Every morning, I try to make a ritual of mindfulness. This has become really helpful to me in getting my day started on the right track. I thought I’d share a bit about what I do each morning. This schedule isn’t set in stone and I’ve only recently started getting up at 6:00 A.M. In the past, I didn’t get up until 6:30 or later and didn’t exercise at all.
6:00 A.M. – The alarm goes off (if you’re not up already). When you turn it off, perform the Waking-Up Meditation from Savor It’s in chapter 7 of the book.
Breathe three in-breaths and three out-breaths, repeating the following verse silently for each in-breath and out-breath.
Breathing in I fill my new day with joy/faith/love/gratitude/mindfulness/ease/harmony.
Breathing out, I smile
For the in-breath, choose one of the words that most appeals to you.
6:01 – Out of bed and into the restroom to begin getting ready for the day. When brushing teeth, go slowly and deliberately not thinking about whatever else has to be done in the day. Take a few breaths and do the teeth brushing meditation. This takes a few minutes to make sure all teeth are properly brushed (doesn’t everyone get this obsessive about dental health?)
Breathing in, I am aware of my teeth and gums.
Breathing out, I look after my teeth and gums.
6:04 – Repeat the teeth brushing meditation, this time while flossing (doesn’t everyone get this obsessive about dental hygiene?)
6:08 – This is a family friendly blog so I’ll leave it up to you to figure out how to use the restroom mindfully
6:10 – Step on the scale. Try not so shout “YES!” while doing a fist pump if it shows that you have lost another pound. Remember, your wife is still sleeping and she’s grumpy in the mornings.
6:12 – Having gotten dressed in appropriate attire, head downstairs to begin exercising on the Wii Fit. Once again, try not to shout if the more accurate Wii Fit scale shows you’ve lost more weight than your bathroom scale indicated.
6:15-6:45(ish) – Begin exercising. This includes step aerobics, rhythm boxing, super hula-hoop, rhythm parade and whatever else you need to fill 30+ minutes and burn roughly 310 calories. Remember to keep a smile on your face as it is “mouth yoga” and will keep your mind from getting negative about the complaints coming from the various parts of your body as you force them to move in ways they don’t like to do. Try to find a phrase to repeat that will keep your mind focused. The mantra from the Heart Sutra is good for its rhythm. The Jogging Meditation from Savor is also good (though too long on the out-breath portion).
Breathing in, I keep moving
Breathing out, I thank my body for its strength, endurance and coordination
6:50 – Back for a shower to get ready for the day and remove the buckets of sweat from your body. Showering is done slowly and deliberately. This is one of the last times you’re going to have to yourself today. Focus on the warmth of the water, the smoothness of the soap and the frothiness of the shampoo as you wash your hair. Don’t think about the day or what lies ahead, that will only rob you of a moment of serenity.
7:00 – Get dressed for work. Remember to pet the cats since they want their breakfast and they’re mad that you haven’t filled their bowls even though you’ve been up for an hour. Come on, what is it with you humans? Can’t you tell a hungry cat when you see one? Don’t you care? Maybe if we headbutt you for a few minutes and pounce on your pants as you try to put them on you’ll get the picture and feed us. PAY ATTENTION TO ME! I’M A HUNGRY CAT!!
7:03 – Feed the cats. Keep hands out of their bowls as there will be sharp teeth in there and they don’t care what they snap shut on.
7:05 – Go to the pantry and grab the large canister of oatmeal from the middle shelf in the back. You know, the one oriented so that the top is on the right and where the Quaker man is always turned so that you can see his face. (Doesn’t everyone like to keep things in order?) . On the way out of the pantry, grab the cayenne pepper and the cinnamon. They should be easy to find because the spices on the spice shelf are alphabetized and arranged according to size. They’re right between the basil and the coriander. (Doesn’t everyone alphabetize their spices?)
7:06 – Grab a bowl from the cabinet. If there is no clean bowl, wash one. If washing, do it mindfully and intentionally. Don’t think about the oatmeal that you’ll be having later, just wash your bowl. Grab a 1/2 cup measuring cup and a 1/4 cup measuring cup from the cabinet on the right where they always sit on the bottom shelf right between the blue bowl and the stainless steel mixing bowls. (Remember to be thankful for a well-organized cabinet). Grab the measuring spoons (the metal ones, not the crappy plastic ones) from the drawer underneath the cabinet. Don’t forget to grab a spoon to eat with while you’re there. You’d hate to have to go back to the drawer a second time.
7:07 – Grab a packet of Truvia and then measure out 3/4 cups of oatmeal into the bowl. Add the Truvia, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and as much cayenne pepper as you can stand. Mix everything together using the spoon you so wisely grabbed earlier. Add 1 & 1/4 cups water to the bowl using the time that the water is coming out of the sink to wash the measuring cups.
7:08 – Put the bowl of oatmeal into the microwave and cook for 2 minutes. While the oatmeal cooks, put away the measuring cups, the measuring spoons, the oatmeal and the spices. Remember to make sure everything is in its right place with the correct orientation. You wouldn’t want to have something misplaced tomorrow would you?
7:10 – Pull the oatmeal from the microwave and stir well. Grab a Sobe Lifewater or tap water with ice (depending on what you have that morning) and sit down at the table.
7:10 – 7:20 – Even though it only takes 3 minutes to make the oatmeal it takes much longer to eat because you are eating mindfully, aren’t you? Put the spoon down after each bite. Chew each bite slowly. Remember to enjoy the sweetness of the Truvia and the flavor of the cinnamon and the kick of the cayenne. Let each bite linger in the mouth as you slowly chew it and take in the sights and sounds around you. Don’t forget to focus on your breathing.
7:20 – 7:30 – Assist your son who came downstairs at the same time as you and who has been pelting you with questions and comments and bizarre non sequiturs for the past 20 minutes while you have carefully addressed him without allowing it to disrupt your mindfulness. It’s harder said than done, but most morning you can pull it off.
7:30 – Put on shoes and leave for work. This is the last time you’ll be alone until tonight so remember to drive mindfully. Try to do the driving meditation from Savor.
Breathing in, I am driving my car
Breathing out, I am mindful of all that is around me.
7:50 – 8:00 (depending on traffic) – Get to work and start your day. Finally allow yourself to think about what you have to accomplish and come up with a plan of action. Keep the peace and mindfulness you’ve cultivated with you throughout the day. Good luck, you’re going to need it!
Read Full Post »