A couple of months ago I found myself in a really stuck place. After the break-up of my 8 year relationship in January, some emotional stuff resurfaced which I couldn’t shake off.
Having let the feelings run their course, I decided to do what always works for me – focus on what I can control instead of what I can’t.
I teach people to focus on themselves instead of their ex-partner in order to move on. It sounds obvious but I know how hard it can be because it takes a committed practice.
In early May I was inspired by a podcast from Hal Elrod, to undergo his Miracle Morning Challenge for 30 Days. Being someone prone to procrastination, I need a bit of discipline. I decided that this would give me the framework I needed to use my strategies for healing and moving on.
The challenge asks you to choose one specific area of life you want to improve and, as Hal says, to commit to your decision “no matter what“. So, I decided that by the end of the 30 days I wanted to love being single.
Today I want to share with you the highs and lows of that 30 days and what happened next.
What is the Miracle Morning?
The Miracle Morning is a best selling book by the wonderfully enthusiastic and inspiring Hal Elrod. In it, he shares how he overcame multiple adversities and turned his life around using a simple but effective morning routine he created.
The Miracle Morning involves waking early and setting your day up with positive intention from the beginning. I don’t mind early starts, so was ok with setting an alarm for 6.30, despite the fact we were in lockdown and I had no other reason to be up! It was exciting to start the day ahead of my kids and to feel like I had something to get up for. But here’s something that really helped: sometimes I didn’t get up at 6.30! I allowed myself the flexibility to sometimes set the alarm for 7.00, 7.30 or even 8.00 at weekends. The time wasn’t the point, it was what I did with that first hour of the day that counted.
There are 6 tasks to start your day, known as S.A.V.E.R.S: Silence, Affirmations, Visualisation, Exercise, Reading and Scribing (or journaling).
Hal Elrod suggests the Miracle Morning takes about an hour from when you wake up. I stuck to it as best I could, allowing some flexibility for work, parenting and my mood. But I generally set my alarm every morning and fully committed to doing this for myself.
Below is a break down of my S.A.V.E.R.S and how they worked for me:
Silence (5 minutes)
Spending even a short time in silence can be difficult if you’re not used to any kind of mindfulness or meditation practice. Fortunately I have been using these tools for a while. By focusing on my breath I began to tune out the mind-chatter and hear what was beneath . I think of this voice as my soul/spirit, inner wisdom, higher self; whatever you choose to call it is fine. I trusted the messages I received in silence; sometimes guidance, sometimes encouragement, sometimes wisdom. But always loving and working in my interests.
I think sometimes we are afraid to listen to that inner voice, because it might call us to do things we don’t feel ready for. For me, there was a fear of being told to fully let go of my ex. But I also believe that even if we are called to do difficult and painful things, our inner wisdom would never lead us to do what wasn’t the best thing for us.
So I trusted. Sometimes I would get a nudge to read a particular book or listen to some music which would uplift me. Or I would get ideas for my work and how to help others. The silence would also allow me to receive “aha” moments which altered how I viewed certain aspects of the break-up. I began to get a sense of peace for the future and how happy my life could be if I just trusted that things were ok. Silence was one of my favourite parts of this challenge.
Affirmations (5 minutes)
I’ll admit I’ve always found affirmations a challenge. I get bored repeating them and I don’t always resonate with what I’m saying, so it can feel like I’m lying to myself! But I chose to stick with this because I’m also aware that they can be powerful. I let my affirmations change daily, often depending on what had arisen in silence. This made the difference for me; I had to feel true to what I was affirming. So instead of starting out on day 1 repeating “I love being single” which wasn’t true, I would would repeat the affirmation “I am enough. I choose me”. And as I repeated this to myself, I could feel my emotions lift.
Another tip when repeating affirmations for 5 minutes is to allow them to naturally change. Sometimes what you start off saying, shifts into something new and this is ok! As long as it feels good and resonates with you, just carry on. Committing to the Miracle Morning process, gave me chance to play with affirmations in a way that works for me.
Visualising (5 minutes)
Visualising is a powerful mental process of imagining how you want your life to look so that you can take the actions to create it. Over the 30 days experimenting with this wasn’t always easy. The life I had pictured 6 months ago with my ex-partner was completely gone with nothing tangible to replace it. But I stuck with it and in my trying, I discovered something interesting. Although my goal for this challenge was to love being single, when I tried to visualise my future it was always with another person. At first I resisted this, but then I just let it be. I know I am not supposed to spend my life alone and I do have real faith that I will find love and get married again.
So I let myself visualise that love and created in my mind the kind of relationship I’d like to have. And here’s the amazing part: as that creation grew in my mind, it became such a feeling of reality I began to share my interest in meeting someone new with my friends. Since then, I have felt truly ready for the possibility of a new relationship, something I had 100% not been ready for before I began this challenge!
