Last week NYT bestselling author Tim Ferris was on the Tonight Show talking about his newest book, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers.
Tim's interviewed thousands of the most successful people in the world on his podcast, and is a massive success himself.
His new book is a "best of" compilation of all the things people used to become captains of their industry.
Anyway, during the interview Jimmy Fallon asked Tim,
"What's the #1 thing people did to become so successful?"
Tim said, and I'm paraphrasing here, but this is the gist:
"The #1 thing they all did, hands down, was they had some kind of daily mindfulness practice."
Tim said it kept coming up over and over in his interviews -having a daily mindfulness practice was a key habit of the most successful and influential people in the world.
Tim said it varied from person to person, some listened to music, some meditated, some journaled, but they all did something each day - and they usually did it in the morning.
Personally, I've noticed my own life flows much better if I do something inspired each morning, even if it's only for a few minutes.
There's a few inspirational practices I keep coming back to that I've had outstanding results with, and I've listed my "Top Five" below.
Some of these practices you can do in five minutes or less, others take a little more time.
I always try to do at least one of these practices each morning. If I don't have time for one, then I'll just say a quick prayer for a most benevolent outcome for my day, and on I go.
Anyway, here are a few of my all-time favorite morning meditation rituals that will instantly add a dose of joy and tranquility to your day, and to your life.
Tone Your Chakras
Time commitment: Less than 5 minutes
I recently had an incredible energy healing session with a spiritual intuitive. She told me one of the most powerful things you can do to heal your body is by toning with your voice.
I'd never heard of this before, but did some research about toning and discovered she was right.
In ancient Sanskrit, Hebrew, Chinese, etc, vowel sounds are considered sacred, and have been used as healing tools for centuries.
Repeating a mantra like "OM" or holding a vowel sound like "A" or "E" can actually change your brain waves and balance your emotions.
I also discovered there are tones that correspond with each of your chakras (energy centers in your body), and when you use them you can get them back into harmony if they're unbalanced.
How to Heal Your Chakras
Discover how to balance your chakras in this free, in-depth blog series from the Empowered Emotion blog.
Anyway, I love this chakra toning practice because you can use it in the shower, driving in your car, etc.
And, even better, it only takes a few minutes to do.
I've found this practice to be relaxing and have noticed major positive changes in my overall well-being from using it regularly.
- Chant each of the following mantras for each chakra one at a time, or in sequences (see photo below).
- Focus on the area the chakra is located while you're toning the sound.
- To deepen this practice, think of the color of the chakra as you're toning it. For example, when you're toning the sound "LAM" for the root chakra, visualize the color red washing over your body. For the next chakra, the sacral, visualize the color orange...and so on.
Time commitment: 5-10 minutes
Daily morning yoga is one of the best ways to invigorate your mind, body, and spirit.
One of my favorite yoga practices to do in the morning is the simple, classic, Sun Salutation.
I love practicing Sun Salutations in the summertime outside in my backyard, facing the East while the sun is rising.
I always say a prayer of gratitude to the sun while I'm doing my poses because I think it enhances this practice.
Personally, I think this is what the Sun Salutation practice is about...giving gratitude to the amazing, life-giving sun and honoring it for sharing its light with us every single day.
- Do five Sun Salutations in the morning (five in numerology is the number of the sun.)
- Give gratitude to the sun for its amazingness while you're doing your Sun Salutations.
Here's a great video on how to do Sun Salutations if you're unfamiliar with how to do them:
Time commitment: 15-30 minutes
This simple practice is from an incredible book called The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
(PS: I personally think every creative person should read The Artist's Way at least once in their life. It's so inspirational!)
- Write three pages, longhand, about whatever you want to every morning.
Yes, it's that simple.
Just get a blank notebook, and every morning write three pages about anything.
I've found doing morning pages helps me clear out the clutter of my mind and gives me a greater perspective of where I want to go in the future.
There are some great articles from people who have done morning pages about why this simple practice works so well if you'd like to read more:
Time commitment: Less than 5 minutes
Obviously, I'm a huge fan of gratitude practices. They're so simple, yet so powerful.
I usually like to do my gratitude practice before bed because it helps me sleep better, but I've found writing in my gratitude journal in the morning gives me a nice boost of joy and energy for the day ahead.
I've also heard from several of my readers they like to practice gratitude while drinking their morning coffee or on their commute to work, which I think is wonderful, too.
I've got a couple of options for you when it comes to gratitude practices - just choose one that sounds most fun to do.
- Write down what you're grateful for inside a gratitude journal.
- Write your gratitude on a slip of paper, and put it into a gratitude jar.
- Do a five-minute gratitude meditation (there's a lovely guided gratitude meditation in my book The Gratitude Jar: A Simple Guide to Creating Miracles.)
Please feel free to explore my Gratitude Blog for more ideas on how to start a gratitude practice, there are tons of free life-changing exercises on this site.
Take a Sound Bath
Time commitment: 5 minutes
Sound therapy has been used since ancient times by the Greeks, Hebrews, Persians, Romans, and indigenous people around the world for healing.
There's also been all sorts of modern research into the benefits of sound therapy.
Here's a few benefits of sound therapy that researchers have found:
- Lowers anxiety & blood pressure
- Releases endorphins
- Massages internal organs
- Helps release trauma embedded in our tissues
- Reduces stress
- Aids in cell repair
Pythagoras, one of the most influential philosophers in history, said sound, especially music, was one of the most powerful forms of healing available to man.
Unfortunately, our modern world is filled with inharmonious sounds that knock us out of balance.
Electrical hums, sirens, beeping appliances...all these things keep us out of tune.
The best way to get back into tune, back into balance and harmony, is by taking a daily sound bath.
I recently started doing sound baths for 5 minutes each morning and have noticed a huge change in the way I feel.
It's sooooo healing...I definitely recommend you try it at least once a week if you can.
- Lie down in a comfortable position, and play your favorite relaxing music.
- Let the sound wash over you, cleansing your body of any sound pollution from the outside world.
- Breathe deeply, and release any tension in your body.
I like to listen to Clar de Lune by Debussy or anything by Beethoven because I find classical music really healing.
I know other people who like other types of music, or even nature sounds, for their sound bath.
Sometimes I swap out classical music and put on 5 minutes of whale and dolphin noises because I find them really healing too.
Either way, find what sounds resonate with you, then use them for your sound bath to rebalance your body.
I found this practice in a book called, The 5-Minute Healer: Self-Healing Techniques for Busy People.
I bought this book forever ago, but I still use it all the time.
There's a ton of super powerful healing practices in it.
It's available on Amazon right here if you'd like to pick up a copy.