The Intention-Activating Power of a Daily Ritual

Setting intentions is a start, but how do you follow through on your dreams? Begin your morning with “Creator’s Hour,” an inner retreat that includes sitting in meditation, free writing, affirmations, and mindful movement.
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Sitting in quiet contemplation in the morning sets you up for success all day long. 

Sitting in quiet contemplation in the morning sets you up for success all day long. 

So, you’ve set some intentions for the Year 2020.

It is a natural next step to begin tuning into what resources you’ll need to bring your intentions to life.

The most-overlooked of these essential components for turning your intangible ideas, thoughts and desires into realities other people can see and interact with are inner resources, like: clarity, energy, calm, confidence, and inspiration.

If the question is how to get and stay grounded, inspired, energized and in momentum as you move toward your intentions, the answer is this: cultivate a well-crafted, beloved daily ritual, like an inner retreat you take every day.

I’ve taught the art and science of a daily ritual I call Creators Hour to over 20,000 people, and I’ve done some form of this ritual myself every day for about 8 or 9 years now.

There are four components to this ritual, which I’ll walk you through in a minute.

But first, let me tell you the origin story behind why I call it “Creator’s Hour”.

The Concept of Brahmamuhurtha or "Ambrosial Hours"

See, the yoga sutras mention a time of day called brahmamuhurtha. It’s the period of every night closest to the morning, beginning around 90 minutes before sunrise and ending 48 minutes before dawn.

Brahmamuhurtha is said to be the best time to meditate, practice yoga or do any other sacred practice, because the mind is naturally very still at that time. The upshot was that you could go deeper in meditation, deeper in contemplation or worship during this time—that your connection to Source and Spirit would be more intense during this morning hour than at any other time of day.

When I first read this, it instantly resonated.

I rise before the sun and meditate, write and pray then, too. I've long felt that I can go deeper then, in meditation but also in terms of my receptive mode, that stillness of mind at which my inspiration pipeline is at its widest every day, allowing me to receive my downloads from the divine with no resistance, no struggle.

So I could only chuckle and whisper "of course!" when I read the literal translation of Brahmamuhurtha. It means "the hour of Brahma" or "the Creator's hour."

The yoga sutras say that at this time of day, the Creative Force that fuels this universe sends a special ambrosia of power, energy and life force into the air.

And because it’s our most receptive moment all day long, we can connect with this force, with the divine, with extraordinary ease and depth if we meditate or do other sacred practices at this time.

Here are the four components of my Creator’s Hour daily ritual:

Daily Ritual Component #1: Sitting

There’s no one, right way to meditate except to sit down and do it in a way that feels really delicious to you.

Don’t make into a chore or a new source of dread or anxiety. Make your sitting practice delightful, and you’ll find yourself doing it consistently.

Wrap yourself in a soft blanket or sweater, sit in a corner you love with beloved, sacred objects all around you, and make sure you won’t be disturbed.

Sit for 5 minutes or 20 minutes, take a few grounding deep breaths, root your body down to feel the support of the ground and sit up straight through the sides of your spine, as though you’re a conduit between heaven and earth (because you are).

Then, experiment with various meditation styles and types to pick the one you love the best, knowing that might even change with the seasons.

See also Find Your Meditation Style With These 7 Practices

When your thoughts are moving even a tiny bit slower than normal, as they do when you focus them on the count of your breath or a mantra, you create little spaces for inspired ideas about the next steps to take toward your intentions to “download” into your awareness.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson

Tara-Nicholle Nelson

Daily Ritual Component #2: Writing

If you only have room in your life for ONE daily habit, my vote would be for daily free-writing.

Doing a brain dump every day—in writing—is the single most powerful creativity, spirituality, innovation and leadership ritual I know.

When you journal or do morning pages or free-writing—whatever you choose to call it—over time, you’ll begin to hear your own inspiration and inner guidance with incredible clarity.

That’s because, if you create the habit of brain dumping and clear any grudges, grievances, anxieties, open loops and even upcoming tasks out of your mental holding tank by putting them on the page, you’ll soon find yourself knowing that what Julia Cameron said: that free-writing is like a “spiritual windshield wiper”.

Your thoughts get clearer. You solve problems with less and less effort. You connect dots and your timing gets better. And you become better and better at spotting opportunities, at existing in a constant state of receptivity to inspiration and answers.

You’ll also find yourself more energized and awake when you get to work each day, as your writing sort of primes the pump and gives your brain a bit of time to start processing the world, waking up and building momentum when the stakes are low, so that it’s all the way on by the time you actually have to be thinking for work.

See also These 11 Prompts Can Transform Your Writing Practice

If that’s not enough, this might be: a daily writing practice gives you a place to go every day of your life to deposit your dramas, grudges and resentments, so you become more resilient and less stressed, less anxious. I won’t cite all the studies that prove these points, but you can Google it or just trust me: it’s science.

Daily Ritual Component #3: Affirmations or Declarations

When I troubleshoot why people are stuck on their goals or their intentions aren’t coming to life, it’s often because they have inner roadblocks in the form of long-practiced limiting, fear-based, doubtful or negative thoughts and beliefs.

I encourage my students to practice a constantly evolving set of affirmations or declarations that align with the new, positive thoughts and beliefs they need to instill in their mental programming in order to sidestep the inner conflicts and inner roadblocks of negative thinking.

See also Stoke Your Spirit: 31 Daily Mantras + Affirmations

The only way to give your new, powerful, positive thoughts a real chance at taking priority over the old, negative ones is to practice the new thoughts intentionally and daily, building an affirmation practice into your daily ritual.

Here are just a couple of the affirmations my students practice:

  • I love and approve of myself (Credit: Louise Hay)
  • I am poised and powerful, radiant and magnetic (Credit: Florence Scovel Shinn)
  • I now possess the strength to love all of myself, the courage to listen to what I’m being guided to do, and the confidence to go out, stand tall, and fearlessly deliver my gifts into the world. (Adapted from: Marianne Williamson)
  • When I receive a download from Inner Guidance, I act on it without question and without force. (Credit: Tara-Nicholle Nelson)
Sphinx Pose - Kula Flow

Simple poses like Sphinx can help to gently wake up your body in the morning.

Daily Ritual Component #4: Movement 

The movement element of a grounding daily ritual is not necessarily the same as your workout or even your yoga practice: things you should continue to do, but which might not be part of this particular sacred ritual.

The movement element of your daily ritual should be a few moments of movement to turn on your chakras, warm your body and start engaging it with the physical world around you as you start your day.

For the “movement moment” component of my daily ritual, I personally love to do:

  • the Five Tibetans, a super-simple series of five yoga movements (the whole series takes about 3-5 minutes to complete),
  • a brief brisk walk outside
  • or...spend 7 minutes clearing out a closet, drawer or cupboard while silently focusing on a mantra like this one from Louise Hay: “I’m clearing out the cobwebs of my mind.”

Then I close the sacred space of my inner retreat by looking myself in the eye, in the mirror, adoring what I see there and appreciating myself for investing the time and life force into this process of tuning up my inner being to a delicious feeling state before I allow the rest of the world in.

See also Live Purposefully: Intention-Setting Sequences for Morning + Night

And then I do my yoga practice, bike ride or gym workout for the day. But by then, I’m already unstoppable, from the inside out.

Now, it’s your turn!

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is a Business Coach and Spiritual Strategist to high-achieving women, CEO of SoulTour.com and Creator of The School of Spiritual Strategy™. If you’d like to try Creator’s Hour out, get 3 of Tara’s guided Daily Ritual audios by email, FREE. Download Tara’s FREE Life and Self Mastery Checklist, here