How are are your mornings? I’ve talked alot about different ways to nourish your mind, body, and spirit. I’ve not yet mentioned that you do actually have to feed your body. I mean real food every morning. I do not mean coffee and toast, bullets, smoothies, sugary bars, and or yogurt.
We live in a biomechanical electrical machine and it needs regular fueling. Many people skip out on this very important ritual in the morning. So give yourself the gift of an awesome breakfast. If you don’t know what to make check out one of my earlier entitled blogs What should I eat? Breakfast. Take the time to put some high octane fuel in the tank as a part of your perfect mornings. #getpokes
What makes up your perfect morning? Have you ever thought about it? If you could wave a magic wand and you could carve out a few minutes just for you what would feed your soul? Besides more sleep that its. Try reading anything you find really interesting. Random facebook post or other social media doesn’t count. Read an actual book, article, or magazine.
Reading has some really cool effects on the brain including it reduces stress even better than music. YUP! It also enhances memory, gives you better focus and concentration, increases learning capacity, helps battle dementia, leads to you being more empathetic, and more. These effects are even better with an actual paper book as opposed to to a digital screen. Further, when you read something exciting your brain lights up like its really having the experience right down to the physical motion. Reading is one of the best exercises for your brain.
Give your brain some love first thing in the morning. Studies have shown that your brain works better in the morning especially the older you get. Read something inspirational, motivating, daring, or anything you have a strong interest in. If you really want to delve in to nourish yourself mode combine your reading with a little soft background music, tea, sunbathing, a bath, aromatherapy, or whatever recharges your batteries. As always there is no right or wrong. It’s all about your perfect mornings. #getpoked
I love the energy and clarity I get after a perfect morning. If you don’t know I am super busy mother of a 6 year old that I homeschool, a new teething puppy that I’m potty training, and a business owner where I manage other people’s health and lives. Something goes wrong, gets lost, gets forgotten, and I’m always struggling to get everywhere on time: In short, my mornings are the definition of utter chaos. So this not a blog about just smile be happy and it will be alright. This is about finding a few minutes to give YOU a little love and nourishment before you swing at life’s many curve balls.
There are many ways to build up your Qi and reduce stress. Today’s topic is sound therapy. This is not quite the same as put on your favorite jams and shake your tailfeathers like your name Tina T. (Yes I’m old back off lol, and that post is coming) This is about the meditation and healing that be achieved with resonance from bells, bowls, gongs and other instruments. This is not a bunch of new age JuJu either. Here is a great indepth article. Sound is used for in hospitals before surgery, as a treatment for people in the autism spectrum, and yes even in acupuncture and oriental medicine and more. I am trained in Acutonics, The use of tuning forks on acupuncture points and it is amazing.
Why sound? Ever heard the saying music soothes the savage beast? Sound is a motion, a wave of energy that moves through the air, water, and even solid structures (think how you can FEEL the music at a concert). We are energetic beings made up of a lot of water that these vibrations can move through. You don’t have to wait for a concert or your local neighborhood pin lady to get sound healing. Instead you can invest in your own piece of sound magic and make it a part of your perfect morning.
Singing bowls are my favorite and come in many different tones. Find a local shop and see if the sound makes you want to take a deep breath and drop your shoulders. Bells and gongs can be struck at intervals to help bring focus back to deep breathing and letting go of stray thoughts. Didgeridoo is one of the most grounding sounds I have ever encountered. A bit challenging to learn but you are forced to relax and take a deep breath in order to get a good sound from one. Find any “instrument” that has a lingering quality once a note is played.
Man this got long fast. Ok so quick note, yes there are plenty of other sound therapies out there like binaural beats, theta wave music, and chanting. Remember this is about your perfect morning and what works for you.
How are your mornings? A pefect morning should include steps to take care of body and the mind. A great way to do this is with moving meditation. I’m one of those people who really like the benefits of meditation but the sitting can be more of a distraction. I’m allllllll about whatever works.
What is moving meditation? Slow rhythmic physical movements and deep breathing. This of course has all the benefits of regular meditation including;
- increased focus and calm,
- reduction of stress and anxiety,
- helps blood pressure and insomnia.
Moving meditation can have a profound effect on the body as well as the mind including decreased inflammation and pain. Moving meditation can also lead to increased;
- flexibility, balance, and agility
- energy and stamina
- cardiovascular capacity
- muscle strength
- joint health
So what are some examples of moving meditation? Yoga, tai qi (chi), qi gong, breath walking, certain types of dance… honestly you can make a moving meditation out of almost any can of activity you want. It only has to be rhythmic and breath centered. Breath centered means that you are focused on taking slow deep inhalations and exhalations. So give it a try in the morning. #getpoked
Perfect mornings should have a relaxing and nurturing component. It’s hard on the body to wake up and rush off to life’s many demands and not give it daily TLC. An unusual way of doing this is standing meditation.
