The morning is a powerful time, an auspicious time. Our bodies have been lying in rest (or unrest) during the night and the day has yet to fledge. Gone are the dark hours of midnight and here is a powerful transition into the bright and buzzing hours of the afternoon. The morning marks a powerful opportunity to bridge these opposites, from the dark sleep of night to the emerging brightness of day. An opportunity for a new beginning, as the definition adds.
Often our busy lives encroach on the powerfulness of the morning. Too many times in my professional career I’ve awoken early and started my day on the computer or doing something else seemingly productive. I’d notice on these days that I tended to feel off in the afternoon. By the evening I was zonked. The exhaustion and over-stimulation were palpable. I didn’t like it and I wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong. I felt like I had missed something when I looked back at my day and wasn’t sure what it was.
As I later discovered, it was my actual morning that I had missed, the simple quiet before the busy buzzing of our daily lives. I was treating it all wrong, trying to fill the empty space with an early start to get through all of the business.
I was choosing to be busy to start my day rather than choosing to have a dedicated practice where I could start each day on the right foot.
Over the years, through trial and error, I have landed on a morning routine that is simple enough in its structure, easy to follow through with, and curated for maximum results. It can be the positive change maker in your life. It certainly changed my life for the better by increasing my overall health and performance, and continues to do so to this day.
At the time, I was beginning a meditation practice and needed a definitive time to commit to practicing mindfulness. The afternoon didn’t work. Tried that. Nor did the evenings. Also tried that. Nor did squeezing it between here and there. I would put it off and end up skipping practice.
A meditation teacher recommended that I practice meditation first thing in the morning, making it my first priority. I gave it a go and, even though it was a little challenging at first to resist the urge to fall back asleep or work through the boredom of being an early riser, over time I started to see results. I was beginning to enjoy the morning time, the quiet before everyone else woke up.
I also realized that by choosing to be mindful from first waking, I was more resilient to stress throughout the day.
Huh. Who would have thought such simple advice would yield such powerful results?
From there, I was committed to following through with my morning meditation and it’s stuck ever since.
Sometimes I add extra time to my morning practice, but 20 minutes every day first thing in the morning is the secret sauce to my well-being portfolio.
As a side note here, I was approaching my meditation practice as a high achiever and committed to practice 45 minutes each day. I don’t recommend a daily practice of that duration for anyone just starting out. I had a difficult time committing to that length and it became really challenging for my practice. I now commit to sit 20 minutes each day. This is a lot more realistic for my life and better to combine/augment meditation with additional practices, which I will get into later.
Once I established my morning time through consistent meditation, I found early on that my morning was my opportunity to maximize my own self care, first and foremost before I went on to anything else in my day. In the early morning, I have the time to sit, uninterrupted. I noticed in my meditation I could hear thoughts that were wholly mine, not related to work tasks or answering a gazillion questions. I could feel some aches and pains in my body, and I discovered that I also feel good in my body. This was my time, ripe for the taking.
A fresh opportunity to start my day in a good way and set myself, and everyone else around me, up for success.
From this place, little by little, my morning practice grew. Sure, I fell off for some time and then went right back to it once I realized that I missed it. I made the mistake of over-committing myself to mindfulness practice. Recall from earlier that being over-committed to daily responsibilities is draining, so approaching mindfulness practice and morning routine in the same way will be draining as well. So, I backed off the duration of my meditation to create space for other practices. I took that extra time to explore other options that could diversify my morning. Through trial and error, I tried various teachers and methods to find the best for my body and well-being.
During this time, my practice morphed and changed. Some practices were beneficial, others not so much. But they all led to the rock solid morning routine that I have curated for this book and specifically for you.
Over the years, I’ve found that my morning practice was the most valuable time I would have all day. It was a way for me to get clear on my goals and ambitions as well as carve out the time to draw them in.
Once it clicked that the morning time was the best time to practice, that I could diversify and stack practices that synergistically work together to supercharge my being, my practice propelled me toward the fuller life I wanted to live. It was game time.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.
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For More Information, visit my website at www.brianjspear.com