MY MORNING RITUAL
by Ariel Joseph
As an artist…a lot of my experience of success has had to do with my mindset. Not so much talent, or training, but whether I am feeling the most like me. I’ve started referring to this as my most confident and “switched on” version of me.
In my work as a life coach I will often work with people during transitions between one stage of life and another. This can range from: how to fall asleep after a long day, or how to shut work off and connect fully to this moment. One of the most powerful transitions we make each day is how we transition from sleep to wakefulness.
You’ve heard the expressions: “getting up on the wrong side of the bed”, or “starting your day off on the right foot”. In either case, the tone of our days get set within the first 10-20 minutes of wakefulness. Let me ask you: upon waking up, what do you tend to do first? Are you seeking to connect to yourself? Another person? Technology? Without judgment see if you can just observe what your routine has become.
Whatever your current answer is, I’d love for you to consider…what if the way in which we do our morning is the way in which we do our whole day? What then?
The main thing I want to share here is that we have the option to connect to our own trajectory (be that a personal mission or daily intentions) before we begin responding to or reacting to what the rest of the world has going on. This includes: the weather, the news, emails or social media.
So what if the first thing we do in the morning is connect with our breath? High performance psychologist Michael Gervais has a fantastic and simple 90 second ritual that he recommends to athletes, CEO’s and that he practices himself --which starts off with a breathing component. (Note: This is something that costs nothing, and it’s something you can do before you even leave the bed.)
You’ve provably been shallow/deep breathing for much of the night, so doing some sort of deep breaths, or prayanama (a yoga word for breathing technique) such as breath of fire is a great way to get the life force energy flowing through your body and to help oxygenate your brain and cells.
Secondly, according to positive psychologist Shawn Achor, and his study from Harvard which cultivated into his book "The Happiness Advantage": consistently grateful people are more energetic, emotionally intelligent, forgiving and less likely to be depressed, anxious or lonely.
Gratitude helps us to activate and wake up parts of our physiology which look for more reasons to be grateful. This has the happy byproduct of switching off our sympathetic nervous system (fight, flight or freeze) and of activating our parasympathetic nervous system. This gives much needed rejuvenation and relief to the parts of ourselves that are constantly trying to keep us alive.
Thirdly, to borrow a page from Tony Robbins and his daily morning ritual - It’s a good time to pray. Prayer moves us outside of ourselves. It connects us with a force greater than ourselves. It can help us get quiet. We can use this time to set an intention, see something as finished in our minds eye, or to send positive mojo to someone we know who needs it.
If prayer is a foreign concept to your daily practice, perhaps imagine connecting to your future self (the one who is benefitting from your hard work, tenacity and the occasional struggle) and imagine that future you simply saying thank you. See if you can receive the “thank you” from your future self.
Please consider what you’ve been doing with your morning up until now…and whether that is working for you. If you want to shake things up—awesome. They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit in your life. This time you spend first thing in the morning is an investment into yourself. It will affect today, this moment and all of the moments that follow.
So whether you borrow a morning ritual from someone else or create your own, these simple steps, practiced with consistency, can set the tone for your day… and in a short time change the tone of your whole life.
I’d love to hear from you and see how your new morning ritual is working out:
Joe Towne, a native New Yorker, studied Theater and Psychology at the University of Southern California where he received an acting scholarship and was an Irene Ryan nominee. Since then, Joe has performed in over one hundred plays across the US (New York, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Indianapolis, San Francisco) and Europe (including the French American Festival of the Arts in Paris and four years at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.) You may recognize Joe from a myriad of commercials, independent films, guest star appearances or his award winning web series Friends In Therapy. He is also an award winning filmmaker, receiving audience choice awards in Los Angeles, New York and internationally (Toronto and Sydney).
Joe has spent the last fifteen years as a life coach and feng shui consultant. He wrote a book called Serene Makeover: Inner Edition, which led to him being a guest on The Dr. Oz Show. Joe is a teacher and coach at Warner Loughlin Studios in Hollywood where he also co-created the Audition Technique program.
Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of “The New Hollywood.” We are a group of shepherds, not sheep.