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Preparing Yourself For Success Each Day

It’s amazing to me that we prepare ourselves for so many things we do, yet we don’t think to prepare ourselves for the day ahead. We get up and mindlessly step on the treadmill of our lives. Would you enter a marathon and show up at the starting line without having trained for it? I doubt it. To succeed in life (meaning to have peace and be your own superhero) you have to set yourself up for success. All too often it is easy to start the day sitting at your computer or scrolling through your phone filling your brain with endless mush.

I have to say my life really started to change when I carved out time for “morning mind.” Ask yourself, what is the direction in which you want your day to go?  If peace and calm is your intention then you have to steer yourself towards that. No computers, no phones, no looking at your emails, texts or inconsequential gossip sites. No staring at photos of celebrities (yes, I’m guilty of this!). And NO Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Now before you close this page, I’m not saying you can never look at social media sites. I’m simply suggesting that first thing in the morning is not the time for it.

When you wake up and start your day you really have to prepare your mind. How else can you be ready to face life head-on with all the things it will bring your way today?

No wonder people walk around angry, fearful, sad and jealous. Without centering yourself you are simply operating on autopilot, allowing all your negative energy and self-defeating thoughts to lead the way.

Personally I get up extra early so I can have at least a half-hour to write in my journal, meditate, even simply stare out the window. I need that time to center yourself. To remind myself that I am safe, loved, worthy and able. I am a huge fan of meditation. It is like wrapping yourself in a big fluffy blanket. And it is so different than what I thought it would be. I never thought I would be able to meditate because my mind is constantly racing and I never thought I could "shut it off". But you don’t have to. Your mind will always be filled with thoughts. Meditation gives you the space to simply notice them pass by, like clouds in the sky. You learn that you don’t have to hold onto them or react to them. And you don’t need any special equipment or a fancy space to meditate. I often use my time sitting on the bus or train to do it. There are many meditation techniques but I suggest starting out by simply getting into a comfortable position, setting a timer, closing your eyes and putting your attention on your breath. Notice the air going into your nose and out of it. It can be as simple as that to begin with. Will you feel like you want to jump up and bolt? Probably. Will you ache to sneak a peak at the time? Of course! This is all because we are not used to sitting still and simply being. We feel so attached to our thoughts and the negative, painful feelings they bring with them, that we can't bear to look at them. Again, just allow yourself to watch them like clouds passing by.

A meditation practice is just that; a practice. To get "good" at it you have to practice. Start out small. If at first you can only commit to a weekend morning, that is perfectly fine. Find a comfortable place and sit quietly for just one minute. Anyone can do that. Work your way up to two minutes and so on. Eventually you will be able to sit for ten or fifteen minutes. And very soon you will crave meditation because it will feel so good and so necessary that you can't imagine starting your day without it. I swear it is better than eating your way through an entire chocolate cake or whatever you do to disengage. Meditation strengthens your ability to sit with the discomfort of your thoughts. It teaches you that you have the ability to not be reactive. I guarantee if you give yourself the gift of self-care before doing anything else in the morning you will feel lighter, stronger and be better able to meet any challenge that comes your way.

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