I used to rush around each morning. I knew I had things to do, although I wasn’t always clear on what they were. I had to do lists littered around my desk, on my phone and in my pocket. This wasn’t a very healthy or practical way to begin each day. For the past few months I have had a much simpler approach every morning. I have a simple daily practice that has been working for me.
My first waking moment is important. It means I am awake for another day. I am trying, and this, so far, has been the most difficult thing, to be thankful. The first things as I wake is to give thanks for the opportunity to live another day. This is another day I have been gifted.
Yoga / stretching
I do a simple yoga routine when I am out of bed. It isn’t anything fancy and I try to add bits to it as often as I can. I find this helps to get my metabolism moving and has certainly made me more supple. This isn’t an in-depth yoga routine and doesn’t include any spiritual elements either. I certainly don’t know enough about it to do more than some simple basics. There are a few simple physical exercises I have added to this routine. I need to do more exercise, but I intend to do that at another point during the day. This is to get me moving in the morning.
Prayer / meditation
I don’t want you to think that this is for ‘religious’ people only. I have a belief and these prayer / meditation moments are grounded in my tradition. However, the main point of these brief moments could be used by anyone, with or without any faith. My prayer revolves around thinking about others, those I know and those I don’t, but whose circumstances I am aware of. I think about them and their situations, is there anything I can do? Is there some way their situation impacts mine? This takes the focus off myself. I know, at these moments, that I am not the be all and end all. This leads to the other aspect of my prayer, my own place in the universe. I am one of billions. I have choices to make and a path to walk. I pray that I as I journey I will be kind to others as our paths cross both directly and indirectly.
Daily focus / meditation
After the more esoteric prayer / meditation I go into a time of focussed meditation. I look at my day ahead. What do I want to achieve today? What do I need to complete or put into action? Here I use my lists and calendar to look at the day ahead. I will spend a little time in my Midori journal setting out what I will do, and perhaps writing down my hopes and also fears. In addition, I have a document, created in Scapple, which provides me an overview of my goals, daily actions and motivational prompts. This helps me with my focus on the day ahead.
That’s my current morning daily practice. It has been working well so far. I am sure it will change and develop over the coming months and it still needs tweaking. I am not sure the best time to wash and dress at the moment, either before or after the yoga. My current living arrangements mean I can do either. I am also concerned that I am not eating breakfast before beginning my work day – at least hearsay suggests this isn’t particularly healthy.
I hope you find it helpful and if you have any tips or ideas do let me know in the comments. I’m currently looking at an evening daily practice and possibly a lunchtime one too. By simplifying and slowing down my mornings I have found that I am a lot more productive. I thought that rushing into the to do list was best, but it seems I was wrong.