Monday, April 9

life experiment: create a morning routine

"Live your life as an experiment." -Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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Welcome to a new weekly feature on Mama Here Now! I love the above quote: if we live our lives as an experiment, then we have the freedom to try new things, to make mistakes, to correct our course and try again! Each week I will choose an area to focus on and experiment with. This week: creating a morning routine.

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I am a morning person. I love the blank slate of a new day, the comforting hot beverage (tea pre-baby; coffee since), and the rituals that accompany them. There is something about the morning that invites repetition: I wouldn't want to eat the same lunch more than two days in a row, but I will gladly eat the same breakfast for weeks on end. Before little Silas came along and blurred the edges of morning and night, I had a pretty set little morning routine that I loved. It involved tea, yoga, meditation, reading, and writing. Certain books lend themselves to morning reading: over the years I've sat with Thomas Merton, Kathleen Norris, Pema Chodron, Karen Maezen Miller, Jon Kabat-Zinn, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching. With Jane Kenyon, Jane Hirshfield. And Mary Oliver, always Mary Oliver, that Poet Patron Saint of Mornings.

Now that our night life is a somewhat less wild, and our mornings are smoother and more pleasant, I feel it's time to reconsider a morning routine. I've been inspired by Tsh of Simple Mom, who in her book One Bite At A Time, encourages us moms to "treat ourselves to a little order and sanity before the chaos of life begins."

Choose five things, and plan to do them first thing in the morning. Pick the things that fuel you the most, and faithfully treat yourself to those things, in the same order, every day... Discover a sweet morning routine that fills your cup.

After careful consideration, I have settled on the following five things:

::tend:: This means splash water on my face, make my bed, maybe even get dressed. I don't feel myself unless my body & my bed are dressed and presentable.

::stretch:: A few yoga stretches to work the kinks of the previous day and night out of my body, to root, energize and oxygenate myself, to begin the day clear and peaceful

::coffee:: Need I explain? My idea of a perfect morning is to drink my big Orla Kiely mug hot down to the last sip without having to reheat it. This rarely happens. Still, I love me my coffee.

::read:: See list of authors above. These days it's been Everyday Blessings by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn.

::write:: Now here, what I mean is to write up a little list & plan for the day ahead. There is no time for morning pages or any involved sort of journaling, but it will mean pulling out my Moleskine notebook and putting pen to paper. And that is sweet enough for me.

Hopefully I can get all this done between waking and the end of Sesame Street, and then I will be ready to take on a day with a toddler. Sure sounds good.

Do you have a morning routine? Might it be time for you to consider something similar? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!


  1. My morning routine sounds very similar to yours except I don't make my bed and I have a little one to send off to school.

    I love mornings. My husband jokes with me about how I *need* my coffee (and he's right), but what I need more is the ritual of my coffee combined with my collected thoughts to set the pace for our day.

    Someday it will be lovely to read in the mornings again. :)

  2. mine sounds very similar to yours. except, i like two cups of coffee ;-)


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