Cannabis + Coffee = Mindfulness in the Morning
by Baily Hancock Glick
I always wanted to be a person with a morning routine. Every day there seems to be a new article out about how successful people manage their time, and without fail, there’s mention of having rituals they perform (not like voodoo shit, just reoccurring activities they do) from the moment they wake up to the moment they hit the sack.
Typically it begins with them waking up long before the sun comes out (not gonna happen), and involves some variation of exercise (ugh), meditation (I really really want to be someone who meditates but…), forced, methodical writing (way to suck the fun out of it), a healthy breakfast (if I eat before 10am it makes me feel queasy), and making their bed religiously (hey I do this one! Yay me!)
I fully get the value of having a set routine to kick off my day, especially as someone who makes her own schedule. When your day is completely flexible, it can be easy to fall into the trap of optimistic (yet procrastination-heavy) thinking. And yet, until very recently I couldn’t seem to make the jump from knowing that I should embrace a morning routine, to actually doing it.
When I asked around about what my friends were doing to kickstart their day, a reoccurring bit of advice was to not immediately check in on social media or your inbox the moment you open your eyes. That felt… well, crazy. Like most humans, my phone was my alarm clock, so it felt damn near impossible to imagine picking it up to turn off the alarm and not immediately tapping Facebook or Instagram to see what the world had been up to while I slept.
Another thing people mentioned was having a ritual they performed, whether it was grinding coffee beans and meditating while it brewed, or going on a walk to a coffee shop sans phone, or getting in a good stretch straight out of bed. Now those things sounded way more my speed.
So I took all of the advice from my business idols and my friends and plucked out the things that felt doable for me. Here’s what I landed on:
- Instead of using my phone as my alarm, I now use my Fitbit’s silent alarm which gently vibrates on my wrist, waking me softly instead of aggressively. I fight the urge to even look at my phone until this whole routine is complete.
- Rather than hitting snooze a few times, I (quite literally) roll out of bed, and as soon as I’ve hit the bathroom for that glorious morning pee, I walk straight into the kitchen and get my coffee going while I feed my darling needy cats, Buster and Fiona.
- As soon as my masters have been tended to, I make my bed and wash my face because, between you and me, I almost never do that before falling asleep each night.
- Once my coffee is ready, I head to my porch with my vape pen, a notebook, and two books in hand.
- First order of business — I take a relatively small (emphasis on small) hit of my vape pen with a sativa cartridge. (This is quite possibly the most crucial element of my morning routine… but more on that later.)
- Next, I water all of my plants and take a minute to appreciate the fact that they all seem to be doing well despite my lack of a green thumb.
- After that, it gets real hippy-dippy up in here. I light a bundle of sage and a palo santo stick to cleanse the energy left over from the day before and start this new day with a clean, positive slate. I’ll tell ya what — this has been a REAL necessity lately as the world seems to spin more and more out of control with every new tweet — I mean — day.
- For the next 5–15 minutes, I drink my coffee while watching the squirrels and birds perform their own morning routines, and let my mind wander wherever it damn well pleases as I enjoy the calming smell of sage and palo santo wash over the porch. It’s typically during this time that random thoughts pop into my head, from new ideas for my businesses to friends I haven’t talked to in a while to deep thoughts on the universe. Some days nothing comes; other days I can’t write in my journal fast enough.
- Once I feel like my brain has whispered to me all it has to say for the morning, I read one page of “The Daily Stoic” by Ryan Holiday. Each day of the year has a different Stoic philosophy as well as a modern-day interpretation of it. I read the passage, and write the line that resonates with me most on the bottom of the page.
- Next up, I read a few pages of book #2. I prefer to balance “The Daily Stoic” with a book higher up on the “woo” scale since the Stoics aren’t known for being very uplifting or optimistic. When I first kicked off this morning routine, I chose “Leveraging the Universe” by Mike Dooley, which was the perfect complement. This combination allows me to embrace my “Type-A with a dash of woo” personality best.
- After the sage and palo santo have stopped burning, the books have been read, and my beverage consumed, I allow any additional thoughts to bubble up, record them in my journal under the heading, “a.m. thoughts”, and close up shop.
I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I start my day by smoking weed. Does this make me a stoner? I suppose that’s up for interpretation, but in my opinion absolutely not. What it does make me is mindful and present, two things I’ve struggled to be my entire life. It’s important to know that I’m not getting stoned off my ass here, but rather very lightly high. High enough to be able to sit for 30-ish minutes without my phone while enjoying all that the morning has to offer and listening to, not suppressing, the quiet thoughts that float to the surface of my mind. I’m not worried about the day ahead, I’m 100% there in that moment on the porch.
Although I’m still not a daily meditator, (my mind just has too many things it wants to show me and tell me for me to be able to shut it off for any period of time) I’ve discovered that, for me, mindfulness is about going inward, listening to and observing my thoughts from an outsider’s perspective. Cannabis acts as a snorkel and mask, allowing me to dive into the ocean that is my mind without worrying about drowning. I’m able to see things objectively rather than being suffocated by the emotions that typically surround my thoughts.
I’m officially two and a half months into this daily morning practice and let me tell you what an incredible difference it’s made in both my personal and professional lives. I begin my day happier, calmer, and more confident that regardless of what may come up that day, that too shall pass. I’m more easily able to see the big picture and imagine my place in it. I’m kinder to strangers (yes, even on the freeway), and my creativity has been unleashed in a way that I haven’t felt since elementary school. My productivity has gone through the roof, and my businesses have benefitted massively.
I’m not proposing that everyone start their day with cannabis, but I do stand by the fact that this morning routine has changed the game for me. When I go to bed each night, I actually look forward to waking up and beginning the new day because I know that even if everything else goes to hell, that first 30 minutes will be a damn delight.