Many of us have morning rituals that get us into a calm, effective frame of mind for the day ahead. Prayer, meditation and coffee “just the way we like it” can make us into our best, most-centered selves – ready for a terrific day!
Of course, the morning commute sometimes sends our blood pressure back through the roof. And then there is that flurry of emails that need action… right now. Pretty soon we’re scarfing down a donut, shooting back reactive emails – and counting the minutes until we can fight our way through the evening commute.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you commit yourself to checking in with your best self, you could still have a great day no matter what happens to that morning serenity.
Try these five easy ways to check in with yourself… all day long!
1. Detour road rage
Drive to work counting your blessings! While drivers around you are on a countdown to road rage, count down your own blessings. Turn every stoplight into a gratitude stop. If you are a car-pool driver, get the kids or coworkers involved as well. Gratitude is like a cold – it’s easy to spread! Next thing you’ll know, you’ll be happy to let someone into your lane…
2. Step outside
Take a walk during your lunch hour – no matter what! Staying connected to your best self is both a spiritual and a physical journey. Sound body, sound mind works both ways. Calming your mind decreases overeating, anxiety and anger. One of the best ways to release the tension from your morning’s stresses and breathe life into your mind is to take a 20-minute walk. It’s really not that long, when you think about how many minutes you spend checking Facebook, shopping online or reading celebrity gossip.
3. Detach and breathe
Count to 10 before you send that email. Being reactive creates an instant disconnect from your best self. When you receive a message or directive that makes your shoulders go to your ears, the ego orders you to send it right back out – with even more force! These are the moments when you must stop the ripple of negativity. So, count to 10. Breathe. Everything is temporary. In light of an expansive universe, a scolding email just isn’t that important. Fill yourself with the joy of loving detachment, then compose your response.
4. Chew with intention
Eat prayerfully. Many of us have ideas about what “prayer” means. From long-winded Thanksgiving graces to “rub, a dub, dub, thanks for the grub” we all bring a lot of baggage to prayer. But you can invent your own way of connecting to the miracle of digestion. Let your eating be meditative. Think of the blessing of your own taste buds, your own teeth – and envision the nutrients filling your body with energy for all the things you love to do. Even if you only remember to do this for your afternoon snack, it will turn you around. You’ll taste what you are eating, and realize that whatever is going on around you pales in comparison to the miraculous body you live in every day.
5. Give anonymously
To be nameless in your effort is such a blow to the ego that a part of you will rage against it. You will want to tell someone that you were the one who donated the money or put out homemade muffins or finally picked up all the litter in the parking lot. But if you are able to give of yourself – and not tell anyone at all – you will find your best self shining through you. It’s an instant connection. It’s your ace in the hole.
To stay in your best self all day long, you just have to make a start. Spiritual growth is just that – growth! It takes time. It’s gradual. But you’ll find when you look back that you are reacting differently to things at work, in your relationship and in your world.
You may only get 10 minutes of feeling connected one day, and the next you may be light as a feather for hours. It’s the overall cumulative effect of staying in your center that will transform you.
So take a swim in your best self at every opportunity. Soon, you’ll be living in an ocean of bliss.
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