I’m writing this to you at 6.18am under a cosy blanket with a hot cup of tea. I love being the first one up, the flat totally silent.
It is pure, guilt-free, nowhere-else-I-need-to-be me time. There's no other time of day where I feel this sense of calm, peace and stillness. I've been practicing this morning ritual for the last few months. It’s my new personal ‘project love’.
And it’s much needed...towards the end of last year I was feeling burnt out and exhausted, struggling to find time for me, my calendar bulging with work commitments. Basically too much pink (in my colour coded google calendar, pink is work) and not enough green (wellbeing and me time) and so I decided that this year was about being more green and scheduling myself into my calendar. I realised that the mornings were the one time of day that I could claim as my own. And so now mornings have become sacred to me, giving me space to reflect, be still, take stock and check-in with myself. They set the tone for the day and I have become so fond of this time with me, like catching up with an old friend.
I start with a journalling exercise ‘morning pages’, a tool from the book ‘The Artist's Way’. The idea is that you write a stream of consciousness when you wake up (3 pages specifically), to ‘get to the other side’ (as Julia Cameron would say, author of the book). I’ve been writing about anything and everything that’s been percolating when I wake up. Sometimes it’s profound, other times it’s more like a pity party for one (which Julia encourages as any whinging and complaining needs to be processed so you can move on and get on with your day!).
I've been approaching the project like a builder, adding more layers as the ones before get stronger. A morning gratitude practice has been added in, writing down things I’m thankful for, including ways I am grateful and proud of myself. Some days are more challenging than others and some mornings I feel like I have nothing to say but persistence is key. Recently I’ve also been using guided meditations on Headspace and I've been dabbling with morning exercise but still resisting that one to be honest (working on it!). On the days that I have a little more time I've been indulging in a morning bubble bath and audiobook (currently listening to Caroline Myss’s Energy Anatomy and it is blowing my mind). It feels sort of rebellious, like I’ve been let in on a well kept secret.
Through this process, I've discovered that what I need the most is just to be heard. I am the speaker and the listener. And I’m feeling the effects of it already. I am complaining less out loud, I feel calmer, clearer, more connected to myself and connected to what's important to me. I feel more control of my day and better able to deal with challenges when they arise. And I feel more engaged with life.
What it all comes down to is treating myself like a good friend, with love, kindness, respect and devotion. Spending quality time with me. This sacred time has become like oxygen to me. I need it. I crave it. The main thing I've learnt is how to trust myself. I have a sort of quiet confidence that no matter what happens during the day, I can handle it. Feeling like “I've got this”.
That is the power of having a daily self-love practice.
And it doesn’t matter how busy you are, even with just 2 minutes a day, you can create a self-love ritual for yourself. And you really will feel the difference.
So if you want to learn how to design your own self-love practice, no matter how busy you are, then come and join us at our next Online Project Love Salon event ‘Self-love for busy women’ on 22nd May at 1pm UK time.
We'll be digging deep into the topic of practicing self love even when you have a jam packed schedule. You'll learn how to design your own self-love toolkit based around your lifestyle and we'll be sharing with you what our own personal self-love practices are and how we work them into our own busy lives.
And as a special summer treat, it’s totally free!
>>> To register for a free ticket to the event and receive the recording from us afterwards SIGN UP OVER HERE
Plus we’ll be announcing an exciting new Project Love membership programme that we've been experimenting with for the last 3 months (with great results for us and the women that have been doing it with us!) and now we're ready to open the doors to you too!