When I think back to when first began working from home, many years ago, I realize how exhausted, depleted and what a hustler I used to be. I let other people, emails, clients, events, phone calls, all of those outer influences, shape my day. Just the thought of that sort of makes me cringe. I was focused mostly on my entrepreneurial success, letting the personal aspect of my life ( health, wellness, etc.) slide to the bottom of my priority list.
Granted, life in New York City is always moving forward and there is a sense of pressure that you need to keep up with especially as a female entrepreneur. However, I've learned over the years that success, clarity, focus, confidence, boundaries, in all areas of life comes when you take the time to slow down and design your own day.
Once I began working on 'balance' in my life and hired a business coach to support me in my work, I learned a very valuable lesson in taking control in your life. Your morning routine is EVERYTHING. 'According to the Endowment Effect, if you’ve already started the day by moving your life forward, you have established positive momentum, and are more likely to keep doing positive things.'
Years ago, I started just by making my bed and lighting a candle & saying a positive affirmation. My coaches told me this was the easiest thing to get you into the habit of committing to a strong morning routine. After a few weeks of doing my morning routine, I began to enjoy the intentionality of it. The fact that I was choosing how to design my day, not allowing outside influences and expectations shape my life really excited me. I began adding things to my morning routine, like putting on a beautiful robe, making my coffee with extra love, reading an excerpt from a book, journaling for 20 minutes and my favorite of all meditation.
From that I began to experience more mental peace, balance, healthier eating habits and a little bit more confidence in the work I was doing. As a result, I began to see much more inspiration, success and cash flow. How cool is that? Once I began to see the positive influence, I began to notice just how much my 'home' really needed to support this part of my life. As a designer, obviously I love to decorate my space well. However, I began to see how important it was to create a sacred space, a special place to retreat to when I needed to connect to my morning routine. You can see what my very first sacred space looked like here.
These days, I have expanded my time in the morning to about 1-2 hours. I push myself to wake up much earlier just to allow myself that time to really engage and enjoy it all. Mornings have become my most cherished part of my day.
I've been thinking about how I can share this information so that you are inspired to create your own but I also understand each person is different. My morning routine is a complete flow, while others really benefit from the 20-20-20 routine. I've pushed myself to go deeper in every aspect of my morning routine. From the music I play ( you can see my spotify playlist in my Blissful Living fb group ) , to the area of space I allow myself, to the things I've included as priorities have all amplified my practice and I truly believe my success in life.
When I began working with my own coaching clients & decor therapy, I knew the morning routine would play a role in my work, as well as creating a solid meditation practice. I read this book, Making Space, creating a home meditation practice and it absolutely enhanced the work I do with my clients. I think its so important to create a home that supports you in being the best version of yourself, especially if you are an entrepreneur and work from home.
( One of my pages from this book )
I'll share a little tour of my morning routine.
6:30-6:45 My alarm clock is set for 7:15 but I naturally wake up a little earlier if I went to bed at a decent time. The second I wake up, I make my bed. My grandmother instilled this in our family so for me, it helps me feel organized and centered. After I spray my bedding with a little linen spray. I go right to my bathroom and do the early AM getting ready ( brush teeth, wash my face, etc ). I created my bathroom to be tranquil and calming so that when I am tending to my personal care, I enjoy what I see. My robe hangs on my closet door for easy access so my moving through before coffee is seamless.
From there I have a special little spot in my bedroom, where I keep fresh flowers at all times and plenty of my favorite candles and fragrances. I light my candles and as I do so, I say a little gratitude prayer to myself. It will go something like, 'Thank you for this day, I pray that I slay' or something like that, I'm kind of cheesy with it so its intentional and fun.
I love the tuberose diptyque candle for the mornings for some reason. This diffuser from Rituals is absolutely my favorite scent. It lasts for about 4-5 months and this is the smaller one. I also really love the pair of candlesticks which bring a Parisian flair that just makes me feel more glamorous.
7:00 Then I'll head to my kitchen to make myself coffee. I use MCT oil in my coffee instead of sweetener these days. It enhances your energy, gives you good oils and I rarely even finish my cup. I'll turn on my Zen meditation playlist to get the music going and it really sets the space in a mood for being quiet, which lets me tune into my intuition and sort of feel what is right for my morning.
7:15 I switch out of my robe, into my morning clothes and do some yoga style stretching. Just a couple of long stretches and I love to do them on my balcony. Just the experience of fresh air opens everything up for me.
7:30-8:00 I hit my meditation zone. Back in the day, it was a chair + table in the corner of my bedroom, now I have opened it up to an entire side of my bedroom with meditation candles and crystals to enhance the experience. My meditation playlist has a mix of just relaxing piano, tranquil sounds and then a guided meditation or two. It's simple, yet always is able to calm my space.
I find that when I tune into my body and music, instead of looking at my phone, Instagram and emails, my mind is calm and I am really able to decide what I need for the day. I have a weekly work schedule that I like to stick to, but when I am listening to my mind/body/spirit, I can feel intuitively what I most need to work on. Creative + inspired ideas come to me and I can really focus on what I instinctively know, instead of doing what I "should" be doing. Perhaps I'll have a new idea for a clients home or a cool blog post idea. I focus on whatever comes up for me with passion and enthusiasm.
My quiet mind time includes stillness and lots and lots of prayer. Prayer is a from of meditation, too. Asking God for all the things that your heart desires. Asking God to come in and help aspects of life where you need that support. Comfort comes when you can really 'let go and let God'. I allow my mind to sit as still as possible for as long as I can. Some days its 2 minutes and some days its 20. At this point, I've learned how to trust the timing of my mind. On the days when my mind just can't relax, I go immediately into reading and writing.
8:00-9:00 Reading & journaling. I keep a few books next to me so that I can fill my mind with some positive mental stimulation, I also keep my journal and a few pens close so I can jot down what comes to me. I also like to grab some water with lemon and blueberries to snack on. Sometimes during my meditation, I'll be inspired to write. If nothing is pushing to come out, I'll read first and then journal.
I'll journal what I am grateful for, what's running through my mind, what's bothering me, what I am excited about. I take everything in my brain and get it out on paper. I check in with my mood and see how I am feeling, these questions have helped me when I need to empower my day. I also have a list of positive affirmations that I will say to myself and out loud to keep me in a positive frame of mind before I begin my day.
Keeping plants around me, crystals around, candles going, music playing all keeps the energy calm and positivity high for me to really connect to my power hour. Surrounding yourself with beautiful things keeps your bliss level at a high. You want to connect with how your sacred space feels to you. You do you. In the book, Making Space, Phap Dung says, "You're not setting your home up for people to photograph, or for a magazine, but for yourself and friends and family"
9:00-9:30 I prepare for my fitness & wellness time. I make a protein drink before my morning bootcamp classes and on my days off of the gym, I'll make myself a beautiful breakfast so I can begin work with fuel. By the time I begin my work, I feel clear minded, energized, fresh, awake, aware and in tune with what I need to make my day a success.