Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

Bonjour & Welcome! Conscious by Chloé is a Sustainable Lifestyle Blog focusing on Zero Waste, Slow Living, and Ethical Fashion.

My ​Morning Routine

Morning Routine by Conscious by Chloé
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Oh hi there! It's been a minute. I took a well-needed break from social media this summer, which also translated into a break from the blog.

I'll go into more details about my vision for this space in September, but wanted to come over here to say hi and ask you how your summer's going so far.

Mine's been eclectic, with various members of Octave's family visiting from Europe and a couple short trips here and there in Oregon.

I also went to France to spent time with my parents in my hometown and on the Île de Ré, an island off the West coast of France which was on my bucket list. Ticked!

While coming back home after an amazing vacation with my parents is heartbreaking, I'm always excited for the opportunity to have a fresh start.

With September creeping in, I also feel like now is a great time to try to set up a new morning routine.

Jet lag means I wake up at ungodly hours and hence have a lot of time to spare before I have to start my work day.

My current morning routine

Here's what I did this morning, after my 5.30 am wake up call:

5.30 - 6.30 am

I laid in bed for an hour. I would usually not recommend this, but with guests sleeping in our living room for one more week, I could not possibly get up that early and wake up the whole house.

I put on a sleeping mask and ear plugs, and just laid there half asleep, half realizing that I was back in Portland, lulled by the sound of garbage trucks (a total of 6 just on our street!).

6.30 - 6.40 am

I sat up in bed, and put some lotion - a week of swimming and biking in the sun, plus a long flight left me with very dry skin. I hadn't had the chance to do this the night before, when I only had the strength to take a shower and have a quick bite with our house guests, so I took a couple minutes to moisturize my body.

I only keep a couple products on my nightstand mainly essential oils and my trusted CBD oil but recently added a bottle of moisturizer with a pump, and a hand and foot salve as I noticed that my bed(room) is the place that made more sense for me to do this at night - or exceptionally in the morning.

My current favorites are the Chamomile Lotion and the Skin Doctor from Angelina, a brand I discovered on a recent trip to Bend, Oregon.

I put on the clothes I had laid down the night before.

6.40 - 6.50 am

I headed to the bathroom and splashed some water over my face.
I put a couple drops of rose essential oils on my face and massaged them with a jade roller.

I also put a couple drops of elixir on my scalp to finish waking up the top of my body.
Finally, I scooped up half a tablespoon of coconut oil to do some oil pulling, an Ayurvedic remedy which consists in swishing around oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes to clean and detoxify teeth and gums.

I pair oil pulling and walking, and walking and podcast listening to be more efficient.

6.50 - 7.20 am

I sneaked out of the house through the back door and went for an early morning walk.

I've been saying this for a couple days now, but I'm already nostalgic for the end of the summer, so I want to take in as much light as I can.
And going outside early in the morning also allows you to enjoy a couple hours of coolness.

I like to listen to podcasts when I walk around in my neighborhood. I've been catching up on many shows during my long flights and listened to the last couple episodes of "Jen Gotch is OK Sometimes". I highly recommend it. Jen is the founder and creative director of Ban.Do and has somehow become a mental health advocate through her hilarious and emotional Instagram stories. She's now the host of a weekly podcast (through the GirlBoss network) touching on subjects such as therapy, emotional eating, and social media.

7.20 - 8.30 am

I check my email to see what my work day will look like (my clients work in different time zones, so it's the middle or end of the day for them), started writing this article, opened mail and packages, and read the news.

Then the rest of the house started waking up, so I went to the kitchen to boil some water for tea...

I'm not planning on waking up every day at 5.30 am, but 6.30 would be a great time for me. It would allow me to start my day slowly and intentionally, without rushing to check in with my European clients, while still giving me enough time to communicate with them before they end their workday.

What about you? What's your morning routine like? Has it always been the same? Did you ever switch it up? Do you fantasize on creating a new one for September?

My Daily Meditation Ritual

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As you know, my word for 2017 is ROUTINE, so I've been looking into creating daily rituals.

In her book The Creative Habit, dancer & choreographer Twyla Tharp stresses the importance of morning routines, so I thought I'd start here.

Meditation has been recommended to me an infinite number of times though I've never quite managed to incorporate it to my life on a regular basis.

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But lately, I've unconciously and gradually carved out room for this practice in my life. While reorganizing the living room, I created myself a little reading nook, with a cozy chair, a pillow and a little table on which rest a candle, palo santo, and the copy of my current reading.

One day, I figured that it would also be the perfect place to meditate (I like to meditate sitting in a chair, rather than cross-legged on the floor).

Now, whenever I can, in the morning, before Octave gets up, I take advantage of the stillness of the house and practice meditation.

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Since I'm a beginner, my mind tends to wander (How long has it been since I started the session? What should I do now? Is it OK to be thinking about my to-do list?) so I'm using the following tools to help me focus.

My favorite Guided Meditation Apps

Headspace (free) - I started using this app many years ago when it was first launched. I remember being very dissatisfied with my job and trying to meditate on a park bench during lunch time. It was an epic fail but I knew it was just because I had too much on my plate. Short after, I quit my job and moved to another country.

The first level of the Foundation Course, Take10, is free. It consists of 10 10 minute meditation exercises designed for beginners. You can then purchase packs and one-off sessions on a range of topics such as stress relief, happiness, mental health and appreciation. I never got to purchase any. I prefer to go back to the beginning of Take10 and start over on a regular basis.

Simply Being ($1.99) - This one was recommended to me by my acupuncturist when I was trying to find a cure for my migraines.

It's a great meditation app that offers a wide range of options. You can chose a meditation length of 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 minutes and let the voice guide you step by step. You can also listen to the meditation with or without music/nature sounds or decide to listen to the music or nature sounds alone.

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My Meditation Playlist

Having a meditation playlist is also a great option in order to be able to meditate in different locations and for various durations.

The first part of the playlist is by Shalom Mayberg. I attended one of his Crystal Bowl Sound Baths last month and had a great colorful meditation experience there, so I thought I'd extend the experience by listening to his playlist.

The second part of the playlist is by Moby who over the last couple of years has been making really quiet music to listen to when he does yoga or sleeps or meditates or panics. He ended up with 4 hours of music and decided to give it away.

A couple extras

My most successful meditations happened early in the morning. I prepare a cup of tea, burn some palo santo or some incense, light a candle, grab my favorite throw and sit comfortably in my chair.

There's no need for all these props but I've come to like the ceremonial aspect of opening a meditation session by a ritual.

I even go as far as drawing a card from the beautifully Minimalist Oracle Deck that my friend Rachel designed here in Portland and use it as a thread to guide my meditation for the day.

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How to meditate

  • Set time aside
  • Find a calm location
  • Make yourself comfortable
  • Pay attention to your breath OR initiate a body scan (from the top of your head to the tip of your toes) and pay attention to your sensations
  • Don't judge your sensations, just acknowledge them
  • Don't worry if your mind wanders, it's natural
  • Pay attention to the present moment

This article by the New Work Times is a great source of information to start your own practice.

What about you, what are your meditation rituals? Do you have any music or apps to recommend?