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Self Care

The Morning Spiritual Practice

Seven spiritual teachers and authors share their morning routines to start the day in peace instead of chaos.

For many people, the morning equates to rushing, chaos and building the day’s to-do list in their mind from the moment they open their eyes. Rather than connecting to our higher self, welcoming the voice of our intuition, and beginning the day from a point of power, we are setting ourselves up for disaster when we begin our day in a stressful way.

Not only does this routine usher in stress and anxiety, but it also activates the body’s fight or flight response, doing damage to both the brain and body over time. The good news is we have the power to change the way we start our day, and it doesn’t have to be as difficult or time-consuming as one might think. Plus, the rewards far outweigh the effort

“In the Chinese book, the I-Ching, there is a saying, ‘The way it begins is the way it ends.’ So if you begin in your left brain, and your fight or flight, ego and fear, that is the tone you will set for the day,” bestselling author Sonia Choquette tells Elevated Existence. “But if you set it connecting to a nurturing prayer or receiving, then that sets the tone that you are listening, available and open.”

In his book, “The End of Stress: Four Steps to Rewire Your Brain,” author Don Joseph Goewey recommends starting the day in quiet by waking up 15 minutes ahead of the rush, connecting with the heart, feeling appreciation for another day with people we love, and setting the intention to have a productive and rewarding day, committed to remain calm and peaceful within no matter what occurs outside of us.

“Morning routines are important because they set the tone for you taking charge and responsibility for your day, and not giving away your power to outside influences,” says Doreen Virtue, bestselling author of “Healing with the Angels.” Practicing a set morning routine makes it more likely we will stick with other healthful processes, she notes.

“Just like eating a healthful breakfast gives you more energy during the day, so does taking excellent care of yourself in the morning set the tone for your day. It’s all about keeping your promises to yourself, and being your own best friend,” she tells Elevated Existence.

The goal is to start the day in a peaceful way, and carry this energy into our daily life, and there are a variety of ways we can choose to do this. Elevated Existence spoke with some top authors and experts to see what their morning routine and spiritual practices consist of to help our readers create a morning spiritual practice that works for them.

Author of “Trust Your Vibes: Secret Tools for Six-Sensory Living” and “Walking Home”

“I have a very committed spiritual morning practice. The very first thing I do when I open my eyes is to say the ‘Our Father,’ which I learned is a prayer to align the chakras. Then I say the prayer, ‘Use me this day for the highest good that I can possibly live out today. I am available.’ My second prayer is ‘Move me. Move me toward my highest good. Move me out of my own way. Move me toward where I can be of greatest service and live my most authentic self.’

Then I do the breath of life for three minutes. It gets my breath cleared, and I do it to music and dancing. Next, I do what is called sourcing. I sit and hold my hands up like I’m receiving, and for 10 minutes to some very beautiful music, I just receive blessings, nurturing, connection to my higher self, and love from my ancestors and guides. It’s like my energetic feed, and I ask to nurture the seeds of my own potential, my authentic self. I really am big on receiving and opening up yourself to something bigger than your personal willpower to nurture and support you.

I end with a few yoga stretches, which is very important to me to be flexible because I sit a lot all day. Then I pick a song and I sing it. It takes about 15 minutes total. I call it the breakfast of champions, and I do it every day. I get my breath going. I say my prayers, and then I sing my song. It’s a happy morning experience.”

Author of “The Soulmate Secret” and “Wabi Sabi Love”

“A long time ago, I used to do mantra-based meditation every morning. But I discovered that it stressed me out. I would sit, repeat my mantra, and then my mind would start feeding me thoughts about all the things I needed to accomplish during the day, and I would feel like I needed to write it all down so I wouldn’t forget. I eventually gave it up and started exercising in the morning (usually a walk or time on my elliptical machine) followed by a long, relaxing bath.

While in the tub, I still get lots of thoughts, but they don’t stress me out, they inspire me! Also, I take a little time each afternoon to do ‘Heart Lock-In’s.’ This is a technique from the Institute of HeartMath where you focus on the feelings of love, appreciation and gratitude while your attention is on your heart. They even have great technology to use so that you know you are doing it correctly and getting into ‘Heart Coherence.’ It’s called the EmWave, and I just love using it! You can learn more at www.heartmath.org.”

Sunny-dawn-johnstonSUNNY DAWN JOHNSTON
Psychic Medium & Author of “Invoking the Archangels” and “The Love Never Ends: Messages From the Other Side”

“I have four steps to my morning spiritual practice that I find absolutely necessary for my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. First, I meditate. I meditate for the amount of time I feel guided to on any given day. My meditation consists of taking the time each day to connect with Spirit. For me, it isn’t a time I intend to receive guidance or direction. Instead, it is a time that I honor and appreciate the connection to Spirit that I have, and is my morning ‘thank you’ to the Divine.

