This video offers 3 rituals that can change your life - quite literally. How we enter our day has everything to do with how we experience it and what we manifest. Yet far too often we don’t take the time for tuning the instrument of our being so that it is able to play the song of our hearts. Instead we roll out of bed, turn on our phones and tune into a world of information and demand all before we have any connection to ourselves. But these 3 core rituals will shift us into more present and embodied beings…
Why does it matter, how we start our days?
We are at a pivotal time in culture where our leadership capacities are simply not a match for the complexity of these times. We need to turn on the developmental tap again, and replace the inner operating system, so we can really show up in powerful, wise and loving ways that may not have ever been seen before, but are actually emerging through the pressure of the times.
In doing the research for our book The Way of the Mysterial Woman: Upgrading How you Live, Love and Lead, we found five studies that agreed on the key leadership capacities needed for today's complex world, and they aligned with our own discoveries:
- ease with ambiguity and uncertainty (mystery)
- network thinking
- building strategic alliances
- ability to hold paradox
- sensing what is critical and unspoken (intuitive knowing)
To meet and overcome the challenges on the planet today, we will need these complex adaptive capacities. We will need mental, emotional, somatic and spiritual intelligences. And we will need all of our Feminine and Masculine capacities woven together to create a whole new inner operating system that can express these new capacities.
“We can't solve the problems of today with the same kind of thinking we used to create them yesterday." - Einstein
How is this going to happen? If we’re in the habit of rolling out of bed to check our phones, social profiles, the news… we’re already reactive and often triggered as we head into our days. We’re often taking care of others, feeling rushed, irritated and anxious, bouncing from one thing to the next and not surprisingly we never really find the ‘sweet spot’ of our day. We assume it was ‘just a bad day’ and look forward to getting it over with. Then we repeat the same thing the next day and are surprised that it is just more of the same.
Our morning rituals create a reliable reality for better or for worse. You likely know the saying ‘what fires together wires together’. Quite simply our past becomes our future. If we think the same thoughts and have the same feelings, then we create the same reality. Energy follows intention… so if we are mindful about how we enter our days we can potentially set the template for things to unfold very differently.
The Metaphor of a Seed
Inspired by biomimicry, let’s look at the spring season, when a seed is sprouting. Within the seed is the potentiality for the flower. To begin with the seed is safe, secure and hidden, tucked in the earth. The seed can survive for millennia like this, but once it sprouts it becomes more fragile. If the conditions are right, the seed drops its secure, tough outer shell and yields to the potentiality within. In the fragile moment it begins to move, the fight start. There is the strong life force within that wants to express itself in a flower and there are all the other conditions in the environment that will resist that happening.
Like the flower within the seed, a new 'species' of woman is in potentiality, seeking to come forward and it's a fragile moment. We have stayed in seed form for millennia, but something is happening now that wants this seed to sprout and to grow. A kind of daring, audacity and the right enabling conditions are needed if our innate Mysterial Potential is going to make it out into expression.
These 3 morning rituals help to create the environment that can encourage and support your own innate potential to grow. They make it possible for you to bring more of yourself into your day and shape it in a way that is more satisfying, sustainable and fulfilling.
- Morning Pages - Journal Practice
Women tend to censor themselves. We need access to what we really sense in our bodies, feel in our emotions and think in our minds. We need to know the current reality. Often we do not want to know what we know, because we feel we would have to change things. It is vital to begin with what is so, and to become fierce with reality. This is the place from which change is possible. I explain more about this practice in the video above and in our book.
Practicing mindfulness involves calming and quieting the mind. There are ancient Buddhist texts that say this practice will significantly change perception of self, others and the world, and to shift our ability to be more present in the midst of difficulty… and now our scientific studies are confirming it! We learn in mindfulness practice both how to quiet the busy chatter of the mind, and also that we are not that thought stream that we are observing. The more we can rest in the place of our essence, the more likely that becomes the place from which we create our day, interact with our children, partners, colleagues and more. We become a resonant, radiant presence that inspires others. Simple mindful meditation can also help us recognize the subtle limiting beliefs that are directing our behavior. The helpful app Insight Timer may be supportive of your practice.
- Visualizing Your Conscious Intention
After your time in meditation you then take a few minutes to energize an image of yourself expressing your full authentic essence. This sets you up to create a day more aligned with your future self. In this practice you create a positive intention and activate your future self by engaging all of your senses as you work with the intention. Clarify your desire and then allow yourself to see it, feel it, taste it, touch it. Your statement needs to be relatively short and easy to remember, ideally using an “I am…” format. There are examples in our book. Many sports teams are utilizing this tool to envision the achievement of desired results. A team of Harvard Researchers studied two groups of volunteers who had never played the piano. One half practiced a simple 5-finger exercise for 2 hours each day over 5 days. The remaining half did the same but only in their imagination - not on an actual piano. Before and after brain scans showed that both groups created a dramatic number of new neural circuits in the region of the brain that controls finger movements.
These 3 practices and many more, are described in our book The Way of the Mysterial Woman: Upgrading How You Live, Love and Lead. With these practices as your morning ritual, you have the possiblity of creating a day that is sourced from your deeper feminine power, and ripples out through your relationships and into the world.
Perhaps like many students over the years you are wondering... “How will I ever do these? I am already too busy!” Let me offer a student’s comment who also asked this question as a busy corporate executive with a demanding life. After having practiced these rituals now for over a year she wrote, “It is no longer 'a must do' to start my day with journaling and meditation. It is a desire! This is such a change... such a gift. I am deeply grateful.”
If you’re interested in the installation of such practices, and tuning your day in this way, I encourage you to welcome discomfort initially. You will have to go against the old hard wiring, the old conditioned self, in order to open to a new self and new way of being. This is where it is of great advantage to have a container of loving accountability, a community of sisters to support you through the discomfort of the early stages, into when it becomes a pleasure. Join our Facebook group of budding Mysterials to open to the possibility of an amazing container. If you sense it is your time to do the accelerated work, please explore our programs.
My work includes poetry as an evocative language of the Mysterial, which brings together the feminine and masculine so beautifully. (To hear an audio poetry meditation, click here.) To inspire you further, I offer a poem from Dawna Markova:
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as a seed
goes to the next as a blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
In celebration of our courage to live our lives fully, freely expressing our deepest innate potentiality that indeed the world is most hungry for.