Introducing the Candlelit Morning Challenge


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

Join me in the Candlelit Morning Challenge and experience the impact that this simple morning ritual can have on your day, and ultimately your life!As I write this, I’m staring out my office window at a gloomy, dark, rainy sky.

Summer is officially dead and fall is alive and well. In just a few more weeks it will be winter.

As the seasons shift and we head into the darker months of the year, it’s only natural that we should shift too. After all, we’ve adapted to live and work with each season as it comes for all of evolutionary history. 

We learned to wake and sleep with the rising and falling of the sun, which meant that in the spring and summer we evolved to wake earlier, stay up later and work and play harder during the long, sunny days. On the flip side, in the fall and winter we naturally evolved to slow down and sleep more.

But nowadays, our modern society praises and prioritizes going hard all of the time. The less you rest and the more you work, the more society rewards you (or so it would seem).

 

The curse of modernization

So much about the way our modern life and workday is designed dates back to the Industrial Revolution. Prior to this point in history, most people lived agrarian lifestyles (ie. farmers, homesteaders, etc.) But when industrialization took hold and people began moving to the city in droves to work in factories, the push for productivity skyrocketed.

Keep in mind, the lightbulb was also invented during the latter part of industrialization, which allowed people to work longer hours under artificial lighting. Farmers may have still depended on natural light to get their work done, but factory workers could suddenly work through the night if required, and they’d never even know what time it was.

This trend has continued into the present day. Between our lights and TVs and phones and computers, we hardly ever shut off.

According to the CDC, 1 in 3 adult Americans don’t get enough sleep, and according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 40 million Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder. It’s not too hard to connect the dots between each of these issues and our lifestyle of living and working on an unnatural cycle and the confusion we put our bodies through every time we bombard ourselves with artificial lighting (which is pretty much daily).

Of course, in this day and age it’s made even worse by the fact that we’re constantly looking at screens, whether TV, phone or computer. And we’re always connected through email and social media, but we’re more isolated than ever before and our connections to social media and our inbox aren’t always healthy ones. Not to mention the constant (bad) news cycle and “doom scrolling!”

In some cases it even crosses the line into addiction. If you’ve seen the documentary The Social Dilemma, you know that’s no mistake; It’s exactly how these platforms have been designed.

 

What we consume matters

I talk a lot about the food that we eat and the products that we use and why it’s so important to choose well and be mindful of what we consume, but this doesn’t end at food and cosmetics. We also have to be mindful of what are brains are consuming, including the light we’re letting in and the content we’re consuming through social and traditional media.

Because I, like so many other people on this planet, have succumbed to the bad habit of reaching for my phone first thing in the morning and starting my day off by looking at a bright, artificial blue light screen, checking my email and scrolling my social media feeds. It immediately raises my blood pressure and my anxiety first thing in the morning, but I still feel compelled to do it.

I know I’m not alone. Not even close! And so, last week, I decided to do something about it.

I woke up around 6:00. The house was still dark, and it was the first morning that had really felt like fall. It was earlier than I usually wake up on the weekdays, so I decided I had at least an hour before I “had” to check email and social media. For whatever reason, I decided to light a candle instead as I made my morning coffee and went through the motions of my morning routine.

I immediately felt different than I did most mornings. I felt calmer and more peaceful. I felt happier and more grateful!

It was a small action, but I felt a huge shift. Everything flowed easier. The morning felt less rushed and chaotic. I felt less anxious than I was used to feeling at the start of the day.

I knew right away I had stumbled upon a morning routine I could stick with; One that was so incredibly simple and seemed so obvious in the moment that I wondered why it had taken me so long to figure it out.

I eventually had to blow out my candle and start my day, but the magic didn’t stop there. I noticed that my whole day ran more smoothly after starting the day off in candlelight. 

And so, the next morning I decided to start my day off the same way, and again I noticed the same phenomenon.

 

A small but impactful morning challenge

I posted about my new morning routine over on my Instagram page, and I started getting messages almost immediately from others who were intrigued and who wanted to try starting their day by candlelight too. That’s when I got the idea for the candlelit morning challenge…

I put it out there to my community and encouraged anyone who was interested to commit to starting their day by candlelight too. 

I’ve already had messages from people who have taken up the challenge and who’ve expressed what a game-changer this simple act has made in their life. And so today I’m putting the challenge out there to you too!

If you’re reading this at the time of posting, during the month of October, 2021, I’m running an official challenge over on Instagram and asking that when you do decide to pick up your phone, that you take a quick photo of your candlelit morning and post it, either to Instagram stories or to your feed.

