How do you begin your day? Because how you begin your day is how you live your life – it’s a microcosm of the macrocosm. How you begin your day sets the tone for how the rest of the day will go. How your days go, so goes your life.
Is it popping out of bed at the very last second, fighting time as if it is a battle you can’t win? Resisting what needs to happen, frustrated that things are not different? Scrambling to get it all together to get out the door with a body that is not quite awake and has not had enough sleep? And a self that feels neglected, rushed and overlooked? How does this affect your state of mind, your state of being?
Or is it giving yourself time and space to experience yourself as a human being first and foremost, before you enter into human doing? Do you take time to rest in stillness, with your morning coffee, perhaps do some deep breathing, even a few minutes of meditation, following the breath in and out of your body, releasing the tension that builds up in the head center and relaxing your mind?
“Listen to the silence, it speaks to who you are.”
With practice, we can cultivate a relationship with the mind as observers during these times of deep relaxation, where it can feel like the unwinding of a screw, melting into open spaciousness, bringing us present to this moment right now.
We can drop into our other two brains, the heart and the belly. The heart center is a place to explore what we are feeling, what thoughts generated those feelings and if those are based in anything we need to address. It is a place to discover what we are longing for, what we are wanting to manifest at this point in our lives. And the heart center is a place where we can allow ourselves to feel the aliveness that comes from the miracle of being a feeling, breathing, and sentient human being.
The belly center helps us determine right action on those feelings, thoughts and longings. Our actions are no longer something determined in our thinking mind that can be distorted by past conditioning, but come from a deeper place of knowing, understanding and consideration.
In the morning, do you give your body a chance to wake up and ease into movement with some gentle yogic stretching, more deep breathing and maybe a walk or run in nature, once again, taking the opportunity to experience your being before much doing? Nature supports us in simply being. Getting outside and in contact with the natural world reminds us of our own nature, our connection to all that arises from the earth.
Journal writing, either brief listings of three things you are grateful for in a Gratitude Journal or exploring the deeper layers of your life, can be quite illuminating and helpful. In Julia Cameron’s books The Artist’s Way and Walking in this World, she speaks of a process she calls the morning pages, a process of free writing each morning that is neither precious or precise, but simply getting on paper what is so for you, what is running through your mind. This practice is so helpful in bringing clarity, insight and awareness of the thoughts that run us on the surface, and the deeper undercurrents of our mind.
Becoming more conscious of what is often unconscious will alone change your life. The mental chatter – the Buddhists call it Monkey Mind – is a constant commentary that either supports us through new awareness, or runs counter to all we want to be, do and have.
When we give ourselves the precious gift of time to be, at the beginning of each and every day, we see how, through tuning in and landing in the center of our being, nurtures us, grounds us, clears us and opens us to show up for the rest of the day, the rest of our lives in a way that is authentically conscious and aware, appreciating the beauty and wonder of who we are and this precious life we are living.
Diane Ingram, PCC, is a Coach, Coach Trainer, and Speaker for Personal and Professional Development. She is a regular contributor to Pawling Public Radio and the author of five books, most recently The Gift. To learn more online, visit DianeIngram.com