Standing still in a relaxed pose and breathing deeply is great for:
- Increasing your energy
- It can reduce low back pain
- Improve posture
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Improves core strength and tone
- Improves balance
- Increases bone density
- Improves sleep quality,
- Helps with body alignment
- Tones the pelvic floor
- Improves the mind-body connection
There are many different ways of doing this. My favorite is called horse stance. Now, if you really want a detailed description you can find many online like here and here. It’s always best to have someone show you that way you know where you might not be doing it correctly. Ultimately, I think with practice most people get it right one way or the other. Here is a quick description.
1. Place feet about shoulder’s width apart, toes pointed straight. Make sure your feet are making good solid contact with the floor.
2. Gently bend your knees as if you are about to sit down on a stool behind you.
3. Tuck your pelvis forward using your abdominal muscles. Aim the tail bone down to lengthen the low back and spine.
4. Stand straight, shoulders down not back. Don’t over elevate the chest.
5. Bring your palms together in prayer hand position in front of your chest. Be sure to keep the shoulders down. Note: there are many variations on arm position feel free to pick one that you like better.
6. Let the head rest naturally on the neck as if suspended from a string in the ceiling. Tuck the chin down just slightly.
7. Put the tongue to the roof of the mouth. Breath as deeply as you can. Hold it for a few seconds then exhale very slowly. Repeat and hold this posture.
8. Do a mental rolodex of all previous steps because at first your body will not stay in that position. And you will know your doing it right when you have been holding it and you get a case of the shakes. Keep holding the posture.
Work your way up to 10 minutes a day or however long you have. The cool thing about horse stance is that you can do it anywhere at anytime and no equipment is needed.
Tea is awesome in the morning. White, green, black, red, puh-er, flower, herbal, heck hot lemon and water; doesn’t matter what kind of tea you like. Yes different teas have different qualities. Just pick one that you like and preferably without too much sugar. Tea is associated with China because the leaves used from Camellia sinensis is an evergreen shrub native to Asia.
What you may not know is tea is the original prescription in Oriental Medicine. Tea or “tang” means decoction. Different herbs were gathered together in a recipe and tossed in according to their properties. There is a chemistry that happens when you allow things to steep in hot water. This chemistry was the basis of Chinese herbal formulas. This is why a Chinese herbalist has to control an eye roll when we are asked what herb is best for….
So in your search for perfect mornings have some tea. Doesn’t matter what kind. Lucky for you tea has a ton of health benefits. Studies have found that some teas may help with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, encourage weight loss, lower cholesterol, helps digestion, bring about mental alertness, and it has antimicrobial qualities. My favorite tea I make at home I call Juju
- 2-3 inches of fresh ginger sliced
- 1 chinese date
- 1-2 whole pieces of astragalus
Bring this to a boil then simmer for at least 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and add;
- 1 cup fresh basil ripped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint ripped
- 1/2 fresh lemon juice and peel
- pinch of salt
Let the last ingredients sit in your tea for 3-5 and suck it down. If you are sick you can use bone broth instead of water. #getpoked
Let’s keep it short for this Monday morning. If you have to get up early try to make it pleasant by reaching out to old friends and family members. In this digital age humans are spending less and less time actually engaged with another human being. This can lead to issues with depression and anxiety.
Whether or not we like to admit it, humans are social creatures and we need human contact. Social media is separating us from the live energy transfer that happens when we connect with a living human instead of our digital device. Yeah energy transfer. Plants do it and so do humans. So this morning call and old friend or loved one. See if you can have coffee or lunch. Get reconnected and enjoy your morning.
The morning is a great time to use the old grey matter. The brain actually works a little better in the mornings. This is a great time to improve your day by making a list while the mind is at optimal performance. Lists are a great way to organize your day. They have the added bonus to allow you to see what you have accomplished.
I used to be so annoyed at making list. But as I’ve gotten older its becoming my best friend. I simply have to much to do. Without my lists I feel overwhelmed and non-productive. I can’t figure out what I did with my day. Or I’ll get home and realize I forgot to do something work a deadline.
Having a set list helps you to be more productive, focused, and less stressed. The less time you spend spinning your wheels in the morning the better. The very act of writing helps you to think about ways if tackling each entry. The list can be anything. My list today is a self care checklist; drop off paper work, high tail it to an acupuncture treatment, my favorite eyebrow place is near by, I have a massage scheduled, and then a tea meeting. What’s on your list?
How are your mornings. How do you charge up your batteries? Most of us just jump right into our day without taking time out for ourselves. On long mornings I like to get creative. There is something about the satisfaction of saying I made this. Especially years down the road when you still have a functional piece.
Arts and crafts is a wonderful distraction from some of the worries in life. Whether you’re making pottery or jewelry, coloring, crocheting, sewing, painting, knitting, woodworking, beading, candle making, body products, or any of the many other forms of arts & crafts, it’s possible to gain a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. The methodical process of making most things is:
- improves mental agility
- makes you a better student
- improves depression
- alleviates stress
- improves hand eye coordination
This is why “adult” coloring books are all the rage. So the next time you have a long morning or facing a long day add a little creativity to the mix. You are the most important factor of everyday. Remember to be nourishing to yourself. #getpoked.