The First Half Hour
I truly believe that 95% of how your day goes is determined by the first half hour of it!
Morning is the time when we can often pay attention to the quiet voice within us...when even the streets of NYC can seem a soft place on the edge of darkness and light. Spiritually, dawn is the most powerful part of the day, filled with huge energy and potential. Our creativity is at its most potent as images of our dreams leak through into our conscious world.
Take care of your body, mind and spirit in the morning. Many of us can't control what goes on in the middle of the day, but we usually can control how we begin the day, so it’s a good time to be good to your body and soul. Many health experts believe that the early hours of morning is when the body detoxifies best. So, what are some of the best ways to begin the day? Fair warning: what I propose may involve waking a few minutes earlier - I promise it'll be worth it!
Exercise, before eating. Exercise can be yoga (which takes the mind and spiritual side into account) or walking, running, power lifting etc. Keep it simple and make it habitual - Steven King writes in the morning every single day, The Dalai Lama meditates in the morning every single day.
There is a theory by psychologist Roy Baumeister, that we have a certain finite amount of willpower that we can expend during the day and that we are subject to decision fatigue every time we flipflop over a decision. Don't let your morning routine overwhelm you. The less you think about it, the more likely you are to do it. I know people who've eaten essentially the same breakfast for 30 years. It's a good routine for them and they've picked the right breakfast and they're in tremendous health. Keep it simple, keep it habitual, don't compromise!
Taking care of body, mind and spirit includes being nice to yourself. Treat yourself to the little things - exercise clothes that make you feel good when you put them on; a framed photo that brings back happy memories; a coffee mug that makes you smile. I'm not the biggest proponent of coffee yet I have a half cup of coffee every morning before I leave. I have a set of Beatles coffee mugs. Sometimes it's a Sgt. Pepper type of morning and other times it’s an Abbey Road kind of day. I know it's silly, but I kinda feel good when I have my half cup of coffee and on the mug it says, All You Need is Love.
Let there be Light! The power of the sun heals. Absence of the sun, absence of light, leads to depression and disease. Wake with light. If you can't keep your shade up and must use an alarm, wake up with pleasantness. Program a favorite song, a mantra, a voice saying, "Hey Jess, you look awesome today....time to wake up and go get 'em!" (works best if your name is Jess).
Set an intention. I've been lucky enough to have a dog for several years now. Every day when I wake up she is there, tail wagging, eyes wide, ears flopping, bouncing, looking at me with her eyes saying, "You! You are the greatest. You! You're going to feed me and walk me and play with me. I'm so happy to see you!" Every day, when I wake, my first thought is, "Peanut, I’m really going to try to be the man that you think I am! I'm going to try my best to go out there today and be that guy."
Frame your day in the first half hour and see if the outcome isn’t better.