What does your morning routine look like? And trust me, it’s okay if your answer is, “I don’t have one.”

It took a long time for me to create one, and I still let it ebb and flow. But one piece I’ve kept consistent is my gratitude journal.

It’s called “The Five Minute Journal” and I’ve been using it consistently for about a year or so. It’s quick and to the point, hence the name.

This morning I was writing three things I was grateful for in my journal.

1. Sadie (our dog) making me laugh while she galloped in the snow

2. My healthy body and mind

3. Slow mornings and the permission I give myself to have flexibility

Number three is the kicker. I’m always grateful for slow mornings – that’s the biggest piece of my routine I’ve worked to create – the pace. But I often forget to appreciate how I gave myself permission to allow this.

I gave myself permission to create my days this way, and therefore gave myself permission to create my life this way.

No one walked up to me and said, “Hey Katie, you can go ahead and change up your routine and provide yourself some more peace and less chaos.”

I did that. I told myself, “you can do this, go ahead.”

I gave myself permission to slow down.

I gave myself permission to change my routine.

I gave myself permission to do what I wanted simply because I wanted to!

No shame. No judgement. Just joy.

So let me ask you, what will you give yourself permission to do next?

Tests from the Universe

Once I decided to step away from coaching cheerleading, the Universe began to test me.

There was a period of time in between making that decision for myself, and being able to communicate that decision to everyone. It was mostly because of protocol and processes that had to be followed, but that gap of time felt like a lifetime to me.

It felt like I was constantly being poked and prodded, as if the Universe was naggingly saying, “are you sure? are you sure? are you sure?”

Until eventually, I started to doubt myself and my decision. I started wondering, “well jeez, am I sure?!”

It was brutal, and mentally and physically exhausting.

I played the “what if” game a lot, called my mindset coach crying while I was in the middle of a Kohl’s store returning some boots (this was quite the sight), and cried to my husband while trying to sort out the mess in my mind.

But then I had to come back to me and the core of who I am and where I made my decision from in the first place.

At my core, I know i’m confident, steady, energetic, and do my best to operate from a place of inclusiveness and faith. And looking back, I know that I made my decision from that place. I didn’t make it from stress, pressure or fear.

I made it from a peaceful, trusting place.

I made it from a desire to slow down and to grow. So of course those growing pains had to come along for part of the ride.

But here’s the thing. I truly believe that when the Universe tests you in this way, you have two choices: stick with the comfortable and the familiar, or move forward in faith and trust the unknown.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking with what’s familiar – it’s comfortable for a reason. It’s secure. It’s safe. It’s good.

But I’m at a place where I don’t want good. I want great.

And if I have to walk with blind faith into the unknown in order to see what greatness lies ahead of me, then so be it.

I’m ready.