Rituals are important. Everything emerges from deeper self-awareness and working towards getting better at something each day.
We all have 24 hours daily that are made of essentially two things: moments and choices. Building a daily ritual has helped me with more energy and peace. Most of us are either morning people or night people. I have known quite a few people who hit the gym around 9pm, have dinner by 10pm and sleep by midnight. What works for me are early mornings. I have a certain affinity towards the 4am feeling, the stillness around me. It’s been years now, so I do not need an alarm. My body auto-wakes me up at 4am sharp.
Today I share some of the rituals, specifically my morning ritual, that positively changed me, shaped me as an individual, and helped me understand people better, listen better, think effectively, and filter out unwanted thoughts.
Start the morning with water
I drink three glasses of water, sometimes with a dash of fresh lemon, and at other times with jeera (cumin) soaked overnight. I do not use a microwave to heat the water; I boil it and mix hot and normal water to make it warm. Overall, this takes me 15 minutes. The warm water opens up the body’s cells, allowing them to communicate better with the neurotransmitters. During these 15 minutes I sit at my dining table and focus on drinking the water slowly.
Find time to exercise
After this, I spend 20 minutes on stretching and some exercises that my gym trainer taught me. What I also learned is that if you come across a first-class trainer, he or she can tell you the most appropriate postures for exercises that yield much faster results. Next, I go outside for a 3-kilometre run. I do a combination of fast and medium running, along with a few minutes of walking. Early mornings are bliss.
Catch up on reading – not just news
Once I am back, I spend around 10 minutes on reading. I read one chapter each from three different books. It could be anything that talks about inspiration, leadership, overcoming real life challenges, how to get better. I do not read fiction at all.
After this, I spend around 10 minutes surfing the news, and read at least one report from the digital ecosystem, as that is my area of business interest. This habit of structured and focussed reading has helped me with clarity about what I actually love to read, and that gives me confidence to tackle the day. Also, reading fast is very important as one can read more that way.
Create email drafts
I spend an additional 10 minutes on any emails I may have missed during the previous evening and address them, and simply create some ‘response drafts’ to save on time. This helps me when I reach office.
Have a power breakfast
I am a fan of a heavy breakfast and avoid reading anything during breakfast. I focus on the food and just think of how I can make the day fruitful and contribute my best.
Spend time with the family
Next, I spend some quality conversational time with family. In addition to evenings, I feel it is very important to spend some time with your loved ones in the morning as well. Those heart-to-heart conversations are priceless and since mornings are full of energy, you focus on those conversations much better.
Make the most of your daily commute
I look outside the vehicle window to see what the outdoor advertisements are and use my Samsung Notes app to pen down any quick points that I need to accomplish through the day. This is also the time I listen to at least 3 powerful songs from my favourite list. I strongly believe that music has the power to uplift your mood.
At the end of this piece, I would like to say: share as much you learn, because sharing has a ripple effect and gives you back much more. I do hope my rituals may be of help to someone. Whatever your rituals may be, build it, follow it and make it ‘deeper’ for overall wellness. For example, I am trying to include a few minutes of meditation in my morning ritual. There is always room for improvement.