Use the hashtag #candlelitmorningchallenge and tag me @thehouseandhomestead and I’ll re-share your post, plus you’ll be entered to win a naturally scented candle from one my favourite essential oils company (and affiliate partner) Plant Therapy.

The challenge officially runs until the end of October. I’ll be drawing a winner on November 1st, 2021. But don’t let that stop you from continuing with this morning routine if you fid that it serves you. Because the greatest reward isn’t winning the giveaway or getting the “social crew” that comes from sharing your photos to Instagram. The greatest reward is the real positive impacts that starting your day off in candlelight can have on your life and your overall well-being.

 

Wait, I thought this was about avoiding social media in the morning??

It’s not lost on me that I’m asking you to post your candlelit morning photos to Instagram after ranting about the negative impacts of social media, but let’s be honest: You’re probably going to pick up your phone and check social media eventually. Why not do it with intention and spread a positive message to others who might benefit from changing up their own morning routine??

Whether or not you decide to participate in the official Instagram challenge, I do hope you’ll try lighting a candle to start your day instead of reaching for your phone or flipping on your bright overhead lights. Even if all you have is a minute to spare in the morning, make it an intentional minute that allows your mind, body and spirit to wake in a more natural way that supports your health and mental wellbeing.

Our mornings are the foundation that we build our days on, and our days are the foundation we build our lives on. If one small act and one tiny flicker in the darkness has the power to change everything for the better, why not try it for at least one morning?

 

You have the power to choose your own actions

The world is hurting right now. Our collective anxiety is up and the unnatural way that so many of us are living is only making things worse. But we have the power to change how we operate in the world we live in. Often the biggest impacts come from the smallest changes. For me, this has been one of the most positive impacts I’ve experienced in my own life lately, and if I can share it with others and help even one other person create positive change in their own life, I’m all for it.

After all, that’s why I started this blog to begin with: To share information that can help you live a healthier, happier, more self-sufficient life where YOU are in control and empowered to change how you operate in a world where we are constantly presented with (and even encouraged to make) unhealthy decisions that impact us and the people around us.

Try it. Just for one day. If it makes you feel good, consider trying it again. And if you feel so inclined, let me know how it’s impacted your own life. 

If you want to participate in the official challenge, remember to post your photos to Instagram using the hashtag #candlelitmorningchallenge and tag me @thehouseandhomestead so I can re-share your post and enter your name into the giveaway.

Or simply keep it to yourself, but be sure to celebrate the fact that you’ve made an intentional decision to start your day by doing something good for yourself.

There’s a lot of things about this world that we can’t change, but no matter how much seems like it’s out of our control, remember that you always have the power to choose your own actions.

As the Chinese proverb goes, “it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

Stay well, friend.

Until next time,

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂

 

 

 

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
What to Stock In A Home Apothecary

What to Stock In A Home Apothecary

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   Having a home apothecary full of medicinal herbs, tinctures and infusions of all kinds is many a homesteader’s dream! In fact, as far as goals and dreams...

read more

What does it really mean to be self-reliant?

What does it really mean to be self-reliant?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it really means to be “self-reliant.”  We talk a lot about self-reliance (or self-sufficiency) in the homesteading community, and outwardly it may seem as if the goal of “achieving” self-reliance is what ultimately...

read more

40 years on this Earth.
11 years together.
8 years married.
6 babies, one living, 4 in heaven and one more hopefully on the way.
20 fur (and feather) babies in our time together.
5 homes (plus a couple tents).
6 countries.
About 5,000 pounds of homegrown tomatoes, among other things;)
Too many good times to count.
Enough hardships to shape our characters.
One beautiful life together.

To my smart, talented, strong, kind, selfless, handsome amazing husband… The day I met you everything changed for the better. Sure, we’ve weathered some storms, but knowing I always have you to turn to has helped me through my darkest hours. The laughs, deep conversations, goals, dreams and unconditional love we share make each day worth living. And the family, home and life we’ve created together are more than I could have ever hoped for.

Happy 40th birthday to my one and only @thehumblehandyman. I can’t imagine doing life with anyone else. ❤️
...

66 8

And then there were 3 😔

Despite fending off an eagle attack the other day, a sneaky raccoon got into the chicken run early this morning and took out one of our girls.

Having animals die is definitely the hardest part of homesteading, but it’s a reality of this lifestyle that everyone must come to terms with sooner or later.

While we care for our chickens and want to give them the best life possible while they’re here, we understand that they’re livestock, not pets, and that we’re not the only creatures who see them as a food source.

