It’s officially over. Children are back to school and the Christmas holidays are finished for another year. Some people may say, “Back to the grind.” Like it or not, we all have to get on with responsibilities, duties and our daunting daily routines.
The only thing that makes this a horrible time of the year is thinking that it is a horrible time of the year. Being a teacher myself, I am fortunate to share these holidays with my children, and I am very grateful for such an opportunity. Going back to school for me, however, is a breath of fresh air. I’m a huge fan of routine, and I believe that as humans we NEED routine!
Why do you think we need routine? Because it makes our days happier ones. But why? When I started to do research on why my body craves routine, I learned that routine takes the guess work out of our days. We know what to do, when to do it, why we should do it and at what time we have to do it at. We don’t have to plan a thing. It is all planned out for us and embedded in our brains. That is what makes routine so wonderful. No thinking involved.
It has taken me 44 years to develop my morning routine that makes my days happier. I thought I would save you years of learning and list seven useful tips on what makes my mornings happier, and hopefully if you start to implement these seven easy things to your mornings, your days will immensely improve. I will warn you that you have to get up at least an hour earlier than you are right now, but there is a quick fix to this, and that is go to bed an hour earlier. You need this alone time and time set aside at the beginning of your day to insure nobody disturbs you.
Silence is golden. As soon as I get up I go to my meditation room where I have a mat on the floor and a lazy boy in the corner and this is where I remain for the next hour of my life. I do baby pose for eleven minutes first, because I learned during my Kundalini yoga that performing baby pose for eleven minutes is equivalent to four hours of sleep. Since I’ve been doing this daily I’ve noticed such a difference in my energy level. To me it a must do. If I don’t have time to meditate, I do baby pose no matter what. I meditate while doing the baby pose anyway.
After the baby pose, I then sit in my meditation chair and do my daily meditation. Sometimes I might meditate for 40 minutes, other days it might be 20 minutes. This depends on how my mind is that day. If I only meditate for 20 minutes, this is when I start talking to my inner person. You know what I mean. We all have that inner person that we talk to and pass our thoughts by. I love my inner person. He really is my favorite part of my morning.
It doesn’t have to be anything huge or for hours. I do a few Kundalini yoga stretches, chin-ups and usually a held handstand for a few seconds, just to get my heart upside down and really get the blood flowing around my nervous system. My routine might take 10 minutes at the most. I do my chin-ups while walking by chin-up bar at some point in the morning, and my yoga stretches are easy to do with my students in my class if I don’t get them done at home, but you have to get some sort of blood pumping activity in to really get your day off right.
3. Praying (I pray with my children).
Every morning, I read my children a Joel Osteen Devotion from his app. Quick, easy, and to the point with a great lesson and a prayer all included. It might take 3 minutes each child, but it is my quiet time with them and it gives them a good routine to get into. I’m trying to instill some of my craziness in them. One of my children enjoys meditating in the morning, the other in the evening so I let them choose.
4. Healthy and nutritious breakfast.
I was never a morning eater, but since I started implementing my “No eating after supper” rule, and being up for an hour before I eat breakfast it usually is about 14 hours since I last ate. By this time I am ready to get some nutrients into me.
5. Write in my AppreciationJjournal.
I do have to admit that this is one thing that I leave to do with my students in my class every morning. I am usually at my school for 8am and I don’t have to actually start teaching until 8:15. This gives me time to sit down and write all the things that I am grateful for while my students are writing in their Quick Write scribblers that is part of their morning routine that I developed for my classroom. It works out perfectly.
6. Mindfully hug and tell the important people in my life that I love them.
You might wonder what a Mindful Hug is? It is a hug where you hug and take three deep breaths in and out while you are mindful of the person you are hugging. It was something that I read in one of my mindfulness books and start doing with my children. At first they thought I was whacked…but they are getting used to my craziness now and just play along.
7. Be happy.
Just do it. Be happy. You have to break free from those negative thoughts and emotions. We have to move away from our unhappy stories. The Pitty Party is over! There is nothing in the moment you can do about what you feel, you just have to accept that that is how you feel. I love Eckhart Tolle’s book, “A New Earth Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” This is one quote that I wanted to share with you about one of his unhappy patients. He asked them, “Can you see that your unhappiness about being unhappy is just another layer of unhappiness?” He continues to ask, “If you don’t mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness?”
If you read this blog to find happiness because you are unhappy, read Eckhart’s words over and over until you totally understand them. In all reality to be happy is just acceptance of what you are feeling in the present moment, and not to dwell on it. If you are unhappy, just realize you are unhappy. Don’t let your body feed off it. Eckhart explains that once you stop identifying with the feeling, the old painful emotion that is alive in you, if you don’t resist it, then it can’t control your thinking.
I love being happy, and I want all the world to experience true happiness and freedom from pain. This is just part of my daily routine that I’ve developed over my many years on my spiritual walk. Everyone’s walk is different, and everyone has to develop their own morning routine that makes them happy. Just remember that routine is a must. Your brain doesn’t have to think. It’s just automatic. Also remember that the morning is the best time to have alone time for yourself. Just like Eckhart Tolle is saying…let go of resistance and true happiness will find you no matter what.