"The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle." - Tara Brach
Although I had a great day on Wednesday, I slept unwell and woke up confused from my dreams. I was surprised, puzzled, and frustrated that after a good day, I already felt down. However, this time I approached it differently - rather than being dragged down by it and wonder why this was so, I tried to surrender, to lean in, to "radically accept" this moment. This was basically applying mindfulness in practice, not only in good moments, but also in challenging moments that are part of life.
So here are my tips when you have a difficult start into the day - after I have followed all this, my day shifted and it ended with a very fulfilling and grateful feeling:
As simple as it may sound, as difficult surrendering can be. When you wake up in the morning with negative emotions and thoughts, surrender. The moment is already as it is, that is, with negative emotions and thoughts - the moment has already arrived. It is like when you get served a plate of spaghetti, but you don`t like spaghetti and are immediately frustrated. However, the plate has already arrived and while you can change your order, you cannot change the fact that the plate of spaghetti has arrived in the first place. So as you can see, you actually have at least two options to react, but we often react in auto-pilot and (upon often automatic judgment) are not only frustrated, but also complain and retaliate against the innocent waiter. If this is just bad luck or coincidence, then you may agree that adding frustration or even retaliation is a waste of energy and may only add to the vicious cycle of negativity. Of course, we can still feel frustrated - I definitely was when I woke up that morning - but I didn`t immediately text my friends lamenting about this bad morning. I was willing to sit with it, to surrender to it, and let it pass.
2. Notice your judgments
This is probably one of the most difficult things not to do, given - if you have noticed it - we almost judge all the time. When we wake up, we judge how our day is or will be. When we look at the mirror, we judge how we look and our body. When we get a text message, we judge the content or also the tonality. When we are in a call with others, we judge what is being said or the person. When we eat something, we judge whether or how delicious it is. When we are in social media, we judge most of the time. When we go through our day, we often judge most harshly ourselves. So here it is important to distinguish between judgment and discernment - discernment helps us filter and select relevant information, judgment often adds another layer that takes our energy. Judgment puts more an emotional layer based on our beliefs that we are either superior or inferior. It separates us and burdens our relationships and connections with other people. So be aware of this, when you judge, just notice it, and come back to this present moment, e.g. via your breath or five senses (see, touch, hear, smell, taste).
3. Nourish yourself
To help counter-balance the Judge`s energy, we can and need to take care of ourselves, by e.g. talking and seeing ourselves as our best friends or beloved children. When I had a rough start in the morning, I just took time for myself to read or, because I seemed to be exhausted from my analysis-paralysis, take a nap. Soon I felt more energized, peaceful, and myself again. It also helped that I attended a webinar with like-minded women that honours my values of connections, spirituality, and learning. It is funny that when you indeed let go of expectations how your day will go (I thought after this bad morning start, the day could not be turned around), you give room for something beautiful to emerge.
How are you dealing with bad morning starts? Let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – I very look forward to hearing from you! :) PS: Subscribe to my #mindfulmagic Newsletter to stay in touch for upcoming posts, free offers, and news :)