Second, I pray. I do a short invocation of the Angels, specifically calling in Archangel Michael to help me to hold my own energy and vibration as I have a tendency to be empathic and take on the weight of the world. Third, I open my arms to the Universe, and I set an intention for my day by saying an affirmation. I use a variety of different ones, but the message is always something similar to: ‘I am open and receptive to all the Universe has to offer.’ Finally, as I get out of bed, I ask Spirit: ‘How may I serve?’”

Mastin-Kipp_cropMASTIN KIPP
Author & Founder of “The Daily Love”

“First of all, I get really good sleep because that is so important to me. I think getting good sleep is probably one of the best spiritual practices we could do. The way that I do that is I black out the room, and keep the temperature between 60 and 68 degrees. I have earplugs in and a facemask on, and I use a supplement called Tryptophan, which deepens my sleep.

Also, I like to write in the morning. That is when I write The Daily Love and that is my spiritual practice – it’s my meditation. I feel of if I don’t do it. Recently, I’ve been doing about a half hour of Hemi-Sync meditation, which is really powerful, and I get very relaxed. It’s nice to enter the day in a state of relaxation.

I also have a really quality breakfast. I have a shake from a company called FYCNYC, which stands for Find your Center. It’s an alkalizing shake and is easy on your digestive system. The morning is also when I exercise. I do all those things, and it starts my day off right.”

Author of “Soul-Centered: Transform Your Life in 8 Weeks With Meditation” and Founder of The McLean Meditation Institute

“It’s usually twilight when I wake up. I stretch and slowly arise. When I do, I go to my open window and gaze toward the horizon, or if I’m really inspired, I’ll go outside in my pajamas and look at the sky. I sometimes say ‘Thank You,’ or simply listen to the silence. I feel a deep interconnectedness with the natural world.

I head to the bathroom and my dogs follow me in and sit with me. It’s a love fest with them. They are so happy, and I am so happy. I splash my face, and go into the living room. There, I sit on the sofa, my dogs at my feet, and enjoy the breaking dawn. I light a candle and enjoy the stillness. I am lucky to live in Sedona, Ariz. The views of the majestic red rocks are spectacular, and as I sit, I often read a passage from an inspiring book. I am reading one by Alan Watts now. Then I set my meditation timer and sit in meditation for 20 minutes.

Usually it’s a simple mantra practice or breath awareness meditation. My husband sometimes sits with me, but he’s already been up for a while, so he might be off doing something else. We meet in the kitchen for coffee or tea. Then after breakfast, we head out with the dogs into the backyard, which is adjacent to the wilderness.”

GaryRenard(large)GARY RENARD
Author of “The Disappearance of the Universe” and “Love Has Forgotten No One”

“Shortly after awakening, I make it a point to put the Holy Spirit in charge of my day. I want to be connected to that higher, all-knowing place that understands and sees everything. I become still and meditate with the purpose of joining my mind with the beautiful white light of Spirit. Then I will be silent for five minutes and literally become one with the light, which is not a partial attribute, but joined with all creation. I’ve stuck to this for most of the last 22 years, ever since I started doing ‘A Course in Miracles,’ and it has served me very well.

When you are under the guidance of Spirit, you can be led to what is best for everyone. That’s where the word inspired comes from. It comes from the words ‘in spirit.’ When you are not guided by Spirit, you are disconnected, and in disaster. The word disaster comes from‘aster,’ which means astral. Dis-aster means you are not connected to the astral or higher, all-knowing place. If you run the show on your own, it will usually lead to unhappy things, but Spirit will lead you to what is best for everyone, including you.”

Doreen Virtue Author Photo as of OCT 2013DOREEN VIRTUE
Author of “Healing With the Angels” and “Assertiveness for Earth Angels”

“My morning routine consists of, first, meditating and listening for divine guidance that came during the night during my dream time, and making it a conscious awareness. We receive so many messages while we are sleeping, and listening to them is essential. I do this by lying in bed for about 45 minutes before I get up.

Secondly, I engage in stretching in the morning. Four days a week, I do a yoga class at 8 a.m. before I have a chance to get busy with everything else. On the other mornings, I do Pilates. I’ve also found going outdoors in the morning and connecting with nature is very energizing.

For breakfast every morning, I have an extremely green smoothie made with organic apple juice, organic kale, spirulina and carob powder.

These morning routines have allowed me to be completely caffeine free since 1996 by getting natural energy from the divine, mother nature, meditation and yoga. I have been embracing this morning routine for many years. When I am traveling, I still take charge of my mornings and always keep them sacred.”