What’s your morning magic made of?
Let’s weave together our wisdom today, my love.
And then let’s agree to support each other by making morning magic together. What we do together adds up to so much more than we can accomplish alone.
My wisdom today comes from a few pivotal lessons in my own development. Let’s dive in:
My first coach had her hands full with me.
I was so resistant to her suggestions (like daily gratitude practices, meditation, acts of generosity, and more). She taught me: “Every day in football season, you’ll see the team running through tires on the field. But on game day, there are no tires on the field. They aren’t practicing running through tires in order to get really good at running through tires. Instead, they’re practicing running through tires in order to change their wiring, to make them more nimble, responsive, graceful, and powerful.
When the game is on, when life is happening, you don’t have time to think about how to respond. You respond. It’s your training, and your practices, that enable you to respond in a way that sets you up for successful outcomes, ease, and happiness.
I freely admit that running through tires has never been one of my practices. Not even once. But I have some excellent practices (and I’m always learning new ones). After the last few months of intense stress and change, I can say that every single moment I’ve invested in my practices combined to keep me focused and grounded through some days and weeks when I couldn’t really see my way to clarity, goodness, or peace. It was fucking hard.
I have a mix of practices that I do most days that keep me tuned, nimble, and responsive.
I don’t do them all every day. In fact, I think in order to make a solid go of this kind of thing, it’s best to have more practices that you need at your disposal every day. We live in a distractible time in a distractible culture. For many reasons (whim, preference, the weather, you name it), you may be drawn to different practices today than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow. When you find or experience something you like, learn enough about it so that you can actually use it when you want it.
Let’s look at a few of the practices that I’m using these days. And if you’d like to read more, I wrote about practices helping you live your best life in a previous post here.
First I make my bed.
Early in my transformational journey, I heard the following at a 12-step meeting. I wasn’t paying much attention (distractible? yup!) but I snapped to when I heard this person say, “I make my bed every morning. I do this because it puts me in a frame of mind to do other things that my default mode would have me be unwilling to do.”
That went in deep for me, and I’ve been a early morning bedmaker ever since. I may have skipped a day or two (or three) but not much more than that.
Turns out I respond well to practices that enhance willingness, who knew? Here’s what I do know: I don’t make my bed in order to be a good bedmaker (although I gotta says it’s aesthetically pleasing). I make my bed to get real, get humble, and get willing. So that when the waters rise, and I have to do some stuff I’d really rather not in order to survive and make it through changes, I won’t be getting in my own way with resistance.
I do a combination of things to make my mindset more positive.
Because I don’t wake up in a positive, grateful, and generous state of mind most days. I have to get myself there.
I manage my mindset by doing these things (takes about 30–45 minutes, depending on my thoroughness):
- I meditate in stillness (a sit) and in motion (tai chi practice)
- I affirm in writing and then envision, and feel all the positive things I’m calling in
- I chant (also with movement) a Hebrew chant that translates to “Here I am, turning myself into a chariot for the divine.”
- I connect to gratitude and express it in writing (and I still hold myself to the high bar of 15 items for which I’m grateful every day)
And then I move my body in healing ways.
Look, I’ll be honest. I’d much rather get the positive effects of the physical therapy balls, massage tools, chi-enhancing devices, straps, cushions, and mats just by simply buying them. I have to use them too? Sigh. Have I mentioned how very good I am at resistance?
But, lucky for me, lack of pain is an enormous motivator. I’ve found that if I do bang my body with that wire brush (108 steel bristles, improves the flow of chi wherever I bang it); stretch; take myself for a walk every day; and spend a few minutes making nice to my hip flexors, calves, hamstrings, and quads, I can be on my feet for longer with less pain — after a year with painful heel plantar fascitis, I am incentivized!
Disclaimer: I am not even close to an extreme athlete of any kind. That wire brush was first used on me by an acupuncturist, and it felt so good to feel the chi (life force) moving through my sore and tender parts that I bought one. I control how hard I swing that thing, and I promise you I’m very very gentle with myself. And my walks? They’re strolls, yo. But I pay attention. I make sure I walk every day. I have an app that counts my steps, and I make sure to hit between 5,- and 8,000 steps most days.
What about you, my love? What’s in your morning magic cauldron of enriching practices?
Let’s weave our wisdom together, share our morning magic practices, learn from each other, and support each other. I love hearing from you; leave a comment!