Body, Mind & Spirit

Morning Rituals: Waking up with Paula Mallis

Published on July 18, 2019

Article by Amy Swift Crosby for Bodhi Tree

Our morning rituals interviews capture the waking habits of authors, teachers and practitioners.

Interview with Paula Mallis, founder of WMN Space

WMN Space gathers women for facilitated circles dedicated to transformation and healing. Other offerings include doula services, spiritual counseling, pre and postnatal classes, bodywork, massage therapy and workshops. Paula is a doula trained in Spiritual Psychology. 

I try to view the early morning hours, even when I’m so tired I can barely open my eyes, as sacred, precious time. It’s in this quiet that have my deepest relationship with gratitude.” Paula Mallis, founder, WMN Space, Los Angeles

Waking up: I wake up with my son, Phoenix, around 5am. He’s still nursing, so we have very sweet time together while everyone else is still asleep. Sometimes I stay in bed with him if he’s in a curious, quiet mood, but on other mornings I take him to our living room where he can move around more freely, and where the morning light is always soothing to me…

woman saging a room

Sacred smoke: I love to set an intention in the morning, usually by burning a candle or palo Santo. This act alone can help calm my thoughts and settle me into my body before mentally leaping ahead in my day. Running a business is so full of challenges – it’s easy to get lost in your head before you’ve even fully woken up. So this practice reminds me to stay present, to consider what really matters, and to feel it before I intellectualize it.


Reflection: For me, a sitting meditation often just involves a breathing practice or mantra that i can do with eyes open on my kids, and between getting up and making breakfast. It can be as short as 2-3 minutes or as long as 20. Fortunately part of my job is leading women in circle, so I know i’ll have another opportunity to meditate again on most days, once I get to the studio.

overhead shot of tea serviceNourishment: Tea and toast comes next – I love green tea in these simple ceramic cups we have that feel perfect when you hold them. I watch Pheonix play on the floor, and if I can read a paragraph or two of something inspiring I’ll try to do it, while prepping avocado toast or a smoothie before my daughter Madeleine (7) comes downstairs. Nilima Bhatt wrote a wonderful book called Shakti Leadership that reminds me of my own strength and vision to help my team be all they can be. Just a few lines sets me in the right vision space.

Out the door: My husband is up next, and my daughter Madeleine shortly after that. From here the day really begins with packing snacks and bags, organizing everyone’s activities and nailing down the schedule. I head  to WMN Space next, where my day will be full of one on one appointments, leading circles for women in a variety of life stages, exploring partnerships. I do love the quiet of morning, before all the commotion. The way it begins sets the energy of my day in motion, so I make a commitment to myself through the act of ritual. 

woman in bathroom looking at self in mirrorAdvice to mothers: Especially for those with young children…be easy. Be easy on yourself, on your body, on your sense of productivity. Rigid is not the way with the spontaneous, unpredictable nature of kids. The more we tighten the reins around our idea of what should be, the more we fail our expectations. Stay fluid and flexible, when you can, while maintaining the necessary boundaries needed for groundedness and sanity. 



Published on: July 18, 2019

Tags: , , , , , , , ,