A few years ago, I wrote the following in my Day One journal:
“I am bad with mornings. I love the nights too much, when the family is tucked in bed and the house is mostly silent, leaving my introverted soul to itself. So, naturally, after having wasted away the night hours, I don’t welcome the morning ones with too much aplomb.”
(Isn’t aplomb a great word?)
Mornings are really, really not my thing
Really, though, mornings have been a struggle my whole life. I know all the “rules” for creating a great morning. But when dragging myself out of bed at the last possible minute, because I stayed up way too late the night before, it’s difficult to do anything other than play catch-up with the rest of the day.
In my quest to get my days straightened out, I have turned to a variety of sources. Crystal Paine has an inexpensive course that is a great starting point called Make Over Your Mornings. Although I am generally rolling out of bed way too late to do a respectable morning routine. I don’t leave myself enough time to get the things done that need to be done.
Starting with an evening ritual
Crystal also has a course called Make Over Your Evenings, which is probably a better starting point for people like me whose real sabotage starts the night before. I’ve taken that course and it’s really good. But still I flounder.
It’s only been recently that I’ve begun a morning ritual that somehow fits me. I’m still not getting up in time. Still climbing into bed way, way too late. But somehow I’ve finally developed a routine that I can do regardless of what time I start. Even if it happens in the afternoon, which it does every once in a while.
The rhythm that fits my life right now
I’ve been grabbing a book called A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie that someone gave to my husband. I read the prayer for the day of the month, pondering it and really praying it as I do. Then I read my Bible plan for that day. Right now I’m using the chronological plan on the YouVersion Bible app.
Next comes Morning Pages, a practice that just consists of writing whatever is in my head. Julia Cameron discusses this in her book, The Artist’s Way, which is a 12-week course I have been working through for three years. (I’m really slow at developing new habits.)
In my morning pages, I also include affirmations and gratitude to set my mind in a good place for the day. I used to think affirmations were weird. Actually, I still do. But it starts my train of thought on positives rather than negatives, so I do it.
Then I read one chapter of a book that is focused on spiritual/personal growth. I finished Emily P. Freeman’s The Next Right Thing last week and am now finishing up Bandersnatch by Erika Morrison that I had started a while back. After that, I will dive into Ruth Chou Simons’ beautiful new release, Beholding and Becoming.
To wrap up my hour (that’s about how long it takes me if I’m not interrupted and don’t get distracted by daydreams because I’m basically Anne Shirley) I pray again. For guidance in my day, for my kids, for my husband. For friends and family who are on my mind. For strangers that I’ve heard of that are struggling. For whatever is on my heart and mind.
Gathering inspiration from others
Interestingly, shortly after I developed this practice, I read Emily P. Freeman’s blog post where she does something very, very similar. She gives it initials: PRWRP
I’m still working on getting my evenings in a better rhythm so I can begin my mornings earlier, but I’m finding my days are much more settled by practicing a ritual that starts me out filling my soul.
Do you have a morning ritual, or do you tend to have scattered mornings? What about evenings? I would love to hear how you wrap up your day and any tips or ideas you have for a dyed-in-the-wool lifetime night owl.