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A morning ritual allows us to create and then cross a threshold, where we may garner the gifts of our rest and set an intention for what lies ahead. Without a morning ritual, we risk finding ourselves shoved abruptly into our day, with the shout of the morning alarm in our ears and the glare of the newsfeed before our still bleary eyes. A ritual helps us to soften that transition, to bridge the hazy land of dream and the sharp world of wakefulness.

Step 1: Emerging

As you wake, there is a window. You’re still half-dreaming. Your logic hasn’t yet kicked in. Make the most of this fleeting spaciousness by simply welcoming your breath, eyes closed, for the first minutes after you wake. Let your dreams surface and release. Let your awareness come back into your body. And, with your eyes still closed, welcome the day that is now beginning, just as you release the night that is now coming to an end.

Note: Ideally, replace your phone with a physical alarm clock and postpone the intrusion of screens.

Step 2: Cleansing

In the shower, let the water carry with it any thoughts or words that no longer serve you, washing them away down the drain. Imagine the water as light, rinsing you clear, inside and out.

Step 3: Creating

Scan ahead to a particular moment in the day. Imagine yourself in that future present.

See yourself with eyes shining, mind engaged, heart open, and body relaxed. Energize the moment, whether you expect it to be a challenge or a pleasure, or anything in between.

Whatever it may contain, imagine it to be blessed. And then, simply go with gratitude into your day, centered, curious, and calm.

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About the Contributor

Tiu de Haan is an Oxford-educated ritual designer, creative facilitator, inspirational speaker, broadcaster, and musician. As a ritual designer, she creates bespoke ceremonies to honor the thresholds in our lives. Her TEDx talk “Why We Still Need Ritual” has over twenty thousand views, and she has been a keynote speaker at Google, Sunday Assembly, and the UN International Day of Happiness.