A Proactive Morning Routine

It’s around 7:30am (ish), and I’m lying in bed on a typical weekday morning, my eyes fluttering to open. I actually don’t know the exact time because I turn my phone off at night and I don’t set an alarm. Slowly but surely I start to wake up; I stare into space for a bit, guessing to myself what time it might be, and roll out of bed. I walk down the stairs into the kitchen, still waking up, but starting to get really excited. Excited for my favorite part of the day. Excited to perform the rituals that set me up for success in the rest of the day. This, my friends, is the beginning of my morning routine.

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I learned the importance and benefit of a healthy morning routine long before I understood the value in one. My mother somehow always had a feast of a breakfast waiting for us before school, and little did I know that she had been up hours before-reading, praying, and sitting in the dark silence, savoring the sweet, quiet moments before the chaos of raising four children began. She would greet us each morning, flipping pancakes, and say cheerily, “breakfast is the most important part of the day!” Little did I know how true that would prove to be. My dad set a similar example, always reading in his favorite chair, sipping his coffee, and-unbeknownst to us kids, calmly praying over us.

My morning routine has definitely changed and evolved over the years, and I imagine it will continue to mature as I enter into different seasons of life. One thing has continued to prove tried and true, though-whenever I have an intentional, planned routine, it positively affects the rest of my day, and thus, my life.

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As I enter the kitchen, I start the hot water for my coffee (priorities, people), and stare at it while I sip on lemon water. Once my freshly brewed aero-pressed cup of coffee is steaming in my carefully chosen mug (I could talk all day about how crucial it is to drink coffee out of the right mug), I head to “my spot” on the couch, curl up with my blanket and books, and prepare for the bliss of the morning silence. I’ve never counted the time, but I’m pretty sure I sit and think in silence for a good 20 minutes or so before I open a book. Half of the time I’m not even sure what I think about, but I love the silence. You see, I’ve learned to savor the things that some people would call “depressing.” Living in Oregon, it’s usually dark when I wake up, and it doesn’t ever get too bright outside…ever (at least in the winter months). And yet, instead of being sad about this, I’ve learned to enjoy the romanticism of creating a cozy environment in our home and in my morning practices. This time of silence is one of my absolute favorite things in life; my mind is waking up and I’m making decisions…first deeper thoughts about who I am becoming and how I want to treat people. Then more trivial thoughts form like, “Will I make time to work out today? Am I prepared to face that co-worker at the office who I snapped at yesterday? Will I remember to pay that bill? What can wait until tomorrow?” I am settling my mind on all of these issues and tasks. Sometimes I grab my phone and make a quick list, just so I can look back on it if-and-when my “afternoon crash” happens. The reason I make these conclusions first, instead of later, is so that my day is proactive instead of reactive, and it also clears my mind so that I can focus on my reading.

Although I have a stack of books that I read (I like to start books, but it’s harder to finish them), I typically kickoff off my reading with a Psalm. I love what Psalm 112 says about someone who delights in and obeys the Lord’s commands. It goes on to prove the fruits and blessings that come to the person who does this. So this is my main goal in the morning; even if I fail at everything else, I aspire to truly just sit and delight in His word and listen to what he might have for me each day.

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Once I’m done reading and my coffee cup is empty, I set out to make my breakfast…or more like, my morning feast (adopted wisdom from my mom). Every ingredient in the scramble is always intentional, as I’ve made a habit to ensure that I am giving my body nourishment through healthy and organic produce.

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After breakfast I am going full-steam ahead; either jumping on a project, heading to a shoot, or running (not literally) to workout class. Here’s where the list comes in handy.

I’m curious what your morning routine looks like? Perhaps you are a mom with young kids scrambling around the house. Or maybe you are a student with more work than you can wrap your head around. Whatever the case, how do you make your morning routine disciplined and intentional? What does your game plan look like? How have you intended to be proactive instead of reactive?

If you don’t have a morning routine, I would encourage you to try it out. Each day, try to set aside a time in the morning where you prepare. It will completely change your mind, attitude, stress-levels, and overall success in each moment of your days.

Or as the poet Will Smith in Hitch says, “Live each day as if it were on purpose!”

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Coffee: Thump

Blanket: Restoration Hardware

Couch: West Elm

Shirt: American Apparel

Wood Side Tables: Custom

Spencer Butte

What a beautiful day for a hike and lovely conversation with Michael. 65 and sunny in November? I’ll take it.

It’s amazing how being active out in nature can completely change your perspective. I’m grateful to live in such a beautiful state!

Hat-Heritage Dry Goods

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Afternoons With Michael

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Drinking coffee in the afternoon…the best. Michael…the best, also.

Drinking coffee in the afternoon with Michael…the best of the best.

 

 

Portland Monthly

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See the full spread that was published in the September Portland Monthly HERE.

Junghwa By Amy Stewart

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This past Spring I flew down to Palm Springs to shoot the summer looks for Junghwa By Amy Stewart. We shot everything in beautiful Palm Desert, and oh, my-I have never experienced that type of intense dry heat in my entire life! It was especially challenging because I needed to pose as if it was a breezy 70-degree day, when in all reality my makeup was constantly sweating off due to the 100+ temps. Ha, it was one of those experiences that was tough in the moment, but so rewarding in the end. We had an amazing team that made the shoot a total success.

This brand has become one of my favorite clients. Amy’s designs are always on-point and absolutely gorgeous. Plus, Amy herself is so talented, and yet completely humble all at once. I was so honored when she asked me to be the new face of her brand. See all of her designs HERE.

Photos by BOONE RODRIGUEZ.

The Pearl Magazine

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It was so great to be on the cover of the very first issue of The Pearl Magazine. The Pearl is one of my favorite neighborhoods to eat, shop, and drink coffee in, so I was especially excited when I booked this project. I wish for them the very best of success!

Custom Design By Liana Mikah *