When we are struggling to be creative, lacking time, energy, or even will, one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is a creative morning routine. The routine becomes a structure, a safe place we step into where we don’t have to think, decide, or really do anything at all if we don’t want to. We choose the parameters and then let the walls we create nourish us towards our creative intentions. You may feel that you are already happy to continue creating the way you have been, or that this would never work for you, and of course you might be right… But as Tolstoy says “true life is lived when tiny changes occur” and so it may be time to reconsider or tweak the old in service of living a true life.
Designing your own creative morning routine is a transformational act of intention that has the potential to keep you creating and exploring the sacred in your life.
Imagine devoting 1 hour each morning to your creative expression for just 6 weeks?
What would be different for you?
What might you discover about yourself in this time?
A creative morning routine is a sacred time and space that happens before anything else in your day and it ensures that your creative expression (and by extension you!) stays top priority. You sneak away from sleeping
children, pressing work deadlines, dependant family for just a while so that afterwards you are at your best. The ritual of creating during the same time and in the same space each day, helps cultivate a habit that conditions you to be ready to create daily. Doesn’t that sound powerful?
I have put together a worksheet along with some questions to help nudge you towards cultivating your own habit.
Grab the worksheet below and read on to learn more about customizing it for your own needs.
Seven considerations when making creative morning routine…
The earlier the better that way the world can’t interrupt you. Believe me it will. If your life is such that mornings just won’t work, please don’t let that be a barrier. I have certainly lived that life. Consider instead how you can create the conditions for more routine expression through this exercise at a time that works for you.
You call the shots. This time is for you not for work, making things for others, or “get more done.” Give yourself permission to be in absolute charge of this time and space.
Hold a boundary don’t bring your phone into this space. Don’t even check your email before. Do everything you can to prevent interruption, distraction, or that pesky to do list creeping in.
Create a ritual. How can you delineate this sacred space from normal life? Do you start with a mediation, a candle, moving your body, placing your materials out in an intentional way? Do the same things each day in exactly the same way. In time this will prime you to transition into this space with ease helping you to delineate this sacred container you are creating for yourself.
Intentionally create a “domino” action. Your domino is the first thing you do each morning, and it sets everything else that follows into action. All you have to do is start this first domino and you know there is no turning back. This might be closing the door to your space, making a cup of tea, grabbing your blanket anything that signals to you that you are moving onward towards creativity. Your domino works in conjunction with your ritual, together they help you so that you don’t need to think its all been done before hand. All you need to do is take the first action.
Within the walls of the routine where you create is absolute freedom. Your needs (whatever they are in the moment) must be honoured most of all. You can switch projects, play, or even just think. When you are in the sacred space its yours to cherish. Resist the urge to be productive here. The thing that is most essential is that you step into the space to meet your needs, not what happens in the space or what you choose to bring out of it.
What will you do during this time? Start with some ideas as to what you would like to explore and the ethic in which you will do it with. You want to have an idea as to what you will focus on so that you don’t find yourself unsure what to do. Have a simple focus and assign an amount of time to it. For example, I will draw something from my desk each morning, I will write poetry in response to my meditation, I will mix colours and create pallets I like, I will only play in the mornings etc.
You may be curious about my own creative morning routine and how it fits into all of this...
For me my day begins when I wake up at 5:50am before everyone, it’s usually still dark and I find that the quiet means that I can’t be pulled away from myself. I don’t check email, clean, or tend to anything but my creative routine. Once I am out of bed the rest falls into place. I don’t need to think. My domino is to turn the kettle on for coffee and once I do that the rest follows suit. My ritual is the same everyday prepare my space, place the same cushion just so and meditate, put my coffee in the same exact spot, and then create. I have one hour each morning where these walls I have made keep the world at bay and all I do is create. My husband is an instrumental support in making sure that no early risers creep in. Lately, my focus has been on creative writing I have a series of creative essays I am working on but I change might change my mind one day and decide to paint or embroider who knows, I have tweaked it many times in the past.
In all honesty, my morning routine has been a life raft for me over the past year. It keeps me tethered to myself even when the world is chaos. Please don’t think it’s perfect. It ebbs and flows and things within it are tweaked and shifted with the growth and needs of my life, but it is stable. I am thankful for the privilege to have this time and to choose what to do with it. I have had to be both patient and assertive in order to make it what it is, and I can tell you I am a better person because of it.
I wish you the best in crafting your own intention.
All my best,