Fashion is the way I introduce myself to the world, every day, without saying anything.

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When you wake up in the morning, what is your first thought? Is it, I’m so excited for everything that is about to happen today or Oh God, today is going to suck, I just want to get through it. It’s natural to connect your energy or lack thereof to the amount of sleep you got the night before, but I have gone to bed early and woken up with a sense of dread just as much as I have been running on fumes and can’t wait for my feet to hit the floor.s
Recently I have taken up a few different rituals throughout my day that generally make me feel so much better: meditating at least twice a day, writing, walking slower, drinking a lot more water, avoiding unconscious eating, feeling gratitude for what’s right in front of me. But even then, there are moments in my mornings when I wonder how I’m going to tackle everything on my plate and start to feel anxious before I step one foot out the door.

One of the major benefits of meditation is that you realize your implicit power. You realize that you are connected to everything, that you don’t have to feel separate, desperate, or anxious if you don’t want to feel that way. But often we do, because we unconsciously include things in our days that don’t support our deepest, truest selves. You know I’m a big fan of the art of saying no and believe in it’s power, but there’s another side to that – choosing when to say yes. Saying yes should be self-serving in a way that bolsters your spirit, creates presence, and grounds you. It’s not being self-obsessed, in fact it’s the opposite, it’s being self-assured. Being deeply happy means cultivating happiness from the ground up – and the ground, in this instance, is your desire.

Tweet: Saying yes should be self-serving in a way that bolsters your spirit. @courtneyromano via @littleredswell

suThe question changes from, How am I going to make this work? to What do I want to make work?

The beginning to any real change has to do with defining how you want to feel. It’s not always easy to figure out how you want to feel when you’re surrounded with a lot of extra noise. This is the work I do as a wellness coach, but you don’t necessarily need someone else to guide you through it. All you need is some space, time, maybe a new journal that you can pour your love into, and these questions:

How do you plan your day? Take a minute to acknowledge how you prioritize and include things in your day. Do you say yes to everyone else and then work around your obligations to give yourself what you need or do you set your needs in pen and pencil everyone else around that? Schedule yourself in a way that supports your desires.
Who do you put into your day? We don’t always get to choose who we run into or work with, but we can choose how much of our mental space we allow them to take up. If there is an energy-sucker in your life, you have to learn how to protect your own. This takes some work, but an easy start to self-protection is the Ten Second Rule. When something they do gets under your skin, give yourself ten seconds before you mentally respond to it so you avoid simply reacting.
What do you surround yourself with? This is a question Craig and I are working through in our apartment. We are getting rid of things that don’t actually reflect us and only buying something if we feel it will make our apartment creatively-nurturing. For us, it’s important to have a space that generates creative habits – but for you it might be a space that provides calm, stillness, excitement, wonder, simplicity. Surrounding yourself with what reflects you will keep you reminded of your purpose.
sunWhat story do you tell yourself in the morning? Do you feel obliged to everyone and everything? Remember that you chose these obligations. I’m not pointing the finger and saying you deserve to feel stressed and anxious because you chose them. I’m saying, be honest enough with yourself to realize why you chose them in the first place, and trust yourself enough to know you can choose something else and still thrive.
Do you burn through energy, or light your fire all day long? If you’re burning down and out, find the moments of the day that drag you down and release them. For me that has always been my all or nothing mentality – I’m either working too hard or completely zoned out. I wanted something in between so I started doing things that would help that: going for a walk, putting down the creative work when I was feeling uninspired, foam-rolling. Even when you’re excited about every aspect of your day, you need to fuel your fire consistently.
Mornings have the potential to charge the rest of the day. When you can create a daily life that reflects you in every aspect, getting out of bed won’t be a chore, it’ll be a thrill.
How do you want to feel when you wake up in the morning?
all images via Pinterest
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