4/18 — Mornings

There are a lot of ebooks out there these days, and I’ve been reading my fair share. Some of them don’t do a lot for me, many of them do; and one of them inspired this post.

It’s called How to be a Morning Goddess and it’s by Goddess Leonie and a bunch of her cohorts. Goddess Leonie writes about creativity and spirituality for women, and she’s written some beautiful, thoughtful posts that have really helped me in getting myself figured out.

Including my mornings. As Leonie puts it…

Not so long ago, I realised something pretty humungo.

How I started my morning?

It totally & utterly affected the rest of my day.

I began a quest to become a Morning Goddess.

So she asked twenty of her friends and inspirations how they started their mornings, and the How to be a Morning Goddess Goddessfesto is the result. I downloaded it and immediately devoured it. I’ve never been good at mornings, see, and any tips I could find on doing a better job of getting going in the morning, I figured, would help…

What I learned is that each of the twenty has her own way of doing mornings. Some get up at (or before) the crack of dawn. Some get up even later than I do. Some spring forth from bed and immediately set about writing, or doing something physical; some take their time, stretching and yawning and easing their way into the day.

What I learned is that there is no single way that works for everyone. Instead of following a guideline or checklist of ‘how to get up and get going’, each Morning Goddess has found her own way to come to consciousness and to begin her day.

What I learned is that once I let go of my expectations (and others’) for how I ‘should’ start the day, I’m actually doing a pretty good job.

Here’s how I start my day.

I usually wake up at around nine AM. I don’t get up right away, though; I do best when I loll around for a bit, enjoying the morning light, slowly stretching, and snuggling my cats.

I mean, who could possibly find it easy to leave bed when this is here, giving you blinky-eyes, and purring, and carefully arranged on your shoulder so that you’ll disturb him once you finally move?

I wake to natural light — I frequently get my best sleep after the sky has started to lighten, and I need that light; if I sleep in too much darkness, I neither sleep nor wake well. So no curtains, and if I live on the second floor or otherwise don’t need to worry about people peeking in, I sleep with the blinds open as well.

No matter when I’ve gone to bed, or how I’ve slept, I nearly always find myself ready to get out of bed right about ten o’clock. I don’t wake well to an alarm, so I never set it. I simply don’t schedule things early enough that I can’t wake up on my own time. (Okay, I don’t always have a choice about this, but I can keep it to a real minimum with a bit of effort.)

On mornings when I don’t need to take a shower, I brush my hair and put it up, and get dressed right away. I don’t dress in office clothes like many people do when they work at home — I don’t need that to trigger myself into ‘work mode’ — but if I’m not dressed, if my hair is still down, it’s hard to focus.

Then I go and sit down at my computer. My back is usually complaining at this point, and sitting for ten or fifteen minutes is enough to unlock it. I have a cat-a-day calendar that my Mom got me for Christmas (I get one every year), and this is when I pull off yesterday’s sheet and tuck it away into a drawer.

I catch up on email quickly — I usually delete most of it, respond to what I can deal with quickly, and leave the one or two things that’ll want a longer response until I’ve woken up a little more.

I drink a lot of water while I’m doing this. I get pretty dry overnight and pouring water into myself really helps. Skipping this part makes for unhappy afternoons. If I have juice around, I’ll have a small glass of juice with the water, and if it’s cold, I might have a mug of mulled cider instead of the juice.

I don’t eat until I’ve been up for a while — I can’t face food first thing, frequently not for an hour or more after I’ve woken. I often go from ‘can’t look at food’ to ‘OMG blood sugar dropping’ pretty quickly, so I have to monitor my hunger level closely. I eat either a bowl of cereal or an English muffin, whichever I’m in the mood for, as soon as my stomach tells me ‘now’.

After I’ve been sitting for a little while — and this is where I have to be careful, not to sit too long — I get up and do something. I’ll walk out and check the mailbox, do some dishes, straighten something — something physical. Sometimes I just go outside and look up at the sky, or walk around the block. I’ll pick flowers, stop to watch the birds or a squirrel. I do this barefoot if the weather remotely allows, because that connection with the ground really helps a lot.

After that I’m usually pretty ready for the day.

What do your mornings look like? Is there anything you could do to, anything you could change in your life, to help you become a Morning Goddess?

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