Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How I Start a New Day

Donna from Montana asked,"How do I start your day? Do you do something special because you sound so happy. Please tell me how you wake up." 
(Good morning & thank you, papaya tree, for my morning fruit!)

Well Donna, I am basically happy. Oh not all the time about everything. Real life isn't utopia. Of course things go wrong, go not the way I want them to, and outside people interfere with my life. There isn't a day that goes by that doesn't have some sort of either a snag, hassle, problem, disaster. But I try to counteract how the downers in life affect me by setting a good stage in the morning. Doing this took me many decades to learn. I wasn't always good at it. In fact 15 years ago I was in sad shape, mentally, emotionally, physically. One of the many changes I made back then was to try a whole new attitude for starting out my day. 

My daily start-up routine:
...greet the morning. I wake up and first thing tell myself that I had a good sleep, even if I didn't. My inner id doesn't seem to notice the lie and accepts it. I smile to myself. I find that my muscles relax. 
...I then tell myself that it's going to be a good day ahead and that I'm looking forward to it. My inner id seems to accept that lie too, without any questions. 
...the next 15 minutes or so is spent gradually waking up my mind and body. I'll practice some yoga breathing exercises, do yoga stretches. I'll notice each area of my body, flexing and waking it up. I'll tell my inner id how much I enjoy the feel of how each body part is working. Ah, perhaps another lie? 
...next I'll extend my awareness to the world around me. I'll say good morning to the birds, flowers, bees, etc. telling them how good it is to be alive. Ok, maybe lie number 4. Gee, I didn't realize how much of a liar I am! .....and to myself, no less. 
(Good morning little fishes!)
(Good morning, pretty flowers.)
(Good morning, pile of rocks. Perhaps I'll move you today to the end of the new path I'm making.)

...I'll make a mental note of the good things going on in my life at the moment. I'll appreciate the fact that I have enough food, a dry house, a safe place to live. I'll feel happy that I have a partner to go through life with, and some friends and a community. I'll ignore the fact that perhaps there are things not so perfect about those friends, partner, community....at least for now. 
... I'll remind myself that my goal is to enjoy life, explore passion, let the artist in myself out to play, and do things that "I want to do". I was raised as a child to be self-sacrificing, meek, modest. Therefore "being me" is something I had to learn to do as an older adult. 

I find that starting my morning along these lines helps set the stage for the day.

In the evening I also have a winding down routine. Again a few lies to my inner id --- it was a good day all in all.....I got something accomplished that was worthwhile....I felt happiness or joy, at least for part of the day.... I am tired but it is a good tired.....I will sleep a good sleep tonight....I will wake up happy and refreshed. Another little trick for the end of the day....I mentally place each of my problems that are bothering me into an imaginary box, telling myself that they will be safe there until I take them out tomorrow to deal with them again. Then I smile and begin a little yoga to relax my muscles. Goodnight. 

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