Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. – Buddha
Ever since I truly learned, connected with and understood that my thoughts create my reality, I have committed to spending time in quiet contemplation every morning. For the last 10 years, as a result of this quiet time, I've gotten to know myself really well and better understand my strengths & shortcomings. From this quiet space, I have birthed everything from books to babies (sounds dramatic but it's true - from this quiet place I decided to seek help for my infertility), and made quantum leaps in my personal growth, career and relationships. I've written to my twin daughters while I was pregnant, healed troubled relationships without ever communicating with the other person, manifested unexplainable synchronicities, forgiven people who used to take a lot of my energy and created a deeper, more spiritual trust in everything that happens in my life. I have seen a continuous unfolding of benefits and rewards and now can't imagine NOT having this morning ritual.
Many people start their day picking up their cell phone to check Facebook, email or Instagram, instantly giving their energy away to someone or something else (jealous thoughts about their frenemy's trip to New Zealand, angry thoughts about the last minute deadline from their boss, frustrated thoughts about whatever political BS shows up on their feed). When you start from that energy, the day tends to unfold aligned with that same energy. You feel disconnected from the moment you wake up, spend much of the day arguing with and judging your thoughts, and lose touch with the miracle of the present moment.
By starting your day in quiet reflection, you intentionally mold your energy into what it needs to be to respond to all the outside forces competing for your energy throughout the day. You choose your energy and focus v. letting it choose you. This isn't to say that you won't get a jealous twinge, or angry or frustrated thoughts; however, you will notice them quicker and bounce back faster.
Though I've had many iterations of this morning quiet time, I've settled on 4 practices that I believe are essential in creating a day of peace, productivity and joy.
1. Meditation - As much good feedback and sound research as I'd heard on meditation over the 10 years I've been actively awakening, it wasn't until four months ago that I made a strong commitment to meditate every day for a minimum of 20 minutes. It was Joe Dispenza's book Becoming Supernatural that gave me the push and evidence I needed at the time to make the commitment:
"By the time you are in your mid-thirties, if you keep thinking, acting and feeling the same way without changing anything about yourself, the majority of who you are becomes a memorized set of automatic thoughts, reflexive emotional reactions, unconscious habits and behaviors, subconscious beliefs and perceptions, and routine familiar attitudes. In order to create something significantly different in our lives, we must find a way to pull the mind out of the body and change our state of being, which is exactly what meditation is designed to do."
If there is a new state of being or material reality you wish to create, you MUST become no-body, no-one and no-thing in the space of infinite possibilities through meditation to shift your state of consciousness. Doing this helps you stop the cycle of bringing the past into the future (95% of our thoughts are recycled thoughts from yesterday!) and allows you the space to manifest consciously. I use various meditation styles, but prefer a guided meditation, background music or chanting instead of mere silence. Joe Dispenza's meditations are very powerful. I also like Wayne Dyer's I AM meditation and Jai-Jagdeesh chanting.
2. Mind Movie - This is another tool I learned about from Becoming Supernatural. I've also heard about the power of mental rehearsal in creating what we want in our lives for YEARS, but never had a good tool or sound discipline to follow through consistently. This tool allows you to choose photos, videos and affirmations (or upload your own!) to create your very own mental rehearsal of the life you want to create. It even allows you to put music to it so that any time you hear the music, you're reminded of the future life you're creating. Unlike visualization, which is watching a movie screen in your mind, mental rehearsal involves all 5 senses and engages your whole body in the experience so that your body releases the same chemical responses in your brain as if you're actually having the experience. This prepares your body for this new state of mind, and draws you closer to the reality of it. Mental rehearsal also primes your Reticular Activating System (the filter of your brain) to notice new resources, people and circumstances that align you with your future desire. Check out this awesome resources at www.mindmovies.com
3. Mirror Chat - Even though I now meditate first and then watch my Mind Movie, the mirror is what led me to commit to those two practices. After a particularly trying start to this year, I dedicated myself to a practice of self-love and forgiveness for the month of February. I re-read Louise Hay & Robert Holden's book Life Loves You, hung heart decals all over my house, wrote "life loves me" on all of our mirrors AND most importantly, bought myself a cute little travel mirror to start my daily self-love practice.
Every morning, I looked into my own eyes and said "Adair, I love you and I forgive you" over and over again for 3-5 minutes. Sometimes I would switch it up and add in other affirmations. It was not easy at first. I felt silly and didn't really see the point. My ego wanted me to fold that mirror up and put it away for good. But I persisted for 30 days. After a few days, I also started forgiving other people in my life - those who I both felt some negativity toward and those I loved with all my heart. It wasn't long before during the practice I would actually feel my heart soften and get warm. That's when I knew something was a about to shift. All real change starts on the inside, and then manifests on the outside.
Two very significant things happened as a result of this 30-day practice. 1. I found Joe Dispenza (again!) and committed to meditation and 2. I completely healed a difficult relationship with a loved one. Before when I was around this person, I would feel anxious and bitter. After 21 days of self-love, I could be around the person and feel completely neutral and even twinges of love and compassion. TOTAL TRANSFORMATION!
Most of our negative thinking and mental blocks result from the thought "I am not good enough." We weren't born with this belief, but after years of conditioning from the outside world (aka people who were also taught "I'm not good enough"), we came to believe that in one way, shape or form we are not enough. There is nothing further from the truth. Saying "I love you and I forgive you" into the mirror reminds that deeper part of our souls that we are indeed lovable and worthy of the life we desire.
Gratitude - Writing ten things I was grateful for was the start of my morning ritual 10 years ago. It took me 5-10 minutes total, and then I'd move on with my day. Just like with the mirror work, my ego tried to convince me that it was a "waste of time," but as I kept my focus on gratitude, I had more in my life to be grateful for.
Gratitude is the ultimate receiving mechanism. Think about it. What emotion do you feel after you manifest something you want? Gratitude! By choosing gratitude now, you align with the same elevated emotion that you want to feel once you've created something you desire and thus, just like with the Mind Movie, you draw that experience closer to you and prime your body for the experience. As much as meditation, Mind Movies and mirror work have transformed my life, I feel a deep sense of appreciation for my gratitude practice because it truly was the starting place of my morning ritual. I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt, that many of the best people, circumstances and events I've created became my reality because of my commitment to appreciation.
When I notice I'm off-kilter, I go back to gratitude. If you're hesitant to start a morning routine because you don't want to commit too much time or wake up earlier, just write down ten things your grateful for every day. Two books that I absolutely LOVE on the topic are The Magic by Rhonda Byrne and Thank and Grow Rich by Pam Grout, and both guide you through a daily gratitude practice complete with exercises. I highly recommend them!
So, that's it. Other things you should know are:
1. I wake up by 5:30am (or earlier) every morning to give myself plenty of time before my daughters awaken to do my routine. I go straight into meditation, and then I get my coffee and finish my routine (Mind Movie, mirror and gratitude).
You will likely have to wake up earlier to do this BUT you can start small - 10-15 minutes earlier to begin with. Commit to a finite period of time (30 days is good) and then you can re-evaluate if you want to continue. If it doesn't change your life in magical ways, by all means STOP.
2. You can also do this at night right before bed if you're a night owl.
3. Your ego will try to talk you out of this in the most sly of ways. Because it is unfamiliar to you, it will be uncomfortable at first. It's just like riding a bike, the more you do it the easier and more unconscious it gets. That being said, the ego is as sly as a fox so be on the lookout for any myriad of excuses that it throws your way.
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