Mental Traffic: Finding your best positive energy as we transition out of cold, dreary days and into REAL SPRING.
I am not sure what happened to the sun. Seriously. Or to the daily dose of blue sky, warm air, and chirping birds. Have even the poor birds quit? Do birds quit? Perhaps the universe is teaching us patience and perseverance more deliberately than usual. My Italian grandmother would have said, "it's building your character." I have a LOT of character lately.
Each day for MANY months now, I have woken up, looked outside and seen the SAME THING. It's exactly like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, minus the hahaha and hilarity barometer. No hilarity here. That absolutely leads me to acknowledge my need to readjust the lens with which I examine things. I am trying to unearth my inner Greek Philosopher, but it's really challenging. Since I cannot change my physical view, the weather, the skyline, the temperatures or the calendar, I need to approach more thoughtfully how I change my perspective. No small feat for any of us.
Here are 5 simple practices I have been utilizing on these Spring "transition" mornings that have helped me approach the day with greater positivity. TRY a few, and build to all 5 daily.
1) Before you get out of bed, take 5 deep breaths. Inhale through the nose, and out through the mouth. Focus on 3 things for which you are grateful. Believe that gratitude is a gamechanger.
2) Stand next to your bed and take 2 minutes to stretch, swing the limbs, move and relish your vertical presence. YAY for vertical presence! Then lie on a rug and commit to 5 full body roll-ups, slowly and safely engaging the belly to the spine on exhale, peeling up and down from the shoulders to the tailbone, and reversing as you slowly roll back to the floor.
3) Drink a full glass of water with lemon. Start your day with hydration, and flush out some sleepy, residual toxins.
4) Play happy music from a playlist you LOVE as you go through your morning routine. Tunes in the shower? Why not! Joyful music raises your endorphins. I need all the endorphins I can get right now. I wish there was an endorphin store in the center sometimes. (Oh yeah! It's called Trifecta!) Take that playlist into the car with you, or walk on over to work with your earbuds humming. Sing out loud! There's a reason Carpool Karaoke is so entertaining. Channel your favorite version of James Corden. Look out world, here I come!
5) Tell yourself you are a necessary, strong, kind, smart, capable person of the world community. YOU NEED TO SAY THIS EVERY DAY. Additional reminder: you will proceed with the best intentions to be good to yourself, while committing to the calm and presence necessary for your well-being and for the well-being of those around you. This is your truest and most important obligation. Care of self is your best currency.
Maybe as a culture we have become jaded by the "trendiness' of wellness language and the inundation of the "mindfulness' police. There is no quick fix to inner peace and positive deliberation. Just because you can access these ideals on a mobile APP, doesn't guarantee that they are truly yours. That's where the work comes into play. And anything worth having requires work, lots of it.
So how do we start clearing the traffic in our heads? How do we make room for the good things we desperately need to survive and thrive?
Instagram is full of a million pictures and quotes designed to redefine our focus and attention span and seismically shift our daily mood. Sometimes cheesy tidbits on how to be a better anything can seem overrated. I actually do think that there are more good tidbits in social media than not. But you have to have your filter on and balance your social media scanning. (This is a whole other blog post, BTW.) If you can filter and focus, you will find that small steps do work. Small steps to connect to your innermost self, gradually and organically reduce the mental traffic in your head, dilute the noise within and without, and enable us to choose how to take our positive energy practice to the next level. IT IS THE LITTLE THINGS THAT MATTER. Really.
Daily habits and efforts that make your life calmer, happier, easier and less stress driven are essential. So why not practice some of what the mindful method folks are teaching? What have you got to lose?
I so appreciate the quote below from the Buddha about the power of the mind, of positive thinking, and of our very beautiful and uniquely human ability to control only what we think and how we respond, not what the universe gives us.
Today, aim to spring forward with renewed focus. Warmer days and bluer skies are around the corner. We just need to negotiate some mental traffic and construction. When your mind is clear and calm, your body and energy will follow.
Until spring has fully sprung, practice the 5 daily habits above. Add some of your own, if you like. By the time magnificent weather is upon us, you will be well on your way to a better mindset. Keep sunshine as the guiding force for all your thinking, movement and engagement as you become your own best advocate in the universe.
"All that we are is a result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become." ~~Buddha