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One tip to tweak your morning routine to become happier and more creative

Recently, I had a major epiphany about how to tweak my morning routine to become more creative, happier, and joyful.

But, first, the morning routine.

I learned a few years ago about the power of having a morning routine in Hal Elrod’s book, “The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM).”

The author writes about the many benefits of a morning routine such as waking up every day with more energy, drive, and structure; lowering stress levels, improving health, increasing productivity, and having more gratitude and less anxiety.

He lists six activities to include in your morning routine that he calls “savers.”

The term SAVERS stands for:

  • Silence (meditation/prayer)
  • Affirmations
  • Visualization
  • Exercise
  • Reading
  • Scribing (journaling)

The idea is to spend the first hour of your day on these items. On those days that you don’t have an hour then you can condense your routine into whatever time you have.

I won’t go into all the details because there are so many great articles on this topic already, including this one by Ricardo Singh, “Miracle Morning routine: 6 steps to boost productivity.”

I don’t do all six items but use them more as a menu to choose from depending on how I feel and what I think I need that morning.

My morning routine is the foundation of my day and without it, I feel lost at sea, afloat on a wave of too many responsibilities and tasks. That time to myself in the morning centers me for the day, and I feel as if time expands for me as a result—not in some woo-woo, supernatural way but because I’m more focused and productive.

So, what’s my epiphany?

Long story short is last year was rough for me—between struggling with a flare up of a health issue and trying to save my cat’s life (he’s good now), I didn’t have much extra energy for my creative projects. I put my poetry aside completely and spent what little creative energy I had on the novel I’m working on.

I’d have fleeting thoughts about writing a poem or reading some poetry, but then my “logical” brain would tell me I “should” be spending my time on more “productive” pursuits.

Fast forward to this year. I’m feeling better. My cat, Teddy Bear, is doing great. And, I have more energy for my creative work. So when I saw a virtual poetry workshop by two of my favorite local poets, I just knew I had to attend. I’m so glad I listened to my intuition and signed up for the workshop.

The workshop changed my life.

I wrote several poems during the workshop and came away with a slew of poem ideas for the future. I got to network with other poets, too, but the true gift was rediscovering my poetry.

When I used to do one-on-one coaching with people, I’d always end my sessions by asking them the question, “What feeds your soul?” For me, it’s poetry. Without poetry in my life, I feel disconnected. I feel unmoored.

My logical brain tried to tell me that poetry wasn’t a worthy pursuit—I should be spending that time and energy working.

But when I stopped to really think about that psychological program (because that’s all it is—a childhood program that I learned that says you’re only worthy if you’re working hard), I realized how DEAD WRONG it was.

I asked myself, “What is the MOST valuable thing you can do while you are here on earth?” My answer had to do with helping people plug back into their heart and soul. Helping others FEEL connected and whole.

And guess what? THAT is EXACTLY what poetry does. So, in reality, poetry is the MOST important thing I can do.

So how does this tie in with my morning routine epiphany? Easy. Since it’s not financially possible for me to spend my entire day steeped in poetry and writing, I had to find a way to include poetry into my daily life, and I did—via my morning routine.

Now, I read poetry every morning–even if it’s only for a few minutes. My minimum is to read one new poem a day. And if I have the time and inclination, I can read more and maybe even write a new poem. The other morning, I read a haiku and ended up writing a new poem as a string of haikus. I’d never done that before, and it felt thrilling and exciting!

Do you want to become happier, more joyful, and more creative? First, ask yourself what feeds your soul? What lights you up? What feels as important to you as breathing?

Maybe it’s not poetry. Maybe it’s painting, sculpture, reading or writing mystery novels, learning guitar or piano, painting rocks, coloring, doing puzzles, learning about something new, inventing things, working in your machine shop, whittling wood, making furniture, decorating, etc.

If you don’t know what your thing is, don’t worry. Just hold the question loosely in your mind. Ask your muse to bring you some ideas. Try one on and if that doesn’t feel right, try another one on. You’ll eventually find it. Give yourself grace and time.

Once you have it, think about how you can incorporate that thing that feeds your soul into your day. Even if it can’t be in the morning, find a way to incorporate it into your day somewhere.

My entire being has shifted since adding my one thing to my morning routine. I’m happier now. I feel more grounded. When I have to do something I don’t necessarily enjoy, it doesn’t bother me as much. I just do it because I know I’ve got poetry. Poetry has my back. Poetry will always be here for me. Poetry is my jam.

What’s your jam?

You can find some of my poetry here.

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