I named this blog Moments Overlooked, yet so much of my life is spent doing just that. Overlooking the moments that make up life.
My morning routine is a great example of this. I am a self-declared morning person, much to the hub’s chagrin (he is a night owl, of course). There’s nothing I enjoy more than waking up early to the promise of what the day might have in store. I drink some water, make my coffee, and READ THE INTERNET.
Why? For me, one of the things I enjoy most about the morning is the silence. The only audible sounds are the hum of the refrigerator and the brewing of the coffee. It is the perfect kind of silence for hearing your thoughts and seeing where your heart goes to. It’s an opportunity to listen to yourself.
All of which is ruined once I check my Facebook, the news, Zite, Refinery29 and all the other websites or apps I read because the silence has now been filled up with noise, with the voices, of others in the forms of updates, headlines, rants, raves, etc. and my own voice gets lost in the melee.
So, I’ve been trying to use my mornings more wisely, to enjoy the silence, and to use the silence to become more self-aware and, as a result, more productive.
Here’s what I’ve been doing that’s been working for me:
1) Wake up and drink a giant glass of water (while coffee is brewing!).
2) Do ten sun salutes followed by stretching (for about a total of ten minutes).
3) Drink coffee and enjoy the silence. Listen to my thoughts, see where my mind and heart go.(5 minutes or however long you want/need.) Sometimes I do this with my eyes closed, sometimes I stare out the window. Sometimes I cuddle the puppy (okay, I do that all the time). Whatever helps my mind wander.
4) Write in my journal for ten minutes. (I use the timer on my phone for this so I’m not constantly checking the time which is an inspiration killer, IMHO.) Often my entry will reflect my thoughts from Step 3. Other times it might be about something else entirely. It is always, however, productive. Journal writing is a great way to give a voice to your voice and to process whatever might be going on in your head and heart. It has become one of my favorite parts of the day.
5) Finally, make a list of things to do using three categories: WORK. PERSONAL. HOME. I usually put the three most important things I’d like to accomplish that day under each category and try my best to get them all crossed off the list. Sometimes I do (and I AM VICTORIOUS) and other times I don’t (BUT AM STILL VICTORIOUS). No sweat. There’s always tomorrow!
This has become my morning practice. I don’t like to use the word routine because it has the connotation of mindless action. That’s what I used to do. These five steps, however, are mindful actions done to foster awareness ,which I feel resonates more closely with the word ‘practice.’ That’s just me.
Anyhow, I’ve been doing this since the beginning of the new year and so far I’ve pretty much kept to it aside from our time in Tokyo. And, I’ve found that my days in general have become more productive, focused and purposeful. Don’t get me wrong, I still peruse and read the Interwebs, but I do this when I’m taking my breaks from crossing things off on the To-Do list (i.e Taking Care of Business).
Everyone is different. This morning practice may not work for you. But, I encourage you to take that extra time in the morning to enjoy the silence and develop your own steps for a mindful and productive day.