This article was written for Nubian Heritage!
A few weeks ago I was asked by a high school friend, “What are you doing to look so young? And, girl I know it has to be more than yoga.” In all honesty, she was correct. Looking and feeling vibrant includes a combination of things, but most important it requires commitment and consistency. In order to achieve this, I find it is easier to create healthy patterns in the form of daily rituals.
Taking even the smallest of actions on a daily basis provides peace of mind, cultivates strength, and naturally generates an inner glow regardless of your age. Below are a few of my daily rituals that support body, mind, and soul. Don’t feel like you have to do all of these or more. Start with one ritual, allow that to create a healthy imprint, and then slowly add to what fits into your lifestyle.
Ritual #1: Gratitude Meditation
First thing in the morning I give myself a few moments before placing my feet on the floor to acknowledge all the amazing things and people in my life. The list doesn’t have to be long, just pause and allow yourself to feel grateful for 3-5 things in your life. As you send out these joyous vibrations, you set the tone for your day by experiencing love, beauty, and goodness. Giving yourself these few minutes of stillness also keeps you from grabbing your cell phone and getting trapped in the chaos of the day.
Ritual #2: Water
Before bed, I place a bottle of water on my nightstand for the morning. Within the first hour, I drink about 16-20 ounces. Our body is naturally dehydrated after a long sleep, and it is essential to nourish the cells, flush out toxins, and kick starts our metabolism. Water also mentally helps us get out of our morning fog…not coffee. Our brains are 75% water, and drinking a glass can quickly hydrate the mind and help you manage your morning tasks with ease.
Ritual #3: Healthy Breakfast
Our parents were correct, breakfast is the most important meal of the day; however, it is important the meal is satisfying on many levels. You should be excited to consume it, yummy to your taste buds, and packed with nutrients that provide energy and focus. I typically opt for a dense nutritional smoothie that’s filled protein, veggies, fruit, calcium, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. If I’m traveling and can’t make my favorite smoothie, I grab a boiled egg, toast, half an avocado, and a small bowl of fruit. Both take me slowly into lunch without the sensation of starving.
Ritual #4: Intention Setting
Daily intention setting can be done after you give gratitude, or you can journal during breakfast. Sometimes, I even set a few intentions while brushing my teeth or taking a shower. A mind is a powerful tool for manifesting our desires. Giving yourself time to fully embody your intentions nurtures your personal goals and gives you a sense of purpose. When you are clear about your desires, it is easy to see the path and the opportunities coming your way.
Ritual #5: Move Your Body
Don’t worry! This doesn’t require a full-on exercise routine. Moving your body can be as easy as taking a few stretches in bed, walking your dog in the park, flowing through 5-10 minutes of Sun Salutations, or dancing to your favorite song while making breakfast. Getting the body moving first thing in the morning stimulates your endorphins and naturally boosts your mood. Enhanced by with the water you consumed earlier in the morning, you are also detoxifying the organs and energetically eliminating the mental junk.
So again, give one or all a try. Simply create your mindful morning rituals, and watch how these simple steps will impact the rest of your life.