The Importance of Routine

Officially it’s been nearly two months since I have had a proper job.  During these past eight weeks, I have moved to a new country with my two dogs, began taking French classes, and am currently helping an individual close to me post surgery in my home state of California.  With all this reflection time and life as a nomad, it’s been essential to have some type of routine.  For me this has been my daily spiritual practice of meditation, gratitude, morning pages, yoga, and breathwork. 

 Although the rest of my day may fluctuate, having this be the ground underneath me, regardless where I lay my head, has been essential.  Another component of routine is having a similar daily diet.  This may sound bland: morning tea, breakfast consisting of gluten free toast with butter and a cup of coffee and a salad for one meal.  But my body seems to thrive on having some monotony.  It doesn’t have to think or work hard of what it’s digesting.   My body can spend it’s energy focusing on other things.   The rest of my day can include spontaneity and variety, but the foundation is there to build upon.  It’s easy to get pulled by the influences of everyday life, if we lack a solid base.  Our modern day lives are filled with distractions: whether this is social media, the latest Netflix binge worthy show, a recent work dilemma, or friend/family member problem that arose.  Our attention is being pulled in numerous directions.  

It is essential to have some type of daily discipline, whether this is in the morning or evening for you.  I am biased to my morning daily practice, as I agree with author and entrepreneur Louise Hay when she said, “how you start your day is how you live your day, how you live your day is how you live your life.”  Yet, it doesn’t matter if your discipline is in the morning or evening.  Be intentional.  Set sacred space for you and that which you value, the rest of life will fill in the empty spaces.  

For more information about some of my daily routines.  Check out this article below, where I talk about the importance of journaling:

https://medium.com/authority-magazine/dr-tricia-wolanin-how-journaling-helped-me-be-more-calm-mindful-and-resilient-90de3bbd837e

Make Your Morning Intentional

“How you start your day is how you live your day.  How you live your day is how you live your life.”-Louise Hay

            What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

            Perhaps you hit snooze.  Or scroll on your phone, searching social media or the latest news updates.  Maybe your simple words on waking are, “Meh. Another day.”

            There is power in developing a daily discipline practice, and this begins with making our mornings intentional.  Louise Hay’s words quoted above have truth to them, but so often we forget this.  We know that we want to have an intentional year with the goals we set in January, but so often we forget that we can be intentional with each day.  

            In preparing how to start this practice, think of what the day is asking of you.  Although life may sometimes appear to be very Groundhog Day (particularly during this pandemic), there is variety to what the day calls for. Therefore, our intentions may be different each day and for each person.  If we have to lead a meeting or upload a podcast we have been working on, the intention for the day may be “wisdom.”  If it’s a total day off of work or job hunting, our intention for the day may be “relaxed” or “peaceful.  If you are having a date with your partner indoors or even connecting with old friends over zoom for a monthly catchup the word may be “present.” 

            This small additional practice in choosing a one word intention for each morning encourages us to live into that mantra. We are reminded for our attention to live into our intention.  At the end of the day, note how you were true to that intention.  This is a practice we must nurture, so if it is difficult in the beginning, don’t give up.  There is always tomorrow.

            For a short meditation on this topic, check out my Make Your Morning Intentional meditation available for free on the Insight Timer app or from this link below: