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Our lives are full of routines. Stuff like your daily shower, morning coffee, afternoon jog, even reading before bed. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with routine, too much routine can zap the creativity and inspiration right out of our lives.
In this post, find out how to turn even the most mundane routine, like your morning shower routine, into a powerful magical ritual.
Why isn’t my morning shower routine fine the way it is?
Look. There’s nothing wrong with daily routines, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with daily hygiene habits! But when our everyday actions become so routine that we barely notice we’re doing them, that’s a problem.
If you can’t remember how you got from the second snooze to blow-drying your hair after your shower in the morning, you’re not living in the moment. And while losing an hour here and there happens to everyone, you don’t want to wake up one day and realize you’ve been in zombie auto-pilot for the past ten years!
So, what’s a girl to do?
Keep showering, please! Just turn your routine into a ritual.
A fine line separates routine from ritual. And that line, my friends, is the presence or lack of intention.
While a routine is a sequence of actions that we follow regularly without much thought, a ritual, even if performed daily, holds great personal meaning and is fueled by a powerful intention. This intention is what separates rituals from everyday routines.
One of the most famous scenes from the 90s legal drama, Ally McBeal, involved Ally teaching a colleague how to prolong and then sensually relish the very first sip of coffee at the firm each morning, rather than gulping it down the second the secretary brought it over. Overtly cheesy sexual innuendo aside, it was a perfect example of tuning in, being present, and connecting with an otherwise mundane moment in a way that fuels your spirit.
She turned a rushed, mindless routine into a sensual treat of a ritual. And you can do the same with your morning shower routine.
How to turn a shower into a magical daily ritual
Here’s a step-by-step guide to turn your morning shower into a powerful magical experience. You can follow these steps whether you’re luxuriating under a spa-like rainfall shower head or holding on to your soap for dear life because your tiny standing shower won’t let you bend over and your knees just ain’t what they used to be.
Step 1: Become present.
Become fully present as you undress to step into the shower.
To be present means to notice where you are and how you feel in the present moment. You don’t necessarily need to move more slowly than you normally would, although that might be nice if you have the time. Just notice what the present moment holds.
Notice the fact that you know exactly how far to turn the knob to get the water temperature just right. Notice the moisture particles in the air.
Perhaps most importantly, notice how you feel as you undress. Do you feel sensual? Comfortable? Vulnerable? Do you groan when you catch your reflection in the mirror? Just notice your experience.
Step 2: Close your eyes and feel the water on your skin.
The moment I step into the shower and under the magical, cleansing stream of water might be one of my favorite experiences ever. I love that no matter how hot the water is, when it first touches my skin, I get so cold I think I won’t be able to stand it. Then I just relax and melt into it and never want to leave.
Isolating your senses by closing your eyes heightens the enjoyment of the water rushing over your head and down your shoulders and back. Closing our eyes also urges us to slow down and appreciate this first world luxury before we just grab the shampoo off the window sill and go through the motions.
Take this moment to express gratitude that you get this shower today.
Step 3: Repeat a self-love mantra to yourself.
Now that you are in tune with your body, the real magic can start.
Whether you’ve ever thought about them this way or not, showering and bathing are the ultimate self-love rituals. So the intention I like to infuse into my shower is one of self-love. I like to repeat a positive affirmation–more specifically, a self-love mantra–to myself as I start to go through my shower routine.
Here are some self-love mantras I’ve used in the past if you want some ideas:
- I am, and always will be, enough.
- My body is healthy and strong.
- I am beautiful, inside and out.
And hey, it may not be the most creative one, but just saying “I love you” to yourself over and over again and really meaning it works wonders.
Step 4: Lather, rinse, and repeat with love.
Now, if you’re like most people, the rest of your shower will take one of two directions: (1) You will rush through your shampoo and soap routine as quickly as possible and be done with it. Or (2) you will get lost in your thoughts, in a day dream, in a negative thought spiral, in a fictitious argument with your sister, your mother-in-law, or another plagiarizing student and have no idea if fifteen or fifty minutes have gone by!
To turn your shower into a powerful intentional ritual, however, you are going to do something else.
You are going to go through your shampoo, soap, and whatever other tasks in the most loving way possible. Wash yourself with the tender caresses you would use to bathe a child, or a lover. Or a terrified but eager-for-love puppy you just adopted. Love yourself! Thank yourself! Compliment yourself!
Repeat your self-mantra if you get distracted or lost in thought.
Step 5: Pause to revel in this reset.
When you’re done with your shower and step out into your towel, take a mindful moment to revel in that tingly, clean feeling all over your body.
What is this refreshing feeling? Sure, it’s exfoliation. But you know what else it is? It is quite literally a brand new you. You’ve washed away oil, dirt, dead skin cells, bad vibes, stale energy, yesterday’s stress, this morning’s nightmare, all of it!
You have hit the ultimate reset button and have flooded yourself with beautiful, powerful self-love. You are ready to take on the day the best you can.
And all you did was what you already do every morning! And if you’re morning coffee routine is up next, I’ve got a ritual for that too.