How to Own Your Morning and Elevate Your Life

AHL's Wellness Editor Alaska Gedeon's guide to early rising — at home or on the road

Image by Steve McCurry
Image by Steve McCurry

By Alaska Gedeon on 6.14.21

Practice isn’t about a final destination but about fine-tuning your relationship with the process. The deeper the relationship, the deeper the practice.

Working in a fast paced environment as an executive, I grew accustomed to putting out fires as soon as my eyes opened. I was reacting to emails, making sure my partner’s needs were being met, and anything else that needed my energy. When I decided to make the change to working for myself, I found it challenging to start my day. I was addicted to the anxiety that drove me.

I knew something needed to change but couldn’t articulate what I was feeling and lacked. I came across the book, “The 5 AM Club” by Robin Sharma who advises readers to take excellent care of the front end of your day, and the rest of your day will take care of itself. “Own your morning. Elevate your life,” the book says.

I began to look for affirmations that aligned with this teaching to help me in both my every day routine at home and while traveling, so that I could feel grounded even when on the road. The first affirmation was: “If I take control of the start of my day, the rest will flow.” As I started to adjust the beginning of my days, I found four key methods that lead to lasting change:

1.  Be present and meditate.

Just as meditation is about being extremely present, other activities might help introduce that kind of sharp focus. Occasionally my moments of presence happen not when I am sitting crossed-legged but when I am washing dishes or watering my plants.  This could be simply focusing on my breathing.

The goal for me is to shut out the noise and listen to the chatter going on upstairs. Staying still and feeling the waves of emotions that I haven’t been able to process. It can be sitting in traffic and taking slow, controlled breaths and releasing them at the same pace, or slowing your heart rate down to feel the emotions you’ve been avoiding or too preoccupied to acknowledge.

2. Incorporate movement

What does movement look like? Sometimes it is yoga, other times it is Tai Chi, or maybe it is a simple stretch day for me. Whatever it is, I use this time to acknowledge that I am occupying this vessel, and it is my job to provide its upkeep.

3. Journaling to make time for yourself

I use this time to either plan my day or address what I am feeling, regardless of whether I’m on a trip or at home. I ask myself how I handled conflict I may have experienced with my partner or anyone else in my day-to-day interactions. The point is to make room for yourself.

4. Rising before others

The more I got into the importance of rising before anyone else, the more I valued time alone. It gives me a chance to process my thoughts before I deal with anyone else’s. I also found it got just a little easier to commit to and to tailor my practice, the results were noticeable. I really got into waking up early to meditate and see what else I could uncover. I didn’t have a plan after that, but I trusted that “once I took care of the front end of my day, the rest would pretty much take care of itself.”

Now, whenever I feel anxiety creeping in, I lean into my practice. When traveling and knowing I have a busy schedule, my approach and practice ground me no matter where I am. Because, as the affirmation goes: By committing to my practice, I am grounded wherever I go.

To get into the rhythm of your morning a little easier, check out Alaska’s “Find Your Flow” playlist here.

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