set an Intention. It always changes, and yet always includes having compassion and patience (I know what I need to remember to walk through my days with an open heart!)
7. Break the Fast
Now is the time we head on in and I make us a warm and healthy breakfast to start our day. My son has a great appetite and we share meals, so this morning we had some free range eggs, wild salmon, and fresh organic berries. Happy eaters. I also use this time to prep anything I may be preparing for our lunch today. (So whether you work or are a stay at home mom, these all can apply!)
8. Write in a Journal
I take a final few minutes to jot down in my Inspiration Journal a few thoughts..or some words from a book I have been reading. Something to set and finalize my morning ritual. Then I put the book down, because five minutes is all my son will give me before he just has to start drawing on my journal.
I hope you find some rituals that work for you and yours. Please do share them!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Photo: Chiara Lana/Pixoto