You need to make your bones.


Mornings are my church. The routine goes something like this:

  • feet hit floor at 5 am (this requires I go to bed at the same time my 9 year-old does: 9pm)

  • kiss Alma’s forehead

  • go downstairs, turn on coffee machine, feed kitties

  • fill water glass, make first cup of coffee (half & half, cinnamon, please)

  • carry beverages to couch

  • light candle

  • write Morning Pages in journal above (the very best journal in all the land, you’re welcome) for 10 mins

  • read a little something, think about day (noting only 2-3 key things that need to happen)

  • check phone for 10 mins

  • open laptop, write until it’s time to get Alma up for school at 7.

After dropping her off I move my body: either outside for a walk, a run, a yoga class, or at my gym. When I take walks I usually talk to a friend or my brother or my mom. I always listen to a podcast.

Sometimes in the mix above I meditate for 5-10 minutes. My days are better when I do that.

After sweating, I write more until I’ve reached a word count or I’ve wrung the sponge dry.

The sun comes up while I’m writing and my couch faces the water and every morning I make sure to look at it for a few seconds because I never want to *not* notice that kind of absurd beauty. 

I’ve learned to do the most important things in the morning: write, sweat, journal, meditate because it’s when I’m most clean and clear and sharp, by far. If I wait, the chances of those things happening falls drastically. And if those things don’t happen, my mind and life fall off track astonishingly fast. It’s practical. And practical every day equals profound. This is how you make your bones.

My 37th birthday tattoo, circa 2014. Devo farmi le osssa, “I need to make my bones.” (Yes, from Eat, Pray, Love.) It was a wish to get sober, finally. To do the work, whatever it took.

My 37th birthday tattoo, circa 2014. Devo farmi le osssa, “I need to make my bones.” (Yes, from Eat, Pray, Love.) It was a wish to get sober, finally. To do the work, whatever it took.

The rest of my work: podcasting, blogging, teaching, planning, designing, social media. emailing, administrative, happens after late-morning. I used to do these things first thing in the morning because they’re less of a lift than writing. They provide WAY more immediate gratification. They make me feel productive and cater to my speedy, smart, bold side: I am a really fast and effective worker and that’s done a lot for me. They let me tick, tick, tick items off the list and that feels good, of course. They also correlate more directly with making money in my mind. Writing my book does not; not yet, anyway. So, these things often feel more urgent—and they usually are. But they’re less important in the long view: business-wise, personally, and spiritually.

The key thing I’ve learned over the past three years is that I will have the space and energy and willingness to do these things in the afternoon or even in the evening, whereas writing I just don’t. I won’t do it, despite my very best intentions. So, the lighter, more fun stuff comes later. It’s not easy to discipline myself this way at all, but it’s what works. How did I learn? Pain. Always, pain. As I once heard Marianne Williamson say, “At some point, you’re either going to the gym or you’re not.” At some point, I was either writing my book or I wasn’t. And I wasn’t. It felt awful to look that in the face.

I had to do differently.

This is the kind of stuff we dive into deeply in my flagship course, The Bigger Yes. The practical and the profound. The miraculous and the mundane. Registration is now open until December 15. We begin January 3rd. A number of full and partial scholarships are available—the application is on the course page.

2019 is going to be big, I feel it in my bones. 💎