“One way to set – and keep reinforcing – a positive mindset, is to set that intention at the start of each day. Morning, when the birds start chirping and daylight peeks through your curtains, is a great time to do this. But I know, I know! So often, the little ones wake before the birds. If they don’t, and the choice is between an early rise to take a moment to ‘fill your cup’ or grabbing a few more Zs, I know which one a mummy will usually make! I’ll let you in on a secret, though: while I usually choose the Zs, on days when I do get up to do a little bit of yoga, or to work on writing this book, my day begins so much better . . . and by association with feeling better, I start the day more positively… “
This is an excerpt from my book Dear Mummy, You’re Important Too.
I also wrote that a full yoga class isn’t a possibility for me in the mornings now that I have children. But life surprises us, doesn’t it? We can surprise ourselves – if we’re open to opportunity.
Recently I set a goal with soul: to become a Registered Yoga Teacher. The opportunity unexpectedly presented itself on a Sunday morning. I made the decision on Sunday afternoon. I was enrolled by Wednesday. The course starts in September so I thought I’d better limber up and set up the right habit and space (both physically and mentally) in preparation.
Here’s what I did and here’s what happened:
- Created an awakening playlist
- Created a space – not a new room, no special décor, just a yoga mat alongside my bed
- Laid out my clothes so that those ten steps in the wintery morning air between my cosy bed and wardrobe are no excuse
- Set my alarm
- Switched the snooze button for Spotify and got moving
I moved. I creaked.
I moved. I groaned.
The music kept me going.
I moved. I opened. It starts to feel good.
I moved. I breathed. Oh sweet air to power me.
I moved. I flowed.
And I flowed right through my week…
Monday to Friday I spent 40 minutes, in the gentle glow of sunrise, on my mat.
Never mind about the yoga course, this has had a more profound benefit.
It set my mind right. It opened my body to the day. It centred me and provided a cocoon of calm, which carried me through the week.
I found myself more aware of my emotional state and more able to manage it. I took more deep breaths. My body was less tight, softer, and with this came a softness in my voice. I spoke to my girls more calmly. I shouted less. In fact, I can only recall losing my patience once this week – and that’s pretty good for a working mum of two pre-schoolers who juggled four kindy sessions, three work days, two doctors’ appointments, one blood test, one site and sound check for my Dear Mummy event next week and a sponsorship pitch for another (Dear Mummy is not my day job, oh would that it were!), a swimming lesson, a play date… all before 5pm Friday! Oh plus the 15 meals made, 50 dishes washed, 100 items of clothes cleaned… I’m not suggesting my week has been harder or more full than yours; I would never do that (you can read my musings on judgement here). We are all navigating our own path.
What I’m hoping to highlight is that despite the pressures us mummies are under, we can take action that is free and accessible to us all, to feel lighter, stronger, empowered, energised, in control.
I did also say in my book, at the end of that excerpt: “(so I should get up and do these things more often!)”. A nicely-placed prod to myself. You see, I wrote my book for me as much as any mum because I’m in the thick of it too and I need a reminder sometimes.
Today is Saturday. I’ve woken happy. I’ve coloured in with my daughters. I’m enjoying the day in a different way than Saturdays gone by. I feel like I’m moving slower. I’m noticing more. I’m living more. I put it down to re-setting and re-instating a regular morning practice of movement and mindfulness.
Sound good? Want to give it a go? I’ll help:
- Want an awakening playlist? Get mine here.
- Want a yoga sequence to follow? Get one here.
- Want some time-out, tools and personal motivation from me?
I do hope these words inspire you, and the links above motivate you to move a little – it doesn’t have to be yoga or take 40 minutes, it might be just 10 minutes of gentle stretching to some morning beats. Anything to awaken your body, awaken your mind, awaken your senses; feel, live, be.