Luckily we have a new flock of up-and-comers who will be ready to lay in a few months. Until then, egg production around here is gonna be pretty scarce.
...

19 2

So this is 35…

I decided to read my horoscope today (since it’s my birthday and all). I don’t really buy into the horoscope predictions, but I do think there’s something to be said for the personality traits we’re born with when the stars are aligned just so. Here are a few snippets that I found to be almost eerily on point:

“Tauruses born on May 18 are characterized by love of freedom and independence…They possess extraordinary creative energy, and they are never without an important cause to champion. They enjoy taking risks, but only when they believe the risk really matters.

As a rule, most decided early in life what they wanted to do and are not likely to deviate from that path. Their independent spirit makes them ideally suited to careers where they are their own boss, or are at least autonomous within a larger structure.

May 18 people want to make it on their own. No matter how successful they become, they never forget their roots and may even draw upon them for inspiration.”

Every year on my birthday I reflect on where I’m at, where I’m headed and where I’ve come from, and all I can say is that each year I’m only more grateful to be living life on my own terms, doing what I love most next to the people I love more than anything else in the world.

I’ll never forget where I came from and I’ll never have any regrets, because I wouldn’t be right where I am now without all of the experiences -good, bad or otherwise- that I’ve had along the way.

I knew when I was a little girl that I wanted to be a writer and a content creator. Homesteading came a little later in life, but when I knew, I knew.

I hope to be doing what I love and sharing it with you all for the next 35 years too! (Well, actually, if I’m being honest, I’d like to retire and throw my phone in the river long before that;) But until that day comes, thanks for being here to celebrate life with me today and every day. Cheers to another turn around the sun 🍻
...

58 10

My daughter stayed overnight at her grandma’s last night, and this morning when I talked to my mom she said “Evelyn told me she’s never been to the doctor before.”

Proudly, I replied “no, she hasn’t, because she’s never needed to.” This is thanks in large part to the fact that we keep a well stocked natural medicine cabinet at home and do our best to treat everyday illnesses and ailments ourselves.

Having a well-stocked home apothecary (and the know-how to use herbal and natural medicine at home) is yet another important piece of the self-sufficiency puzzle, and one that we’re working on a lot right now, both in our home and in my membership program, the Society of Self-Reliance.

If herbal medicine and building a home apothecary is on your to-do list as well, I’ve got some great tips and a printable checklist of items you’ll want to start stocking up on now so you’re prepared to make all sorts of medicinal preparations in time for cold and flu season later this year.

This is also a great time to plant certain medicinal herbs so that you’ve got a personal, sustainable supply of herbal medicine at home, because who knows what supply chain issues are gonna hit next!

To help make building and stocking your home apothecary or natural medicine cabinet a little easier, I compiled a list of all the ingredients I like to keep on hand for making my own medicinal preparations, as well as a suggested list of herbs to start growing or stocking up on, and some other great resources to help you get started preparing and using your own herbal medicine at home.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to read the full article and download the checklist, or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/stock-a-home-apothecary/
...

34 1

Stinging nettles are one of my favourite things to forage for in early spring. They’re ready to harvest well before just about anything is ready in our garden, and they’re a superfood as well as a medicinal plant packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, C & K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron, plus they’re super high in protein.

As a medicinal plant, nettles are a natural antihistamine and can help with season allergies, they have properties that reduce inflammation and especially joint inflammation and arthritis, they can be used to treat of urinary tract infections and enlarged prostate symptoms, the e been shown to lower blood pressure and control blood sugar and more!

Some people even swear by harvesting stinging nettles with their bare hands as the sting itself is said to help with muscle and joint pain/arthritis!

I, however, am not that brave. I definitely recommend wearing gloves, long sleeves, long pants and boots when harvesting stinging nettles! But the good news is that once you cook or dry the nettles, they no longer sting you. My favourite way to prepare them is to dry them and enjoy them as a herbal tea! But they’re good sautéed in stir fry or added to soups (in place of spinach or Kale) too. Whatever you do, just don’t put them fresh into a salad!

Stinging nettles grow wild all over North America (as well as other places), and spring is the best time to forage for them. To learn how to safely identify them, harvest them and prepare/preserve them, check out the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/harvest-and-use-stinging-nettles/

Have you ever foraged for stinging nettle before?
...

