Has your schedule been completely disrupted? Maybe you’re now working from home, or your office has been closed down, or maybe you’ve lost your job, maybe your kids are at home now. Where you used to have a calendar that was filled with social activities, you might be now looking at a completely blank calendar.
It’s very easy in these times to let go of our routines, but I’m here to remind you of how important it is to stay with your morning practice.
So many of us are very intentional about what we put on in the morning – our clothes, our hair, our makeup, the most important thing you can put on in the day is your mindset. To ask yourself how you’ll be showing up, and how you’ll be choosing to go into the day.
In the absence of intentionally putting on your mindset, what happens is we take on the energy and the emotion of the people around us. For example, if our spouse is having a bad day, if we get stuck in traffic and we get frustrated, if our kids are fighting, we read some news, or we get an email that bothers us – pretty soon we’re taking on everybody else’s emotions and that’s what makes us have a good or a bad day.
Instead, imagine waking up and intentionally setting your own mindset. Deciding that no matter what everybody else is doing today, you’re going choose how you show up in this day.
A powerful morning practice, and the way that I like to start my days and I recommend my clients start their days, is this way:
First of all, don’t open your eyes or get out of bed until you have gotten into a mindset of gratitude. My pattern, if I’m not careful, is to wake up and think of my to-do list. Some people pick up the worries of yesterday, think about their bad dreams, or how they slept. Train yourself to be conscious about not getting out of bed until you’ve generated a state of gratitude. Be grateful that you woke up today. That today is a brand-new baby day, as one of my mentors would say. That you get to choose, “am I going to live this day by default or by design?” Start your day with gratitude.
From there, I’m a big believer in taking some time for meditation. This can be five minutes or half an hour, don’t get too caught up in how long it’s going to take – just take the opportunity to quiet your mind, release the resistance, and just be.
Have a journaling practice. In your journaling practice, connect to your vision, your goals, what you are creating? Then, intentionally decide “who do I want to be today?” Do you want to be positive? Do you want to be fun? Do you want to be productive, focused? What’s that quality that you want embody today?
Ttake a moment and ask yourself, “what’s one action today, what’s one thing I can do today that would move my dream forward?”
And finally, the final portion of that is gratitude again. What are you grateful for? Take a few minutes and writing down one to five to ten things that you’re grateful for.
Imagine that if you do that on a consecutive basis, how you will start feeling. So even though the rest of your routine right now and the rest of your calendar may be disrupted, you can choose to really be intentional about how you’re starting your days. Don’t let those morning rituals fall by the wayside, this is when they really matter.
I was reading this story to my daughter at bedtime the other day, and I thought inside of this little book there are some powerful reminders and messages for all of us. The book is called “My Heart Fills With Happiness” by Monique Gray Smith, and I wanted to include an excerpt here as a reminder to ask ourselves, where are we choosing to put our attention?
“My heart fills with happiness when I see the face of someone I love. When I smell Bannock baking in the oven. When I sing, my heart fills with happiness. When I feel the sun dancing on my cheeks. When I walk barefoot on the grass.”
And the book goes on to list other things that makes this person’s heart fill with happiness. What makes your heart fill with happiness? Keep your mind on the things that make you happy, and that bring joy into your life. It’s very easy to look for the negative, what’s not going well, and things to complain about. It’s so important, again when we’re starting our day and throughout the day, to really remind ourselves of those gratitudes, and of the things that do make your heart sing. And as you do that, watch how that changes the momentum of your day, your week, your month, and in your years.
Here is to you living a life that you love,