Have you ever opened your eyes in the morning and immediately felt your heart start to pound, and your adrenaline kick in?
For most of my life, I woke up every morning with that fresh, red hot "just got kicked in the stomach" feeling. I was nervous. I started each day in "fight or flight" mode, and my nervous system and adrenals were in overdrive.
I was afraid of no particular thing, for no particular reason. I grew up in a loving household. Both parents worked hard for my sister and I, which I totally appreciate and love them for. As far as I'm concerned, they were the best parents on earth for me.
However, my parents were always stressed. Stressed about money, stressed about who was picking who up from school, stressed about work, stressed about all kinds of adult things but most importantly, they were always stressed about life in general.
Mom and Dad were so busy working and worrying, that what my sister and I were lacking was true emotional support from our parents. They tried, and they tried hard. And they did a great job with what they knew and what little energy they had left at the end of the day. But that doesn't erase the reality that we were emotionally neglected.
Their stress and anxiety also translated to my sister and I absorbing that energy, and holding it as our own. Kids don't mean to do it, but they are intuitive and can sense the energy of others, especially their parents...and they try to help by subconsciously taking it on that energy themselves.
I held onto my parent's anxiety from the time I was born until about two years ago. Two years ago, I learned how to naturally re-program my nervous system and adrenal glands, so my body could function normally again on its own. So I could actually feel calm when I woke up in the morning.
All those years growing up, my day started with rushing to get ready to be out the door on time. Anxiety in traffic and at stop lights on the way to school. Fear of my teachers getting angry at me because I was late to school (which was often no fault of my own). For countless years, my body was rushed, anxious, and full of adrenaline in the morning.
So, what did I do to change this patterning and memory in my body's cells?
I had to create a totally different morning routine. A routine free of stress and anxiety. A routine free of rushing here, there and everywhere. A routine that showed my mind and body that I was SAFE, and there was nothing to fear any longer.
Each morning upon waking, I now do a ten minute meditation to clear my mind, before I even get out of bed. I put my eye pillow over my eyes, turn on some spa music on my phone, place a drop of lavender essential oil on my forehead and below my nostrils, I get cozy by wrapping myself up like a human burrito in the blankets, and I drift off.
I have recently also added Epsom salt baths to my morning routine as well. I don't do this every single day, but a few times a week and I find it has been very beneficial.
These new rituals have trained my body and mind to understand that I am safe, all is well, and there is nothing to fear.
The key to starting new rituals like these is to be consistent. Waking yourself up with a new calming routine each day eventually re-trains your body to function normally again...and helps you feel GOOD rather than stressed out and heart pumping fear to start the day.
When we walk through life in a calm, peaceful state of being, we can better serve others in the world by leading with our heart.
So I ask you, what would create peace for you each morning?
The answer to this will be different for everyone. Perhaps reading a good book suits you. Maybe you'd like to take a short nature walk. Maybe yoga, stretching or some sort of movement would help you.
Whatever it is you do, make sure it feels good to you. And keep the faith that with consistency and time, you WILL start to feel better.