The month of June was kind to me, even if it felt hectic from time to time, because I took time to be kind to myself. The most helpful habits I picked up last month were a morning routine with meditation, yoga, and time out on the porch. It takes a while to get through it and get on with the pieces of my day for other people and early on I felt a little guilt about taking that time for me to “lay around on the porch.”
The meditation practice has been a work-in-progress for a few years. Years! Give me bliss! Now! I tried looking for resources here and there, I bought a few books and they helped. Over time it was easier to be present, to realize I was trying to avoid or drown an uncomfortable feeling, or grasp at something good. Like the flossing, I really wanted to meditate daily and couldn’t quite pull it together.
We know about the elephant and the rider and the path. My path was was not smooth. I’d get up, check the social media sites, wander through email, and then realize my morning was gone. Laundry wasn’t started, the kitchen needed attention, and I had to be out the door in an hour. What had to change? Finding a short meditation by Amy Ipolitti on Yogaglo was the first break. I start my day with a gratitude and achievement meditation, then meditate on how I want to feel that day, she said. It worked. The order changed. The first half-hour in the calendar is “Meds/Meditation”. Before any electronic contact with the world, check in with the physical and emotional. It still needed help, because waking up with the extra time to spare means going to bed
The sleep habit has been revolutionary. Sleep was for the weak, I knew in my heart. Staying up all hours of the night and staggering through the next day was a way of life. Isn’t that normal? Crazy people are in bed at 10. So now I’m one of them. Shutting down electronics by 8:45 – including the phone, computer monitor, and television is also in the calendar. Slowing down, taking a bath or spending that time reading, then lights out by 10pm is the best thing I can do for myself. It makes the morning possible. Nine hours of sleep makes everything else easier. The treat of staying up late isn’t much of a treat after all.
What did we learn in June? We learned that starting and ending the day with intention allows me to be successful in the middle. I’m pretty happy when my world is smaller and tighter.