This post is about how to prime your spiritual self for the day. If you are following the series, you know that yesterday I shared the importance of getting up early, hydrating, stretching, and eating.
After you have taken care of the physical side of priming, next is getting your soul ready to come in contact with the world and its agenda for your day.
Don't touch that phone. Surveys show that 3/4 of people in this country roll over in the morning and check email or Facebook before they even get out of bed. Aside from the idea of having your phone so close to your head for the 8 hours you are in bed (a topic I'll cover in another post), this is a terrible idea. The moment you pick up your phone your mind is filled with the news, events and demands of the day, or people making requests of you.
You can get to all that, but first, let's take care of you.
After you have done your body some good you are ready to grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit down in your favorite spot and center yourself for the day.
Practice gratitude. I actually begin this part while I'm stretching. In between movements I breathe in and thank God that I can move and don't have any pain. Although at this point in life there are some new sounds from joints as I limber up for the day, nothing actually hurts.
Pray. I interchange prayer and meditation as they go hand in hand, but to me, generally prayer involves an active mind. Praying for others, being grateful, and asking for wisdom involve a mind that is involved. It's important to feel connected to something bigger than yourself when you start your day. It helps keep the big picture in the forefront and helps us face the day with purpose. Plus, you are just sending all that positive energy out into the world and to the people you love!
Meditate. I often get questions from Christian friends about what I mean by this or what I'm doing when I meditate. It is less about emptying one's mind, which is what most people think, than it is about developing focus for your mind. It is a way to rest your monkey brain that is just dying to run off first thing in the morning imagining all you have to do today and how it could all go wrong.
Do some spiritual reading. Read whatever sacred text you want, or books. Whatever it is make sure it is encouraging and uplifting. We are still in that golden hour of the day so save challenging reading for later in the day. This can take as much or as little time as you want. This is all about what works for you. We are just trying to build the habit, not have you trudge through something that you don't care about.
Journal. We'll revisit this, probably more than once, in other posts but I'm putting it here because there are some planners now that have room to journal along with your schedule of events for the day. Bible journaling is also a trend so, again, whatever works for you. This is your life we are trying to improve over time.
I had so much trouble keeping this post separate from the "mind" one coming up tomorrow! So much of our thinking affects our spirits, emotions, and even physical bodies. The older I get the more I see just how much everything is connected but I am trying to keep this super broken down for us as to be sustainable over time.
Remember, these are all proven techniques practiced by the most successful people in the world. The details of the various activities change but the super productive pay attention to their physical health, meditate/pray, read, and journal.
Tomorrow we'll take on the mind, but you can see that we are already there, right?