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To not take care of our soul and our mind is to not take care of ourselves completely.
When I was in my early to mid-20’s, life was dictated by a busy work schedule and a fiercely driven mind. I would wake early and put my sweats on, making sure to fit in my workout and meditation and sprinkle it with some mobility work and a dash of prayer to connect to my higher being. On days that I worked through my complete morning routine, I felt good — peacefully on fire. Ironically, I never related that feeling to anything I was specifically doing. And then life really hit the fan…
As I approached my 30’s, more responsibilities piled on and I was in the midst of a failing relationship. I did the only thing I knew to help make sense of it all and regain some control — I worked out harder and longer and filled my time with meaningless activities that seemed important. Looking back, they were filler moments to grasp an ounce of happiness in my life. That inevitably meant that I needed to let go of other activities that seemed pointless. I stopped meditation and prayer. I stopped mobility work. I stopped tapping into my spirituality and taking care of my mental health.
I felt empty and lost and alone.
I felt easily sucked into the drama of the world’s problems.
I felt caught up in my own ego of playing victim and blaming others for my unhappiness.
It wouldn’t be until I was 33 years old that I connected the spiritual dots of what I used to do and how it made me feel peaceful…
My journey is just one tale of thousands that I have encountered, but it provides a valuable lesson:
How we care for our soul and our mind is how we show love and value for our entire being.
What you do first thing in the morning can set the tone for the rest of the day. Most mornings aren’t inspiring and seem like a drag. But that can always be changed.
Mornings filled with rushed activities, scrolling through social media posts, and the morning news can lead to higher levels of anxiety, depression, disconnect, and feelings of inadequacy.
But mornings filled with self-discovery, inspiration, prayer or mediation, and downtime can lead to feelings of empowerment, energy, and more productive days.
Here are some practices that only take about 15 minutes of your morning but give you long-lasting benefits all day long!
Writing out what you are grateful for can dramatically shift your mindset. When you focus on what you are grateful for, your perception of what is important shifts and you are less likely to focus on what is not going right and focus more on what is bringing you joy. When you focus on what you are blessed with, it shifts your vibration and connects you into a higher vibration.
You can try other kinds of journaling techniques that will allow you to tap into a deeper discovery of yourself.
Try this: Fill in the following statement. Do this 5-10 times with different answers. “I am so grateful for __________________ because ___________________________.”
Your days may be chaotic but starting your morning out with breathing and meditation quiets your stirred up mind and creates a deeper sense of peace and control. By simply increasing the depth of your breath, you allow for internal stress to lower and you train your body how to calm itself down. You also train your mind how to slow and expand and to be more focused. Mediation has many purposes, but I like to think of it as a pre-training for when life’s stress hits you.
Try this: Not sure where to start? Type “Morning meditation” into YouTube and find a guided mediation that works for you.
Prayer is a practice that not only allows you to express your gratitude and allows your mind to calm, but it is also a way to connect into your higher power — whom or whatever your higher power may be. When you can connect into a feeling or belief or an energy that is greater than you are, it creates a sense of peace knowing you are not alone. You are not doing life alone.
And human being need to feel connected. It is one part of our innate needs for survival. Human to human connection is important because of this, but so is human to spirit connection. Use prayer to bridge the gap of that connection.
Try this: Prayer can be used in many forms, but I recommend using the positive prayer first thing in the morning. Create a prayer sequence that goes something like this: First, express gratitude for what you have been blessed with and what you are being blessed with now. Next, express what positive growth experiences you would like to have happen in the future and ASK to show you how to make that possible. Then, give blessings and love for at least one person in your life.
Books on self-help, words of encouragement, and inspirational stories open us up to other possibilities. They help us to get out of consuming useless information and help us to change our mindset to possibilities, rather than limitations. It is better to consume content that is uplifting, encouraging, and positive.
One rule: No phones allowed.
Try this: You could start with popular book series such as “Chicken Soup For The Soul” or “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” or you could dive into the works of Brené Brown or Wayne Dyer.
Do Nothing And Daydream
In the book, “The Art of Simple Living” by Shunmyo Masuno, Masuno emphasizes the importance of making time for emptiness. Between the pressures of work and the responsibilities of life, we never really actively take time for ourselves. Masuno says “If we immerse ourselves in this kind of routine, unconsciously, but inevitably, we lose sight of our true selves and true happiness.”
We must actively make time for ourselves — no matter how busy our schedules may be.
You simply can not think clearly if your mind is cluttered and noisy. Too many distractions create loss of vision to what is important.
Try this: Set aside 15 mins to just “be.” Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or water and just sit and be mindful of your surroundings. Observe the sounds you hear, the feelings you experience, the textures you feel, and the quieting in your mind. Just allow yourself silence and emptiness — this ultimately can fill you up with energy and inspiration.
Getting back to grounding in your roots and allowing yourself to revel in the power of connection is not only healing, but it can be life transformative. We only know how to approach each moment and each life situation by how we have learned to be. Allow your teacher to be one of positivity and wisdom that enriches life, rather than one that depletes life.
I love inspiration through story-telling! If you liked this article, then you will love my other blogs.
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