My morning routine has been pretty consistent for decades. Spiritual reading and journaling, which for me is the Bible was present first. Over the years, exercise has floated in and out. Walking outdoors is very consistent, and going to the ocean at least once a week is something I do.
Meditation is a ritual I added a few years ago, and it has been the most beneficial by far. Meditating in the morning slows my mind down. Slow is different from quiet. My mind is not quiet; my mind is fast. Thoughts race in and race out, and my emotions, in turn, get activated, and I can be ready to fight or preach a sermon by 7am.
Meditation helps with that. I take time to breathe each morning using a guided meditation app. I started with five minutes and have moved to ten. Twenty minutes is a bit much for me.
Along with adding to my morning ritual, I discovered that I need to subtract from my morning routine.
Checking my email, reading newsletters, and reading the newspaper. I started doing that in moderation. Bringing myself online slowly. By bringing myself online slower, I can avoid having the races begin in my mind.
Also, I had to do an inventory of what I am consuming. I found that some newsletters were toxic to my mind and unnecessary to read. One of the newsletters I subscribed to was in my field; I endured reading it because I told myself it is important to read, it wasn’t. I had to use discernment to come to that conclusion. We have to read things that we don’t like, like forms from the IRS. I don’t like them, but I have to read them, and if I choose not to, there are real-world literal consequences.
A newsletter didn’t have real-world literal consequences, and that is the guide that I used. Emotional consequences or real-world consequences. I had to go with the real-world consequences.
Having a clear head and a clear mind why I do my morning ritual and routine. I look for real-world consequences that are my measuring stick.