mornings are for beauty
"Let me hear in the morning
of your merciful love,
for in you I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my heart"
Mornings are hard. We all have our reasons for wanting to stay in bed juuuusttt a little bit longer...or not getting out...period [guilty], but lets face it: If we are truly able to get out of bed, we ought to. We were given life today for a reason!
Unless work or some other obligation presents itself at the beginning of the day, it generally does not matter if I arise at 7:30, 8:16 or 9:00. More often than not, that 9am wakeup call is my go to choice.
In the spirit of growing in self mastery and not giving into my spur of the moment desires, I've been putting the effort into making my mornings less of a waste and actually worth something. If not productivity, I want my mornings to be of beauty.
It's a continual struggle, but I've honed in on a few aspects that have helped in making the first couple hours of the day less torturous and more beautiful + I wanted to share them with you!
s o c i a l m e d i a
For the longest time checking insta + facebook notifications was the first thing on my morning regime. While social media has been a blessing beyond measure in my life, a certain amount of discipline must be present or else it takes over. Despite all the good it has brought, I don't want social media to be the cornerstone of my life + so a few guidelines are needed.
Recently, I've instituted a simple "no social media before 10am or after 10pm" rule. Though sometimes I throw up my arms and say "SCREW IT!" and check those pesky notifications anyway, it's been a fairly doable start to keeping my time online under control. Further restrictions concerning my time online will be implemented with in the future so as to further practice self-denial and simply learn to live in the present moment...but for the time being, this is where I'm at. And it's been good.
p r a y e r
Nighttime is a far better time for me to sit down and pray than the morning. This is simply because I don't want to do anything in the morning--and in the evenings, I'm already up so why not? But since removing social media from my AM, I needed something to replace it...and since sainthood isn't possible without prayer...well... I basically said "Well Jesus, you leave me no choice." ;)
I started with saying three Hail Mary's first thing. For each Hail Mary I ask for an increase of the three theological virtues---hope, faith + charity. If you're a newbie (or...lazy...like someone that isn't me...obviously...) to prayer this is an awesome & totally doable place to start!
Since getting that practice down pat, I've added Morning Prayer to my routine. Fact: I suck at the Liturgy of Hours. It's long + I don't usually understand what the readings mean which is frustrating.
However, there is a distinct beauty about LoH, even if I don't "get it". Giving the first several minutes of your day to God is beautiful in of itself--but also getting to pray along with the Universal Church is truly epic. Those are the reasons I keep with Liturgy of Hours, even though it's difficult.
b r e a k f a s t
Food is good. Always. Sometimes laziness prevails and I'll grab whatever is easiest and fastest, but I always do best if I've put a little effort into fixing & eating something that will nourish my body. Cooking generally puts me in a nice mood, throw in some colorful food (and not Trix cereal... ;) ) on a pretty plate + I'm good to go!
Breakfast favorites come in phases. French toast was my go-to choice for a long time, but while I can justify it's goodness for having butter, eggs, peanut butter and syrup (which is healthy if it isn't corn syrup...) those carbs just don't stay off the back end + thighs quite as well as they used too... eeeeeeek. Now I'm enjoying a couple eggs scrambled with love + cheese, wrapped up in a tortilla. All it takes is 10 minutes of effort and belly is happy as a clam. <3
Next I want to add smoothies in a couple times a week. What's not to love about a good smoothie??--It's like natures icecream!
m u s i c
I've started recently by waking up by way of alarm (that whole discipline thing...darnit), but alarm sounds stress me out in the worst kinds of ways. While usually I'm a fan of a lot of pop music and anything with a beat, I have discovered that waking up to that causes stress and anxiety the same as the dreaded beep beep beep. For awhile, I tried waking up to softer, indie-folk music (such as Alanna Marie Boudreau) which helped, but wasn't quite calm enough.
Just this last week, I've started waking up to classical pieces--generally songs from movie scores--and it's been nothing short of lovely. In fact, I enjoy it so much that I generally don't listen to anything else for the rest of the morning. A few days ago I had gotten up at 3:00 (yes, AM) for work & was playing movie soundtracks and thought to myself "Man! These Pride & Prejudice songs are reaaally getting me going today!" Yep. I'm a dork. Not ashamed.
These are my favorite wake-up songs right now...
Secret Life of Daydreams (Pride & Prejudice) || My Edward and I (Jane Eyre) || Feather Theme (Forrest Gump) || Love and the Hunter (Downton Abbey) || Where my Baes At (Miranda Sings)
(I'm mostly kidding about the last one. Wink.)
o t h e r l o v e l y t h i n g s
-Noticing the sunshine when it's present. Winter in particular makes mornings sooo hard, but sunshine gives me hope.
-Placing religious items where I can see them first thing. I have Mamma Mary + St. Therese smiling at me the second I roll over. :)
-Fun pajamas. I'm a sucker for leggings as pajamas (swooon), but there is nothing like a pair of penguin/other random animal-clad pajamas to make me smile.
-Having something good for the soul to read. I don't always have the time to pick up a book before the day must begin, but when I do...it's just awesome.
-Remembering that life is a gift + that I have purpose. You do too. So go get 'em tiger.
God bless y'all <3
p.s.... Not *directly* related but since I was wearing my pjs (which Abbey calls my "Lent-Pants"...because....fish...) when the pic was taken...
Sarah Therese is awesome. She's been crafting and gifting lovely corded rosaries over on her blog & instagram which is beautiful. More than anything else (other than the Mass of course) I love the rosary & it's such a joy to have been given one so carefully and lovingly made. Plus, I never had a corded rosary before and therefor, never really felt like a real Catholic....BUT NOW I DO. ;) <3