How many times have you woken up, immediately checked your phone, sent an email, then a text, turned on your TV, checked Facebook and Instagram, freaked out over something you read, felt bad about something you said, fed the kids, then the dog, packed lunches, poured a third cup of very strong coffee, sent another email—all before 7am?
Now I know we’re busy people, but can you see how a schedule like this could kickstart adrenaline? I sure can. I have my own variation of this story and it’s just as chaotic. When I hit the ground running, I generally feel unstable. And that’s why I want to help you redo this itinerary with your well-being in mind.
Our first moments are our most open and sacred. They are the bridge between dreaming and consciousness. If you’re like me, it probably takes a few minutes to really feel present and in your body. This is the perfect time to connect with your soul. Rather than tuning into the outside noise, go inside first. Silently give thanks and show yourself some much-deserved love. Begin each morning by blessing your day. How lovely, right?
Here’s an example of what I say upon waking: “Thank you for another day on this glorious planet. May I be happy, healthy, kind and loving today. May I be of service to myself and others. Thank you. I love you. Have a beautiful day, sweet Kris.”
Wow, this simple practice truly changes everything. It helps shift our perceptions about ourselves and the world around us. So much of our focus is often on what we don’t have or what’s missing in our relationships, jobs or overall well-being. We wake up ready to judge and criticize. I encourage you to allow daily gratitude, prayer and blessings to shift that. While there may be circumstances in our lives that we can’t change, nothing can take away our freedom to choose our own thoughts. Your mind is your sovereign space and you are the leader of that kingdom. This fundamental truth is one of the most important revelations we can have about our power. Love, peace, war, forgiveness—it all stems from a thought. And though it may seem small to begin with thanks, in truth, it’s revolutionary. Take it for a spin!
Here are 5 more tools that will help you begin your day in a tender way.
Pick what speaks to you and give it a try!
1. Use a gentle alarm
If you need to set an alarm, make sure it’s soft and sweet. There’s nothing worse for your adrenals than the blaring sound of an obnoxious alarm (like the ones in most of my hotel rooms. What are they thinking?). Instead, choose something like a subtle chime that slowly brings you back into consciousness. Ahhh… Good morning, angel. 🙂
2. Drink a juice or smoothie before the coffee
People always ask me if I drink coffee in the morning. The answer? Sometimes! But I always feel better when I put something healthy in my stomach before my tea or coffee. Drinking a smoothie with good fats and protein or a green juice loaded with vitamins and minerals helps me avoid overdoing the caffeine and all the crashes that come with it. Try this tip, I swear it will change your day! And don’t forget to drink a big ol’ glass of water with lemon upon rising. Your liver and bowels will thank you.
One of the best ways to get to know yourself and practice loving kindness is to write about your thoughts and feelings. Talk to yourself on the page. Ask questions and listen for the answers. If you have nothing to say, write “I have nothing to say” over and over until you do. Or try something like “If I did have something to share, what would it be?” Just get the conversation going.
4. Go inside
For those interested in meditation, sitting in silence is a great way to embrace the healing space between thoughts. I always feel so comforted when I give myself the gift of meditation. If you’re new to this practice, just sit in a comfortable position for 10 minutes and focus on your breath. When a thought comes (and it will), acknowledge it by saying something like “thinking” to yourself and then try to let it go (that may not be possible right away—don’t worry if that’s the case). You can also use counting or a mantra to anchor your attention. Try counting from 1-10. Again, if a thought comes, pause, say “thinking” and resume where you left off.
An example of a mantra I like to use is “I am love.” Do whatever works for you and don’t be hard on yourself. I recently took a workshop with one of my favorite teachers, Pema Chodron. Pema is a Buddhist nun who has been meditating for more than 40 years. I nearly fell off my cushion when she joked about being terrible at meditating! (She has the best sense of humor and is one of the kindest, gentlest teachers.) She shared this with us so we would stop beating ourselves up for being sucky meditators. If Pema can have compassion for her practice, so can we.
Psst! If you want to dive right in and try meditating (or just take a new meditation for a spin), I’ve got a little gift for you. Fill out the form below for your free meditation!