Wednesday, January 9

remaking my mornings

What matters is simply this: your intent to claim the day with gusto and bravery and longing. What matters is waking up and asking, What can I be today?, and then devoting a small handful of moments to this task of wonderment. That is all.  -Christina Rosalie, A Field Guide to Now

If you've been reading here for a while, you know that remaking and tweaking my morning routine is something I do periodically, and with great enthusiasm. I am a devoted morning person--just the word itself fills me with this fresh sense of possibility. Also, morning is the time of day when one drinks coffee. But more than that--I believe that an intentional, well-orchestrated morning is the key to setting the tone for the day ahead. And when one is, as I am, the pregnant  stay-at-home mama of a busy toddler, setting a positive and beneficial tone for the day is absolutely necessary.

With the start of the new year, and on the heels of ten days of major and delicious holiday laziness, my mornings were in need of a reboot. Thinking back on a few of my favorite resources to inspire intentional mornings, I've been contemplating what the essential building blocks of a nourishing and energizing morning might be for me at this stage.

Left to my own devices, here is how a morning would go for me: get out of bed, join the little man in the living room. He'll quickly get engaged with his horde of Matchbox cars while I get myself a hot drink, and sit down to knit a few rows. (I usually try to be good and start with a cup of hot lemon water or honey ginger lemon tea before making coffee.) Once I've knit to my heart's content, I'll pick up a book by either Pema or Maezen, or some poetry, and read for a while. Then I'll make coffee, and break out my Moleskine and scribble out some morning pages. After all that I'll be starving, so I'll eat.

So what we're looking at is a cozy, nourishing, but completely sedentary morning. Nothing in there to get the blood pumping, to get energized. As I was reflecting on 2012 and planning for 2013 over the last few weeks, more movement has been a major theme that's come up over and over. Since I believe in using the morning to set the foundation for the whole day, it makes sense to make movement a priority starting at first light.

This is how I came to unroll my mat uncharacteristically early yesterday morning, in a wedge of light in the living room, still in my PJs. I put on a cheery music mix (also key to this year's ambitions: more cheery music) and got moving. It was pretty boring pregnant mama yoga stuff, especially since I've entered the stage when it feels like my pelvis will split apart at any moment, but I tell you, it made all the difference in my day. Generating that kind of energy early on lasted me through a whole day of errands and housekeeping alone with a whiny toddler. All it took was just one morning's session to make me a believer that this is what I need to do.

Since this is the time of year for setting resolutions, let this be mine: each morning, I will devote 10-20 minutes to mindful movement on the mat. My plan is to share an image each morning on Instagram with the hashtag #morningonthemat. I would LOVE for you to play along with me. You don't have to commit to doing it everyday, but if you do unroll your mat one of these mornings, won't you share your view? Here's to more mindful movement in 2013.


Thanks for stopping by for a chat! I read and appreciate every comment.