Exercise (around 30 minutes)
This was a pretty straightforward part of the Miracle Morning for me. I’ve been doing Yoga With Adriene on YouTube since the new year (and loving it!) so it naturally fits into my routine. Sometimes I mix it up with an early morning run and occasionally a swim in the creek for added endorphins! If you don’t regularly exercise, yoga is an ideal place to start for doing a challenge like this. You can take it as gently as you like and it enhances the whole practice by helping you to balance your thinking mind with your body.
Reading (10 minutes)
I’ve always been a big reader and I advocate reading positively to heal. I was inspired by this part of the challenge to revisit books I had not read for a while. Reading in short bursts made me feel I was taking away some useful nugget to reflect on for that day. I switched between several of the books on my reading list and just chose what I was drawn to – I trusted that I was going to pick up what I needed to read.
Scribing (5-10 minutes)
The journaling was a big part of the process for me. I love to write down my thoughts – it gets them out of my head and helps me to reflect and make sense of what I feel. I journaled about what came up for me in the silence, I would write down what I wanted to achieve each day in line with my goal and I would make lists of things I felt grateful for. When breakthroughs or things to process come up during the day, I’ll write them down too.
Setbacks are normal
When you are moving on from a break up, emotional setbacks are inevitable, but it’s how you deal with them that matters. After about 10 days of doing the Miracle Morning I was feeling amazing. So much had shifted in my perspective, mood and focus. I was feeling more positive than I had in a long time and I wanted the momentum to continue. Then, at some point approaching Day 20, I started to wobble. I would wake up feeling anxious and old feelings around the break up would resurface.
I felt sadness and was missing my ex. Doubts arose about my ability to be truly happy on my own and I got scared I would never be in a relationship again. This setback was disappointing – what had happened? I had been feeling so good and now this! But I recognised it was just a sign that part of me was scared of completely letting go of the relationship. It was an invitation to dig a little deeper into the fear and remind myself of how much progress I’d already made.
When you feel like giving up
There were some days when I just did not feel like getting up and doing the Miracle Morning. There were times when I missed one or more aspects of the S.A.V.E.R.S. Sometimes I just could not connect with a visualisation or my mind would not stay silent enough to hear inner wisdom. You will have those days too and that’s when you have to give yourself a big dose of self-acceptance. Just know that where you are and how you feel is ok, but don’t let it be your excuse to give up. Recognise that you don’t have to do it perfectly. Acknowledge that it’s ok to just restart the next day.
Reflections on what I gained
I know what it takes to get over a break-up. I’ve lived the experience of healing after my divorce and I’ve spent years teaching others from my lessons. Now I’m living through heartbreak once again. The beauty of this challenge is that it kept me super focused on doing the work it takes to get through it.
~ Miracle Mornings set my day up to keep me on track on with what I know I should be doing.
~ Starting each morning like this definitely helped to keep me more present each day. If, later on, my mind started to wander down a wormhole to the past, or get anxious about the future, I could bring it back to the positive intentions I had set earlier in the morning.
~ Doing the challenge did not mean that I didn’t have bad days, or that break-up emotions couldn’t sneak up on me. It just meant that I had a routine to go back to. The process kept me accountable to moving towards my goal of loving my single life.
~ My positive feelings about my life became more consistent, whereas before the challenge, my grief emotions had been easily triggered.
~ As I focused less on my break-up and more on loving myself, my need to understand why it happened dramatically reduced. The idea that “I’m not loveable enough” pretty much disappeared from my beliefs. (although I’m aware that it’s an old, deeply ingrained belief, so won’t be surprised if it pops back up from time to time!)
~ I planted the seeds of hope for finding love again and it actually felt exciting, instead of scary or impossible.
Overall, by day 30 I could see and feel how different I was – I was genuinely starting to love being single!
So what next?
Well, the Miracle Morning felt so good that I decided to carry it on and I’m now at the end of my second 30 day stint! I continued with my goal to love my single life, but this time I have put more emphasis on having fun. Life is not supposed to feel heavy and while I am single I want to enjoy it. Whatever I focus on in my life, whether it’s work, friendships or a new relationship, they won’t be simply filling a hole in my life. I will be happy from within and that is always the best place to start anything from .
I can’t see myself stopping now, so I’m looking foward to continuing into a 3rd month of the Miracle Morning and today I will sit in silence and decide on the new focus and goal for that!
I’m getting so much from doing the Miracle Morning it and would encourage anyone to give it a go. It’s not as difficult as you might think; once you see the results you will definitely want to keep going! My advice is to adapt if you need to; don’t be so rigid that you start to resent it and give up! When I teach people about creating routines, one thing I stress is that it has to work for you.
If you decide to go for it, I’ve linked to the podcast from Hal Elrod below where he talks about the 30 day challenge. I also recommend reading his inspiring book.
If you take up the Miracle Morning and want to share how it’s going for you, come join my Break Up and Shine Moving On Community on Facebook and connect with others!
Finally, if you need practical strategies to help you with moving on, come and check out my online programme, Stop Focusing On Your Ex which works beautifully alongside the Miracle Morning.
With love, support and early rising,