I’ve had a lot of people ask how they can integrate this spirituality stuff right in the middle of their days. I mean mindfulness and meditation are all good as long as you don’t have a noisy boss or baby demanding your time, right? But, spirituality is really the most powerful when you develop habits that can help you no matter what else is going on. Habits that can be used throughout your day — even in the middle of chaos — to reconnect you with your core self. In other words, you should spend at least as much time (hopefully more) on your morning spiritual practices, as you do your hair.
When I spend more time on my spirit and my mood than my hair in the morning, a couple of things happen: I have some crazy looking hair, but I also have really great day.
I can do my hair in about two-minutes flat. Course, the curls look a bit like a rat’s nest with a headband, but my locks are clean and combed whether you can tell it or not. I say this because, I’m not a person who relishes the whole morning routine. I want to move on and get started with my day.
But there are three things I do like to do most mornings. Three things that help to shape my day in a way that is energizing and encouraging.
Morning Practices to Create a Positive Day
Give thanks. After, sitting up and shaking off the sleep – which some days is a major accomplishment – I sit on the edge of my bed and think of three things I’m grateful for. You can say this out loud in the form of a prayer, or a simple sentence. You can do this silently. But it will change your day when you start by noticing how good the coffee smells, or how grateful you are that your baby slept through the night. It will change your day to give thanks to the sun for coming up again. Look for three new things each morning and give them a moment of focus.
Visualize the day. When I hop in the shower, I spend a minute visualizing my ideal day — the one ahead. I imagine the tasks and conversations and how easily I flow through it all. How patient and loving I am. I see how I have just enough time for everything and how I’ll pick up my daughter from preschool and not tell her 352 times to hop into her carseat. Instead, I’ll stand patiently while she notices the worm in the puddle. I visualize with words, sometimes images, but mostly emotions. I experience the positive feelings that will come with the activities of this ideal day. I imagine the feel of a day well-done. To do all this in a minute or two is a little intense. I’m playing my whole day in super-fast forward with the good-feelings turned up to high. But it’s also fun – to imagine the highlights, the possibilities. To make things up and focus only on the best outcomes. Just play with it, but don’t worry if you can’t see “pictures” in your head. Use whatever comes to mind, and pull from your emotions to create symbols either through words or pictures.
Give yourself credit. Finally, take a minute to really look at yourself in the mirror. See yourself, your body, and eyes and hair and ears. But look deeper and really see yourself. Your spirit, your core, your love, your talents, your flaws. And give thanks to this body for containing all that you are. And forgive yourself now for the screw ups from the past and all those about to be and know, that despite all your human imperfections, you have got it going on.
Now, put your stop watch down. I know I said this would take three minutes. It may go longer, it can certainly go shorter. Do what feels right. Don’t worry about doing it right. You don’t need to create one more line item on your “To Do” list. But, if you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, tied-down, ticked-off, tired, hungry, worried — then give a few minutes to these ideas and see what develops in your life.
Once you get in the habit of focusing on the good in your life, your life will get good. These tools are a quick way to shift your focus to all that.