89 14

If you're looking to increase production in your own home garden, you know how important bees and other pollinators are to your overall yield.⁠

Honeybees get a lot of the glory, and for good reason: It's said that honeybees alone are responsible for pollinating 80% of our fruits and vegetables! Not to mention, they make honey... Sweet, glorious, highly nutritious and DELICIOUS honey!⁠

In this day and age of global food shortages, we need to do whatever we can to help increase food production at home and abroad, and helping honeybees is one of the best ways to do just that.⁠

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/3-easy-ways-to-help-save-the-bees/ to learn what you can do at home to help save the bees, and the many, MANY reasons why it matters!⁠
...

25 1

I don't know about you, but around here spring officially marks the beginning of what we call "busy season."⁠

I always remind myself, though, that the payoff from the work we put in at this time of year is so totally worth the extra elbow grease and long hours.⁠

The seeds we sow now will provide us with food and medicine to stock our pantry and apothecary with in the summer and fall.⁠

The projects we start now will (hopefully) be finished and ready to serve us later in the year.⁠

And the deep cleaning and organizing we do now in our homes will set the stage and the tone for the rest of the season.⁠

Personally, I don't operate very well in a disorganized, messy or dirty environment. Whether I'm working or just relaxing, if my home is in disarray I feel like I can't fully concentrate on or enjoy whatever I'm doing.⁠

For most of the year this means sticking to a daily routine of tidying up and light cleaning when necessary. But in the spring, I like to take a few days to deep clean our home so that the rest of the season runs smoother; So that when I'm in the thick of gardening and harvesting and preserving season, I'm not also contending with dirt and stains and pine needles from Christmas!⁠

That being said, I don't like to use any commercially produced chemical cleaners, so I always make sure to keep a few natural ingredients on hand to get the job done.⁠

Over the years I've tried a lot of store-bought "natural" cleaners, and honestly I haven't been impressed with most of them. In fact, I find some white vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, water and a few essential oils are all I really need to clean most of my house!⁠

If the spring cleaning bug has bit you too, be sure to check out my DIY Spring Cleaning Recipes via the link in my bio. Every recipe is made with simple, natural ingredients that you probably have on hand already. I also like to add essential oils to my cleaning products for their scent and natural cleaning and disinfecting power, but you can omit them if you like:)⁠

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/spring-cleaning-recipes/
...

26 0

If there's one thing we should all be doing to hedge against looming food shortages and inflation right now, it's growing some of our own food at home.⁠

I've been preaching the many benefits of homegrown food for years now... Long before any of the madness we're currently experiencing took hold.⁠

A couple years ago when I launched my first gardening course, I mentioned in my sales video that we were just one emergency situation away from grocery store shelves being cleared out entirely. Within two weeks of that video, the pandemic hit, and the rest is history.⁠

The fact is, whether you're worried about shortages, the skyrocketing price of EVERYTHING, or you simply want to eat better, healthier foods free from GMOs and chemical sprays, learning how to grow even a little bit of your own organic food at home puts power and food security back in your hands.⁠

That's exactly why I’ve teamed up with 16+ other speakers for the Backyard Vegetable Gardener's Summit: A free, 3-day online event where you can learn how to get started or get better at growing food and creating your own personal grocery store, right in your own backyard!⁠

Here are just a few of the presentations coming up this week:⁠

🌱 7 Ways To Maximize Space In Your Urban Garden⁠
🌱 Creating a Personal Seed Bank⁠
🌱 How to Generate Income From Your Garden⁠
🌱 Easy Ways to Quickly Improve Your Garden Soil⁠
🌱 Indoor Container Gardening⁠
🌱 Growing Turmeric & Ginger at Home⁠
🌱 How to Use Succession Planting for Higher Yields⁠

And more!⁠

Plus, don't miss my masterclass where I teach you everything you need to know to grow a BUMPER CROP OF TOMATOES in your backyard! 🍅🍅🍅⁠

From starting your seeds to planting out and caring for your tomato plants all season long, I'll show you the exact method we use to grow hundreds of pounds of tomatoes at home for fresh eating and preserving each year.⁠

The summit officially starts TODAY! If you haven't registered yet, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/bvgs to save your seat and start watching and learning right away!
...

83 3

“When I think of self-reliance, I think of any ability to rely less on ‘the system.’”

I sat down with Ashley Constance from @dirtypawshomestead and the @alittleselfreliant podcast to talk about what it means to be self-reliant, if it’s even possible to be 100% self-reliant and why it’s a goal worth striving for even if complete and total self-reliance isn’t possible.

Be sure to check out the full interview in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

Subscribe @ modernhomesteadingnmagazine.com

I’d love to know, what are you currently doing to become a little (more) self-reliant? Let me know in the comments!👇
...

27 2
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
There has been a problem with your Instagram Feed.

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]