Here is the article from my January newsletter, which was sent to my newsletter tribe a couple weeks ago. Read this and all my key monthly articles first by signing up for my newsletter.
The inward season
Nature’s movement stills now, and moments of deep quiet are most plentiful. It’s as if you could inhale stillness and feel the coolness inch through your being. Why not go with the flow this month and spend more time in silence, taking a cue from mother earth and rest, look inward and listen?
Lately I’ve been writing and thinking about intention and our ability to clarify and energize our intentions for our lives. This auspicious first month of the year is a natural to reconnect with, clarify and deepen this powerful energy of intention.
One way of weaving your intention into your life is through ritual.
This is a season where daily routines are helpful, and it’s a lovely time to launch a daily morning ritual. Taking even 5 minutes to set your intention for the day, to give thanks to the divine for these fascinating lives we get to live, and saying good morning to the nature around you can take you into the day in a relaxed and positive way. I find in my own experience and with others, that the details of the morning ritual are less important than the power of daily repetition. So, beginning with something easy that you can stick with tends to bear the most fruit if you are just getting started.
Here are a few tips for launching your morning ritual:
Make the intention to commit to a morning ritual. Can you commit to 5 minutes each day for a week? If not, make it easier. If you have the fire for a bigger commitment, or already have a morning ritual, is there an invitation to recommit or deepen it? What might that look like?
Create a bit of sacred space. Making a space or marking your time as sacred can be a simple process. What’s important is your intention to be open to spirit. You might light a candle, pull together a few objects that have meaning for you, spritz some water or plant preparation (I use things like rose geranium o tulsi hydrosol). Put on some quiet music that you like.
Create your morning ritual. Again, this can be simple. It can be 5 minutes of conscious breath work or meditation. It can be the chanting of a mantra (shanti shanti shanti is a place to start). It can be a sun salutation yoga flow in each direction. It can be 5 minutes of unstructured conscious movement with the intention of checking in with your physical body.
The power of practice. As the days go by, if you skip or forget, forgive yourself and get back to practice. Get fascinated with your practice. Get fascinating even with missing your practice: why was it too difficult to maintain or just how did you let yourself off the hook? How might it be easier or more appealing? Resist the temptation to be hard on yourself, and instead get curious and learn, coax and invite.
What is your morning ritual and how does it impact your life?