Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Come Early Morning....

One of the changes I've made recently is to start each day with something positive and inspirational. I wanted to test it out before writing about it, but I've noticed that it is making a difference.

My room is just how I like it... cluttered with all kinds of personal things... lots of quilts and blankets on the bed, a dim light on the nightstand that glows through stained glass. It all works and when I first wake up, I look at the clock and occasionally turn on the radio. There's a local station here that plays beautiful instrumental music.

When I finally get out of bed and open the bedroom door, sometimes it feels like being hit with a bright light, like an interrogation booth. I don't like mornings generally. I'm not a person who wakes up with enthusiasm for being alive. That's just the truth I live with.

It takes something extra to put me in a frame of mind that will prepare me for dealing with the mental, emotional and physical glare. That's just a personal thing. I believe strongly in starting the day without petty frustrations or negative thoughts. I have a steadfast rule that I do not do problem-solving when I first get up. That is firm and non-negotiable.

Over the months, I've collected quite a set of DVDs. I have everything from Caroline Myss to Marianne Williamson, the Dalai Lama to Wayne Dyer. I also have some very good movies and DVDs of people doing Tai Chi, QiGong and other fluid, beautiful movement. There are even a few things I listen to on YouTube. If it inspires me, I have it ~ regardless of its cultural origins. If it's good, it's good.

I make some tea and sit in a comfortable chair, put in one of the DVDs and listen. Each day, I pick the one that seems most appropriate, depending on my frame of mind. It usually takes 45 minutes or so before I feel ready to deal with the computer, the news or the outside world.

It doesn't matter how long we choose to take with this sort of thing. It can be five minutes or forty-five. I know people who only take five minutes. There are people like me who often take an hour. The point is that I've noticed my attitude has improved and when I do have to go out or deal with something unpleasant, it doesn't cause me to act in an unpleasant way.

The beginning of the day is when our minds are most open.. and when we are most vulnerable. It only makes good sense to feed ourselves with something emotionally and spiritually nourishing.

Do you have a similar morning routine?



Cecilieaux said...

It occurs to me, from this post and the previous one and the new title to you blog that you may be -- we may all be -- closer to "home" than any of us think. We're always counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike and thinking they're all going to look for America ... but they (and we) are all in America already.

That's my thought for the day.

LittlePea said...

I'm not sure if I can consider my morniing walk a routine thing because it's forced. I HAVE to walk my dog if I don't want his poo bladder to burst but it's just the thing that gets mu day started off just right. It's usually the prettiest birdsongiest part of the day so it puts me in a tranquil mood. I'm kind of grouchy in the morning so moving around and enjoying the beauty puts me in the best state of mind. After that a cup of coffee in the sunniest part of the couch and I'm ready for the world. I also find I'm in a better mood if I stay away from morning shows.

Anvilcloud said...

I'm sure it's a good idea and works for you. I find it hard just to sit and do nothing (although I know that's not really what you're doing). As much as I love music, I tend not to just sit and listen; it's almost always something for the background -- unless I'm the one trying to make the music, of course. :) I do understand the theory of quiet contemplation and meditation but can't seem to do it.

OTOH, I'm not too much of a morning person either. That we have in common. :)

LittlePea said...

poor bladder I meant to right not poo. oops!

Stephanie said...

I love the morning. It's my favorite time of day.

I have really enjoyed having a quiet hour before anything is expected of me. Some days I work out, some days I have coffee and sit in the quiet for a while. It changes my approach to my day, too, and I'm better for it.

But I'm a morning person, and even when I don't have that time I think most clearly early in the day. After about 8 pm, though, I'm useless. In my home we have a firm agreement not to discuss anything important after about 8:30, because by then I'm too tired to think clearly.

Lex said...

I've been reading you for the last couple of weeks really wanting to leaving a comment, but not really feeling like I had anything worth saying. Maybe I'll just start leaving : {nod}.

But, I'll chime in on this one. I am beginning to try to wake up when my body says it's time. This is usually way before my alarm goes off. Until this past week, I'd always go back to sleep until it goes off -- but I've started to try something new. I wake up and grab my journal and just write whatever comes to mind. "Early Morning Pages" exercise from the Artist's Way. It helps me move to the next part of my morning ritual without the baggage I brought over from my sleep.

I get out of bed and go into my sitting room where I light a candle and sit on my meditation cushion. I take out my Sacred Journey Journal, which I am using for the first time and I review my intentions for what I want to bring into my heart for the year and my personal belief statement. I then sit quietly in meditation for as long it feels like that's where I should be.

When my eyes pop open, I begin my asana practice end it in quiet meditation for a couple of minutes before heading off to the shower. This amazing takes one hour every time -- with no clock anywhere in the room.

I end my day in similar fashion, but I add tea, which I find helps me sleep a lot better.

Your boldness in introspection inspires me.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I murmur a Cherokee greeting which gives thanks to the Creator for another day. I have done this for many years and it focuses me.

Sometimes I go into the backyard and enjoy the fresh air, birdsong and flowers. Then I make coffee and read emails before I shower.

On days when there is an early appointment and I have to shower and run, I always feel a bit out of synch so I do treasure my quiet time alone.

jen said...

i like what C had to say. nice simon and garfunkel too.

i need a spiritual practice, i am wondering yet again what i'll find when i finally break my current routine.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I'm slow about waking up too, but I usually start my day solving some kind of puzzle: sudoku or a word puzzle. Then after I eat, I have meditation and prayer time. I've probably got it backwards, but this is a habit of many, many years' duration.

Olivia said...

It's so interesting reading about each person's routine!

I like to get up, make tea, and journal and then read for 15 minutes or much, much longer---as long as I have time for. I try to not have appointments in the morning, but two days a week I do.

I always wake up either depressed, severely depressed, or with the pain of a searing migraine. So if I don't have a migraine (most days) I am glad just to be pain-free and "only" depressed. If I can get a long enough quiet time (as I call it), I can work my way out of the depression and be fine all day. Otherwise, I just go through the day depressed.

I love mornings, but only if I can get my alone time and work through that homeostasis mood of depression.

Good topic as always, Chani!

Love, O

Sherry Peyton said...

I too wake up in a foul mood. Always, no matter what! I turn on water to make coffee, clear dishes from the living room to the kitchen. Once I have the water heated and the coffee steeping, I'm making the bed, getting at least partially dressed and turning on GMA. I vegetate for a while, then fix some breakfast, finish dressing if necessary and then move to the Office which takes about 15 min. After that I start the musts of my day, cleaning, treadmill,cooking, etc. Then finally to the computer hopefully by 10:30 or so. I get up at 7 every morning. It's my routine, and somehow it gets me going and once I get started on the shoulds, I usually even out and am fine. Parker has learned to lay low until I've had my quiet time.

Anonymous said...

you mean other than pumping breastmilk and changing diapers?

Brandi said...

I usually spend time meditating and gratitude journaling in the mornings and I find it helps tremendously.

oh-and I avoid the news like the

Woman in a Window said...

nope, not similar. I get up, brush teeth, do hygiene stuff wishing I didn't have to, make bed, get dressed. Oh and as I spit out my toothpaste I am already raising my coffee mug to my lips. Then to the computer and twenty glorious moments to peak in here. If I could wake ready made I'd be much happier.

painted maypole said...

your routine sounds lovely. mine is more "hurry, hurry, or we'll be late for school!"