Full Circle Woman: Lesson 1: Morning Ritual
Realigning and Rebalancing
Imbalance of the feminine is at a crisis point today. With advances in technology and changes in the way we live and work, the pressure be constantly active and achieving is high. This requires that we all must engage our masculine energy to a high level, often at the expense of our feminine energy.
It’s your masculine energy that will see you pursue your goals, tick off your to-do list, and muster up the courage to do it all again tomorrow, as we’re all under pressure to do. But the feminine energy to have space to feel, to be present and to enjoy and nurture, takes second place.
Meanwhile, in our efforts to achieve gender equality over the last 100 years, we’ve been forced to compete with men for our rights in a world where the default body, the default brain and the default needs are that of a man.
This has meant that in order for us to be present in the public arena outside the home, we have to ignore the fluctuations of our bodies, of our energy and our needs in order to fit into the gender biased criteria.
To be labelled as emotional/hormonal/premenstural has been used as a way to disempower women for being authentic, while we push ourselves to perform outside the needs of our bodies and emotions, and then hide our symptoms when our bodies and emotions start to show distress.
In order to regain and nurture our feminine energy it is important to incorporate time into our day and our week where the feminine principle is engaged fully. Adding small change habits that embrace sensuality, presence and experience to our day and use feminine qualities such as sensory experience, softness, stillness, water, earth etc. we can begin to feel back in alignment with ourselves.
Rediscovering and developing your feminine energy can be an epic and exciting journey within, that takes a subtle shift on the outside.
In keeping with the way of the feminine, this can happen without the need for radical or forceful change. An open mind and a sense of allowing and experiencing will draw you closer to the feminine everyday without hard work or struggle.
To begin with, we start on the outside, focusing on physical, tangible experiences that can nurture the feminine. First, we have to identify this and experience this.
At the core, feminine energy is at its height when we are
- Using our Senses
- Appreciating Beauty
- Close to Nature
- Manifesting and allowing things to take shape
In physical qualities this can be found in anything soft, calming, indulgent, pleasing to the eye, sweet, nourishing, dark, chaotic, watery, earthy.
But make no mistake, when we engage our feminine energy, it isn’t always flowery. Feminine energy demands we feel our feelings, be authentic and expressive and in order to act this out, the feminine in us can be wild or destructive if the need is there. Just as in nature, the mother animal will embody nurturing and comfort until her young are threatened and she becomes fierce.
The Morning Ritual
I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have a morning routine that is mindful and nurturing. From a physiological standpoint, you are allowing your self to start the day in a balanced, peaceful way which means you are not starting your day loaded with stress hormones and groggy. This practice will also help you to clear your mind and your body properly. Commonly when I suggest this to clients, they are reluctant to take on a morning ritual, they worry they will be tired or won’t be able to get out of bed. This need only be an extra 15-20 minutes and the effect outweighs the loss of 20 minutes of sleep 10 fold once you’ve committed to do it for some time. Once you take on this practice and the evening practice you will have deeper, more nourishing sleep, so it’s a short term loss, long term gain.
Make this a special time for yourself, allow your self to be present in your body, to hear the sounds of the quiet morning time, to enjoy this ritual practice. This is your sacred time, that you must claim for your own well being. As much as you can, put all worries on hold. To help you structure your own morning ritual, here’s a basic structure.
If you need help with the meditation part – this is for you!
Do not, I repeat, do not interrupt this practice with your phone.
In Ayurveda for optimum health, its recommended you get up around sunrise or between 4am – 6am. Rising with the sun will help regulate your hormones and offer you a chance to start before the rush of the rest of the world gets under way. If this is possible – great! If not, get up with enough time to give yourself a good 20 minutes to do this practice. Ideally you should just get up at a time before you can hear or sense the rest of the world rushing, before the traffic outside gets crazy, or you can hear the rest of the family getting frantic.
When you wake, before you start your day, do a quick body awareness scan, feel the sheets on your skin, check your body for aches and appreciate the cosiness and comfort of your bed. Once your eyes are open, think of at least one thing you are grateful for or, if it’s relevant for you, say a short prayer of thanks.
While you’re sleeping your system does a lot of work to detox and digest. But if you’re in runningoutthedoorNOW mode, your body won’t be able to get in action for elimination. When I say elimination, I mean, you should have a pee and a poo in the morning before going out. If you’re not able to poo in the morning, in all likelihood you are probably dehydrated or not getting the right dietary fibre. Start to pay attention to whether this is happening or not.
The best way to start the day is with a hot hydrating drink. Think herbal tea, hot water with tumeric, lemon or apple cider vinegar. To make this more powerful, make the tea, find somewhere quiet to sip your tea rather than leaving it to cool while you do something else.
Once you’ve made your tea, sit somewhere you can do a simple meditation. Allow any thoughts of the day to settle as you sip and then close your eyes and settle into a meditation practice. If silent meditation isn’t your thing, try the video above.
Did you ever notice that the first thing an animal does when it wakes up is stretch? Animals know innately that in order for them to function optimally, they need to stretch after rest to gently stimulate circulation and increase mobility in the joints. For us, it also has the benefit of helping us feel connected to our body which boosts our immunity, reduces stress and helps with intuition. Yoga is the ideal way to embody. If you feel it’s suitable, some gentle warm ups and a sun salute can take as little as 15 minutes. If not I recommend a short flow I call the moving meditation. See next page. If you don’t wish to do yoga in the morning, a self care practice such as dry brushing your body as mindfully as you can is great for helping to stimulate your circulatory and lymph system and building body awareness simultaneously.
One of the key stressors on the body that causes hormonal imbalance is not getting a steady flow of suitable nutrition. It’s important to eat as you start your day in order to prevent blood sugar dips, cravings and give your body fuel. Fresh fruit and vegetables are an excellent way to start as is fibre rich food like porridge. It’s important to ensure that you don’t spike your blood sugar in the morning with a high sugar breakfast that does not have enough protein and fibre to keep you satiated. For example, if you make a smoothie in the morning, ideally it should have greens such as spinach or kale in it as well as fruit, a scoop of an organic, high quality protein powder or nut butter is a good addition too. Avoid adding sugar and processed foods. If you enjoy coffee, avoid having it first thing.