Morning Mindfulness Routine

“We make our routines THEN our routines make us.”

This is one of many powerful concepts out there and one of the few I apply as much as possible

The simplicity makes it. Want to be fit? Dedicate time to be fit. Want to produce? Sing? Dance? By building it into our days/weeks/months, pending on how soon we want to achieve, our routines will and do make us who we are and who we wish to be.

After wrapping my head around this, I was determined to put it to work. And being aware of a lack of mindfulness in my life, I wanted to become more mindful. Once I would apply the routines in my life — (POOF!) I’d be a new person. Right?

In short, yes.
However, a speed bump I faced on the regular was inconsistent practice. Two days on, two days off. A week on, two weeks off. A month on, 3 months off. The amount of time it took to make progress was straight-up discouraging. At some point during the “off” time awareness crept in and immediately after that, came a trigger to create a new plan. But again, many times these plans and schedules were short-lived and ineffective long term — until one late night up writing.

In a superhuman-like 3 AM rhythm, as my man Ludovico Einaudi played softly in the background via YouTube autoplay, I was in the groove and getting shit done. Naturally, on autoplay, related composers came on for a bit and then it went silent. Minutes later, I was distracted by the voices in my head and realized the music was off. I assumed it was a wifi glitch and clicked onto Chrome while I increased the volume on my laptop. Little did I know I was about to enter the world of the infamous Hans Zimmer. This genius — behind the scores of Hollywood blockbusters; Dark Night, Inception, Interstellar, Pirates of the Caribbean and more, had my full attention as I unknowingly raised the volume more and more.

So much for a quick reset.
Next up, came a few of his best from Gladiator. I couldn’t help but grab the closest pair of headphones and turn it up. Nine or so minutes later, when these 3 songs were over, forget writing, I was ready to hold the world up with my bare hands! I really felt like there was nothing I couldn’t do. Breathing with intensity as if I was about to enter the ground floor of the Colosseum with Maximus himself, I opened up a notes section on my laptop and added this routine to my schedule.

It read:
Wake up
Listen to Gladiator

I knew if I started my day with this feeling of inner peace and emotional strength I could be pretty damn unstoppable.

During the nine-minute routine of just closing my eyes, breathing deeply, and listening to these epic tracks, I think of magic moments in my life both big and small. This was a lot more difficult for me at first than it may seem. As the music plays, I focus on going back into my amazing memories one at a time and feel grateful to have experienced each of them. For me, the smallest memories and experiences are the ones that make me happiest.

Post this 9-minute power practice, I fire up something current to get me moving. Now it’s ODESZA's super uplifting jam "Meridian".

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, I made it a point to buy these songs and create a playlist. This, in combination with going to sleep with my phone on airplane mode, allows me to:

  1. Start my day with clarity
  2. Cut distraction from late night and early morning notifications
  3. Limit time, consuming unessential news and social media
  4. Go uninterrupted while listening to the routine that makes me feel powerful, mindful, and grateful.

If you’re interested in the Gladiator playlist, here’s links to pull them up in iTunes. Played in this order, they flow into one another, like one long track.
"Elysium" – 2:41 (iTunes
"Honour Him" – 1:19 (iTunes
"Now We Are Free" – 4:14 (iTunes)

Do you have tools and tactics in your morning routine that could help us have more energy, be happier, and more productive? Are there specific songs or music that you listen to that make you feel awesome? If yes, please share it — we’d really love to hear about it.

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