Welcome to Day 5 of the Power of Practice series! Today is one of the most important topics I can think of to look at when it comes to the importance of spiritual practice in our lives – how you start your day. The way your morning goes dictates how your whole day will go. Most of us are waking up to blaring alarms and rushing around to get our day started, which does nothing but put us in a crazy mental space for our day. Today the lovely Katherine Mackenzie-Smith – life coach, writer, and speaker – sharing how she rocks her life with her amazing morning rituals.
Guest Post by Katherine Mackenzie-Smith
“Wake up every morning with the thought that something wonderful is about to happen.”
Routine is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.
Earlier this year I left my long-time career in television to embark on a new life as a coach and solopreneur. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but so necessary and one of those ‘never look back’ moments.
With this decision came a very purposeful amount of change – some of it absolutely delightful and some of it completely terrifying and uncertain – and one of the things that actually affected me the most was the lack of routine that was suddenly missing from my life.
If you’re anything like me, you might not even realize that you have a routine. It’s one of those subtle things that isn’t immediately noticeable (until it changes significantly, that is!)
Of course, the first few weeks of self employment were fantastic, almost like a holiday, but I quickly realized the importance of getting some stability happening in the morning, otherwise I would achieve very little throughout the day.
More recently, I toyed with the idea that maybe we’ve just been conditioned into routine and structure from a young age – through school and then into full time work (you know, getting up, being expected to show up somewhere by a certain time, going for lunch when you’re told, and then going home just to do it all again.)
For a moment, I thought it was up to me to ‘break that mould’ and try to establish my own way of working and living, outside of these ‘restraints, rules, and restrictions’.
Then a conversation with a friend about this exact topic allowed her to enlighten me on the ways of Ayuvedic practice and that we there is a great need to have routine, or Dinacharya, in our day-to-day lives.
Dinacharya is a concept in Ayurvedic medicine that teaches the importance of daily ritual and routine to bring radical change in mind, body and consciousness.
To start and end the day with intention and purpose (even if the middle of the day doesn’t flow with such structure) is both calming and necessary to our emotional state.
I’ve kind of fallen in love with the idea.
Without even realizing, I already had a morning routine in place with some traditionally Ayuvedic methods without even knowing I was doing it.
A basic rundown of my morning looks like this:
- Oil pulling with coconut oil for 20 minutes, first thing in the morning – this is a new technique I’ve been trying after reading so much about the health benefits for your teeth, gums, and jaw.
- I start my day with a room temperature tonic full of vitamins and minerals, or warm lemon water – this is a great way to wake up the digestive system for the day and it’s believed that the first thing you ingest upon waking sets the mood for the rest of the day.
- I spend 15-20 minutes stretching or meditating, lately opting to lie on the floor with my legs up the wall – this is such a great restorative yoga pose and I a great hamstring stretch.
- Then I have breakfast and check emails – maybe not the most spiritual part of my morning, but a great way to ease into the work I have to do.
After that it depends on the day, sometimes I go to yoga or I have a client call or do some writing or journaling.
I’m a night owl, so it’s important to me to ease into the day and not get caught up comparing my 7 or 8am start to the sunrise photos I see on Instagram (although, it’s on my list to try once Aussie summer rolls around again).
Self compassion and mindfulness, even in this seemingly simple and less deliberate way can really set the tone for a good day, or a not-so-good day!
Without even realizing, and whilst actually pondering the importance of structure in my life, my morning routine has naturally come about and started becoming aligned with Eastern practices, almost accidentally.
I’ve never really considered myself a super spiritual person but the more I experiment, delve into it, and learn, the better I feel.
The Ayuvedic philosophy is fascinating and the belief is that morning rituals work to align the body with nature’s rhythms and can actually build up resistance to disease.
I don’t know about you, but that’s definitely something worth getting behind.
It’s taken me a while to even NOTICE my morning ritual (in fact, it probably wasn’t until sitting down to write this that I properly acknowledged what I do on a day-to-day basis!), but the more I pay attention to what I’m doing and really feel grateful for the day ahead of me and how important even a basic routine can be for our general well-being.
Katherine Mackenzie-Smith is a life coach, dream chaser, and awesome life advocate working with women to reconnect with themselves, find their dream job and learn to love Mondays.
She spent nearly 10 years climber her way up the ladder in TV, only to discover one day that her ladder was up against the wrong wall. She knows what it’s like to have a long term goal blow up in your face and she’s on a mission to help anyone feeling similarly shell-shocked.
As a Beautiful You Life Coach, she helps clients get right to the heart of themselves and their deepest desires and she truly believes that everyone’s wildest dreams are valid, real and absolutely possible.