Do you have a routine in the morning – before checking your text messages/the news?
I used to literally jump out of bed to get going with my day, knowing I had limited time in the morning to get myself and the children out in time for their school day. Although I do remember I usually woke my children up slowly and gently, saying to them with a smile: “There’s a new day today!” It feels awkward now to realise that I did not care for myself in any way waking up… Luckily I have since then changed my routine so I am being much kinder to myself!
This is what I changed my morning routine to: I set the alarm clock at least half and hour before I need to care for anyone else. Then I have time to meditate. This might take 10, 20 or 30 minutes, depending on the time I feel I can allow myself to take. Also, after meditating, I lie down on my back, my hands on my belly, feeling the belly rising and falling with the breath. A minimum of three conscious breaths – often many more! It is like saying hello to the breath in the morning, connecting with the aliveness in the body, and it gives me a great feeling of groundedness. In case I oversleep, I will skip the meditation bit but still take some conscious breaths before leaving the bed. It feels like resetting myself, placing my energy where I like it to be.
I also have a few things I like saying to myself before starting a new day. The best quote for me is one that I heard from a meditation teacher at a retreat a couple of years back: “The fullness of the day is here“.
Other quotes I also enjoy saying to myself are the following: “Every day is precious, every moment is precious“, and “Tomorrow is not guaranteed“.
As you see, it has become important to me to start my day with a feeling of gratefulness for a new day, feeling lucky and happy there is a brand new day in front of me! Also, it is about realising that I don’t know what a new day is going to bring, so I can be open to any experience that comes along. I feel that bringing a beginner’s mind to the new day in front of me, instead of thinking I “know” exactly what is going to happen, gives me a sense of curiosity and positivity to the new day.
In mindfulness meditation, to emphasise the importance of taking a few moments in the morning for yourself, teachers sometimes use the example of musicians. Any musician, even the best pianist/violinist/guitarist in the world, will tune their instrument before playing. The instrument must be made ready. This is what happens with your awareness when you meditate or take a few conscious breaths before starting a new day – you are tuning in, you are anchoring yourself in the present moment. A great preparation for the fullness of the day, and one that I can’t be without anymore.
I hope I have inspired you so you will have a go at meditating or taking a few conscious breaths tomorrow morning before all the day’s news hits you!