Let That Ish Go is about living the best life that you can lead. One huge improvement I made to my life was about 4 years ago when I discovered Oil Pulling. But that was just the beginning of what has become my morning ritual. Oil pulling is an ayurvedic ritual that I probably discovered on Pinterest. You take a neutral oil and swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes. The health benefits sounded like those listed on a bottle of snake oil, but when my dentist confirmed that my teeth were not only healthy, the cavities I’d had at my last appointment were actually gone. I told my brother (who has always had terrible oral hygiene) and he started doing it. His dentist was astounded. Anyway, long story short, Oil Pulling is really great for you. But, what it really means, is 20 minutes of uninterrupted intention filled time to myself, every morning. What is at the center of my morning ritual is sandwiched with other rituals that set me up for success in the day.
1. Make the bed. It really does feel better to get into a freshly made bed. You know what else is better? Buying great pillows and a facemask to help you sleep better. They really do make a difference.
2. 20 minutes of Oil Pulling. I premake tabs about once every month and a half with a huge vat of organic coconut oil that I get from Costco and essential oils. Lemon or Peppermint work well and have all of those added benefits. I gently melt the coconut oil on the stove, swirl in the essential oils (about 20 drops for every cup of oil), and then pour them into flexible ice cube trays that hold about a tablespoon of liquid. I then put them in the freezer, and once they are fully hardened I pop them out and store them in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
In these 20 minutes (my version of the Pomodoro Technique) I will boil water for green tea, prep the dog food, empty or load the dishwasher, tidy up, make up one of the Airbnb rooms, clean up the backyard, or sit and write or read, all the while swishing the oil. Then it all gets spit into the garbage, teeth are brushed, and onto my next step.
3. Lemon Water. While my stomach is still empty I juice a fresh lemon and fill the glass with filtered water, and chug. I ritualistically drink it out of a glass that I made at an awesome tequila seminar at a glass blowing facility in west Oakland. Everything in my home is white or clear, except this glass colored with blue and white. It looks like a kindergartner made it, but I love it, and I love the ritual. The lemons I beg neighbors for, or look for on Craigslist or the new Facebook Marketplace, and this juicer has been a godsend.
4. Meditate. At this point I’m feeling accomplished AF. There’s something magic in those 20 minutes; A sense of urgency, a challenge to beat the clock, see how much you can get done in such a short amount of time. Now it’s time to feel enlightened AF. Meditating is stupid hard for me. I’ve discovered a few hacks though. I set my journal and a pen next to me. It is there to brain dump before, during, or after the meditation process. It is there threatening my brain to turn off, and concentrate, on not concentrating. Before I would be sitting there in stillness, and a thought would ping in, ‘You have to get this done as soon as you’re done meditating!’ ‘This is a brilliant idea, your best yet! Flush it out!’ ‘What were the dimensions of the bathroom again?’ ‘I really have to call that friend I haven’t talked to in years.’ And on and on. Now I just put on a guided meditation, wrap myself in a cozy blanket or wrap, and sit there in piece, threatening those thoughts to come forward.
Another trick I learned from a friend of mine. Is to imagine you’re in a theater. You are about to give an important speech. You are also sitting in the audience next to yourself, and all of your thoughts are there as people around you. The you in the audience is watching in wait, for the you on stage to begin, but all of the voices around you won’t shut up. You turn to the biggest, loudest one next to you, and say firmly, “Please, I want to listen to this.” They quickly respect you and quiet down. In that silence you can go deep and listen to the silence.
5. Drink Green Tea. By now the tea should be the perfect temperature. Sometimes I’ll make it Bullet Proof. The healthy caffeine really jumpstarts my brain, and I’m able to focus on my to do list.
6. Kettlebells or a Dog Walk. 100 thrusts with 25 pounds. It’s supposed to be the most effective exercise that you can do. I have a playlist of Rap, Hip Hop, and Dance, that I blast, and in about 4 minutes. I’m done. Alternatively, 20 minutes with the Derp Dragons in fresh air, walking around our beautiful neighborhood, is a real treat (while also being a source of stress, because the pups are super excited). Note. I don’t always get to this part, my discipline sucks sometimes. I’m working on it.
7. Eat something healthy. Because of the Airbnb, I often have to have breakfast ready for my guests around 9am. That often means a smoothie bowl, overnight oats, granola, yogurt, or something else that I’ve made that is super healthy and delicious (and easy, because with a full time job, Enotrias, Airbnb, and LTIG, I don’t have time for complicated). I also make sure to eat it in one of the hand made bowls that one of my friends have made for me. Whatever I put in there just tastes better.
While it’s far from perfect, it works for me, and I look forward to the routine. If done systematically, all of this can be done in under an hour. What do you do? Any small additions that you add to your morning ritual to show self love?