The Miracle Morning

One of the criticisms railed at BrocanteHome in the Summer Survey was that it was too spiritual… that spirituality and self-help had no place in a blog about housekeeping and to that I have to say… phooey.

If you want your brand of housekeeping delivered without the spiritual hoo ha, then there are literally thousands of alternatives to Brocantehome online, but here I remain dedicated to helping women lead authentic, home-centered lives and I’m not sure I can bring myself to apologise for that!  You see we cannot be good housekeepers if we are unhappy women. And we will never be happy women if we do not pay attention to the gentle demands of our inner muse. She who is our memory, our creative inspiration and the fuel that keeps our authentic fire burning.

We can of course be empty women. The streets throb with them. Women who keep house immaculately. Go through the motions. Live to turn out a half-decent meal every evening. Deny their own needs, personal ambition, the ache to know passion. To exist in pain and come out still alive. Still yearning. Still fighting and ready to live with 100 per cent attention to another day.

For that is what both a meaningful life and good housekeeping require: attention. Not to the dirt acquiring on the skirting boards, but to the routines and rituals that sustain family life. Routines that require commitment: a quality we cannot possess if we are embittered by the daily denial of our own needs.

Let’s face it though, meeting our own needs isn’t easy. We are often last on our own to-do lists and all the worse wives, Mums and homemakers but for it. But it doesn’t have to be that way: with the teeniest ounce of discomfort we can reinforce our commitment to our Muse and re-invent our mornings in such a way that we empower ourselves as women in our own right, long before the rest of the family rises and demands that we are thrust into all the other roles we have taken on.

Are you panicking yet? For yes: I am talking about becoming an early riser – One of the mainstays of life as a Vintage Housekeeper for as long as I have been writing here. For sure you will have read one of my morning meditations: when I describe creeping down the stairs in the dark to drink coffee in silence at dawn? It is a treasured ritual but one that I have never really thought of utilizing before for anything much beyond sitting quietly or catching up with email in peace. And then I read The Morning Miracle and saw my stolen mornings in a whole new light…

Written by Hal Elrod, The Morning Miracle describes a way to utilize one quiet morning hour, by dividing it into bite sized activities designed to help you address the phyiscal and emotional needs of yourself and your lovely Muse. Using an acronym he calls The Life S.A.V.E.R.S. Hal asks us to divide our stolen hour up like so…

Silence (5 mins)
Sitting quietly. Meditating. Praying. Watching the flicker of a candle…

Affirmations (5 mins)
Speaking out loud the promises you have made to yourself. Repeating personal affirmations until they become convictions.

Visualization (5 mins)
Working on visualization boards. Focusing quietly on who you want to be.

Exercise (20 mins)
Stretching. The sun salute. Yoga. Pilates. Wii fit or an exercise video.

Reading (20 mins)
Self-help books. The bible. Poetry. Anything that allows you to grow.

Scribing (5 mins)
Journaling. Letters to yourself. Morning pages.

The good thing about this system of self-nurture (for that is essentially what it is) is that it is entirely flexible.  If you prefer to meditate for twenty minutes and exercise for five, then that’s OK. You can adapt it to your own requirements: shifting the pattern of the hour to suit as long as each of the six S.A.V.E.R.S are incorporated to whatever degree you choose. You can even do your morning miracle last thing at night if it is simply impossible to do it first thing. The most important thing is taking that hour for yourself and using it to bird by bird, change your life, so that you move into your future feeling like a whole being…

A lovely idea, mais non? We can do this Darlings: we can make time for ourselves.

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12 comments on “The Miracle Morning

  1. Antonella on said:

    I’m with you about spirituality and self-help… Why should we work to have a nice clean home if not to free time for ourselves and our dear ones. I love your call to women’s wellbeing! 🙂

  2. Taking care of your own spiritual well being (however you define that for your own self) is the equivalent of when the stewardess on an airplane explains that in the event of some malfunction, you must apply the oxygen mask to your own self before attending to the needs of others. It seems selfish and impossible – “how could I not put it on my child or spouse or whomever is *more important than I am* first?”
    If you are spiritually “dead” or at least not thriving, then how can anything which you are doing or saying help anyone else?

  3. You are 100% right, I’m bookmarking this…

  4. stoom185 on said:

    You are doing it right, Alison. Don’t change a thing. 🙂

  5. Annmarie on said:

    Meditation don’t get the dishes washed. As for scribing, NEVER put anything in writing. I know I’m not the typical subscriber, perhaps I shouldn’t be here at all, but come on, give us something a little more concrete to go on. I already know who I am and what my needs are, and, though many times I feel put upon and taken for granted, I like being a housewife and the freedom it brings. I may be ironing at midnight, but that’s because I’ve been watching Netflix all day.

  6. Susan Telford on said:

    No , but meditation does calm our minds and allow us to be fully present for those we love. And dish washing itself can be an act of meditation. Thich Nhat Hahn said “was each dish as if it were a tiny Buddha”. I think housekeeping and meditation go so well together, a chance to slow down and focus on this one thing in front of us. I, personally, need that as a foil to my busy life at work.
    Just bought this book to read on holiday – sounds good!
    Alison, I listened to your response to surveys. I think you should remain authentic, that is what touches people, the willingness and vulnerability to show up and talk about the joys, the sorrows, the gloomy days. It is all part of the tapestry of life!

  7. Dearest Allison, I’ve been following your site for years now, 2007 I believe. Your site gives me the same joy buzz that I get from Alexandra Franzen. Just joined housekeeping superstars, and will follow you for as long as you care to be followed.

  8. Allison, I am (incredibly) late replying to this post, but the “abstract” spirituality, combined with the “concrete” know-how is exactly why I come to your site almost every day, and became a Housekeeping Superstar to ensure I don’t miss a single ounce of your delicious wisdom!

  9. dee marie on said:

    Ooh, I adore this! I’ve been struggling to create a morning routine and you’ve inspired me.