Mornings are sacred to me. I’ve learned over the years that if I get a few hours to myself in the early morning, the day will be good. Very good. If I don’t… well, not so much. As in not good. I end up a little behind the eight ball, a little scattered and cranky.

So I’ve gotten very good at getting up early. It’s not a burden or anything — it’s my favorite part of the day. I think there’s a little bit of magic in the light of sunrise, for me it’s definitely the most creative part of the day.

My morning rituals are as much about what I don’t do as what I do. I don’t look at my phone or email for a long time. I don’t talk to anyone, or listen to what anyone else has to say. I don’t read the news. It’s just me with my own thoughts, working and working through the day ahead.

Beyond that ritual my day begins with “Good morning, sweetheart,” as my husband, Hal, comes down stairs. I wrap up the solitude and join him in the kitchen. Over coffee we switch places. While I have been internal, he has been out in the world, upstairs reading every newspaper and more news feeds than seems possible. He’s my favorite aggregator.

We map a plan for the day, he heads to his studio, and quiet concentration, I head back into mine, and connect with the rest of the world.

Getting to this collaborative start to the day took years of trial and error. Over and over we have learned that collaborating is not doing the same thing, together. Personally, and in our business, most of the investment in collaboration is in nourishing ourselves, separately, and then being open to one another’s insights and expertise when we come together.

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