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March 4, 2024

Armour Up

Motivational speaker, Jacques de Villiers writes about morning rituals and meditation

Jacques de Villiers – writing quest: Article 37/365

I know it’s probably sacrilege to say that I’ve never really gotten into Robin Sharma (The 5 AM Club – Morning Routine) or Jay Shetty, the two monk superstars. Both of them are proponents of morning rituals.

My speed is more Pema Chodron, the Buddhist nun. Her book, When Things Fall Apart, has been a loyal companion to me over the years. 

I perhaps have something to crow about. I’d been doing the morning rituals long before they wrote about it. First five years of boarding school at 13, and then two years of military service. But, that was never voluntary, so it probably doesn’t count.

Voluntarily, I’ve been doing morning rituals for nearly 40 years, with meditation being my mainstay.

I am a bit monkish about it when I say, “Morning for me. Afternoon for everyone else.”

Every morning, I start my day by praying, meditating, writing, and walking. I do this because I understand that as the day goes on, challenges will gradually weaken my determination. By four pm I’m done.

The other day, I forwent my ritual and didn’t meditate or walk. I paid the price. The day went sideways. I dropped my cell phone twice, how it didn’t break is a miracle. I wrote the biggest claptrap of an article I’ve written in years. My left calf played up, and I ended up limping (any calf whisperers out there that can tell me the meaning.) And, I irritated everyone I spoke to that day. I was clumsy and inarticulate (read into it ‘rude’).

Now I know that, as Aristotle said, “One swallow does not a summer make.” So, perhaps I shouldn’t read too much into it. But this is not the first time that I have slipped my discipline and things went wrong.  

Establishing a set of morning rituals is as essential as taking your vitamins. You don’t really notice a difference until you stop taking them. Then watch the wheels fall off. 

Damn you, Robin Sharma, now I’m going to have to read your book, won’t I?

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