Here it is! I’m so happy that Day 1 of the Sacred Morning Challenge has arrived! It is so exciting to bring forth the first version of this material, in the form of a challenge.
I found myself guided to create a morning routine when I realized that the one thing missing from my life and professional pursuits was being grounded spiritually. Creating more time for myself in the morning helped me discover that spirituality is not singular, it is one piece of the system with which to support the whole self, and spirituality alone cannot support us in our journey without integrating it into a fully holistic lifestyle.
Well, what does it mean to live a holistic lifestyle?
Holistic living is about living intentionally, and in a way that honors and unifies the mind, body and spirit.
For me, discovering the Magic of Morning — particularly in the early twilight hours — has been truly transformative over the years, and I hope it can do the same for you, too! The Dalai Lama’s daily wake-time is 3:30 a.m. and he reserves four hours for himself (and his spiritual practice) before starting his day! While this challenge is not that extreme, it does ask you to stretch your mind, open your heart, and awaken to the possibilities these extra hours can provide for your life.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- At least one Crystal
- At least one Candle
- Bath Salt and/ or Ritual Bath Tea + Flower petals or Herbs (dried or fresh)
- Popsicle sticks (to use as an applicator)
- Organic coconut oil
- A facial cleansing brush
- Organic Bar soap
- Cotton Balls
- Tea Tree or Lavender Oil
- Rosehip Seed Oil (will post a link)
- Any Floral and/or Citrus Essential Oil
- Organic Witch Hazel
- Small glass spray bottle
- A fresh journal
- Book you’ve been wanting to read
Before you get started with this challenge, I would like to point out a few things:
- Nothing we embark upon do we ever get “perfectly” right. This is not the goal. Following this challenge, there will be days you will want to sleep in. Maybe you stayed up a bit too late. Maybe you tossed and turned all night. Maybe you’re stressed. Listen to your body, go easy on yourself, but also learn to differentiate between needing more rest and making excuses. The more you dedicate yourself to this practice of early waking, the more natural it will be. This is the foundation for setting your body into a strong rhythm.
- To further this point, don’t go *too* easy on yourself! It is so important to hold ourselves accountable to our own standards if we are going to truly transform our lives. If you have an *off* day here and there, that is totally normal.
- This challenge is not intended to be a one-time-deal or some quick fix that is going to miraculously change your life in one week. This is intended to be a guide for the start of a whole new approach to life, to stir that hidden desire within yourself to become more in tune with the rise and fall of the sun. This challenge is also about finding the value in every moment of our lives, learning that we can create time for the things that matter most, and finding that there is more time than we thought to invest in ourselves.
- Know that your journey with this change will continuously evolve, understand that you can rearrange the steps to meet your needs, know that you can create additional steps, feel that you can make each morning your very own.
- Realize that you may be confronted with aspects of yourself that you might wrestle with as you move through this challenge, but also realize that this is part of awakening to the answers that the Higher Self / Source / God / Universal mind can provide. You would not be here if you were not ready to make this change.
- Know that you can stick with this! You will find that that the benefits of creating a Sacred Morning far outweigh the illusion that “sleeping in” is more enjoyable than waking early.
Okay. So… are you ready for your instructions to begin? Let’s do it! I’m including Day 1 (Today) and Day 2 (Tomorrow) So you will have the instructions available on waking.
Day 1: Sacred Evening Ritual Bath
Today you will begin by enjoying a lovely ritual bath sometime in the late afternoon or early evening. Make it special. Treat yourself. The key to feeling good when we wake up, is that we have allowed our self to get adequate rest at night.
- Add flowers, flower petals (if you purchase fresh, please make sure they were organically grown and do not contain pesticides), 2 cups of Epsom Salt or Himalayan Salt, 5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil, and fresh mint leaves.
- Light candles.
- Set an intention for what you want to experience the next morning.
- Reflect on why you are taking this challenge. What is it that you want to gain from creating a Sacred Morning?
- Allow yourself to simply enjoy the moment of this quiet reflection.
- If you feel called to, you can write a journal entry following your bath.
- Finish off your bath with a quick rinse and washing of the hair, regardless of what your usual grooming routine is. Washing the hair at night will free up more time in the morning. This is one small adjustment that has helped to transform my mornings!
- You can follow this routine 1-3 nights per week. Learn to LOVE to pamper yourself!
Preparing for Sleep + Early Waking on Day 2
- Tonight you will want to plan to go to bed early enough to get 7 hours of sleep, and to wake an hour early. An hour early is the minimum recommendation; two hours early is better. This has to feel right for you, so experimentation is key.
- Turn the lights low and begin to train the body to rest. If you find yourself restless, try applying one drop of Lavender Essential Oil to the bottoms of each heel, and onto the back of your neck.
- Schedule a specific waking time that gives you an entire extra hour of time in the morning from your typical wake time, two hours extra if possible.
- You can use this beautiful recording (with headphones) to guide you into a deep and restful sleep.
- Remember that 7 hours of sleep is ideal for the brain and body to rest and prepare for the next day.
Day 2: Sacred Waking
Good morning! Here are your steps to follow each and every day throughout this challenge. With each new day of the challenge, we will explore another variable. As you complete each variable, write down the step and the time that you complete it. This will help you begin to develop an awareness of how much time you spend with each experience, so you can make adjustments in the future and truly make this process your very own.
- Upon waking, one hour earlier than normal today, please stand and stretch your limbs. Touch your toes, or whatever feels comfortable for you as you bend forward and then come back to standing. Repeat this one to two times. Set the intention to refrain from technology for the next hour, completely.
- Have a comfortable seat somewhere where you can sit upright. Now you will connect with your breath. Inhale deeply through the nose, filling the lungs with air completely and holding the breath for three counts. Release the breath slowwwwly, for 3-5 counts and repeat this up to 10 times.
- Now is the time to hydrate. I recommend starting with 16 oz of plain water within the first 30 minutes of waking, and we will build on this over the next days. You could have two 8oz cups of warm lemon water as an alternative.
- Whatever the weather is outside, it is time to connect. For 2-5 minutes, I would like you to try simply stepping outside and into the weather. Bring your water with you if you’d like. Notice the way your senses automatically come to life. If it is uncomfortably cold, try opening the window and breathing in the fresh air. I still would recommend bundling up and experiencing the weather — it is truly invigorating! : )
- Choose an essential oil or essential oil blend and apply one drop behind each ear, and to the soles of the feet, after you have finished hydration. If you have yet to become familiar with oils, I would recommend starting with one from the Citrus family; Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon, or Lemongrass are wonderfully uplifting.
- Select one of your crystals and hold it between the palms of your hands, and place your hands over your heart. With your legs hip width apart, shoulders back, remain in this position for 5 minutes, or simply do what feels good. Focus on your crystal, notice anything coming up within; emotions? ideas? concerns?
- When you feel ready, follow up this exercise with a 5-10 minute journal entry.
- Finish up your morning with a simple balanced breakfast. A protein shake, green smoothie, or bowl of warm grains / oatmeal with fresh fruit is recommended. Complete hydration by taking in another 16 oz of water during or following your breakfast.
I will be following up on live video throughout the week in The Awakened Forest on Facebook to see how things are going, so please feel free to join us =)