As you go through your day, you may feel the whole day is an upward battle.
It begins in the morning. Your good intentions the night before led you to set your alarm, maybe pack a lunch, load and set the coffee maker so that the smell of fresh brewed coffee and the shrieking of the alarm on your bedside table will hopefully will your body to get up and seek the day.
That is often what we do. We WILL ourselves to get up. As we roll back into the warmth of our bed after spitefully shutting off our alarms, the list begins in our minds.
"Now I have to get up, get in the shower, find something to wear, make sure Ive gathered all of the belongings I will need for the day and make it out of the front door at a specific enough time to make it to the bus or beat the morning rush". But what are we rushing to?
Many of us are rushing to jobs, mountains of paperwork, hoards of people we regard with quiet distain, and the treadmill of making the aspirations of others come to life. The lunch hour arrives, and we leave our offices or rush to the phone to secure mounds of trash referred to as food, that we have programmed ourselves that we need in order to make it to the five o’clock hour. We consume this oil drenched, preservative packed meal, and with great sloth, trudge back to our offices and desks vowing to get to the gym that afternoon or the next morning. This blasphemous meal must be banished on the treadmill or in that spin class our annoyingly hyper co-working keeps praising. Then it dawns on you: Had you left the house with that healthy lunch you packed, you’d be ten dollars richer now and probably in a much better mood and have a higher probability of getting to that class.
You get home after fighting rush hour, or subjecting yourself to the horrible B.O. of that hard working guy on the bus who definitely either had onions for lunch or smells like them because he forgot his deodorant this morning. If your feeling generous, you may say to yourself, “Maybe he left the gym at lunch in a hurry to get back to the office and forgot to put the deodorant on”. Have you caught on to just how many people you’ve judged by this point in your day?
Your home now, and your spouse, significant other or children are in this same space, and they want to unload on you. You listen, begrudgingly, because haven’t they noticed that you’ve had your own experiences you do or don't want to share?
This is a piece of the totality of our humanity: Secretly judging others, blaming them for our own lack, never realizing how we judge ourselves through our judgement of them. The stress and the burden we gather day to day, never truly letting it go. It builds up in our bodies and begin to manifest itself in our lives. You forgot your lunch that morning because you were too busy looking for your keys. Your children weren’t organized and ready to leave when you were because they are modeling your habits. Their bags weren’t packed from the night before, their outfits weren’t ready in preparation for the next day, because like yourself, they were plugged into the TV, Wii, iPad, their cell phones, “unwinding” from the stress that the day has inflicted on them.
Here me out: Try something else. Recognize this pattern or the pieces of it that you practice. Own it, accept it, and then work to change it. Embrace it in its totality and replace these rituals piece by piece. Let this become what I like to call your “40 day journey”.
You can start right now! are you reading this in the afternoon? are you reading this before lunch? Here's where you start.
If your reading this at your desk or on your device during or before your lunch, take a look at what your eating. Is it healthy? Whats it made of? Who made it? When your done eating it, how will you feel? Tired? Disappointed in yourself? Sluggish? Make another choice!
If your home after a long day, what's for dinner? What choices have you made for your family? Are they healthy? Once dinner is over, is there anything you can do to make the next day a brighter one? Are your clothes pressed, dry cleaned, laundered and laid out? Are the children’s belongings together? Homework and school supplies in backpacks? Coffee maker set for 5 am? Get up and get these things done! Now! If your not sure where to start, start with a list. Write down all the things that you struggle with in the morning and get them together now! I promise you, when they are all in place and ready for the next day, the next day will begin brighter automatically. You’ll sleep with less stress, more peace. You’ll truly rest, both your body and your mind.
What you’ll find in the morning is that your thoughts when the alarm goes off, will flow in a much more positive direction. Instead of dreading all the things you have to do to get out of the door, you will think of all the things that are already done! Now it becomes “All I have to do is…”, its a pleasant experience to wake up to.
Now you’ll find you have more time between yourself and your destination; There is already less stress and an opportunity to experience oneness with your journey. You’ll smile at more people, you’ll have less judgement of others because you feel better about yourself.
In this spirit, in this place, your choices become healthier. You’ll find you crave a breakfast much more wholesome than the breakfast sandwich you usually grab from that drive-through in the morning. You’ll have more energy and won't feel as much distain for that chipper co-worker of yours. You’ll find you didn’t forget your lunch and pat your self on the back for this yummy meal that you put together all by yourself. And this meal will fuel the rest of your day SOO much better than that fifth cup of coffee or that fatty $6 lasagna you usually inhale around this time of day.
You’ll find that after a week, this becomes so much easier to do; it becomes habit. Its no longer a list or a chore. You work cleaner, you feel lighter, and theres more of you to give; to your children, to your spouse, to your career, to your community. Try it for forty days. It’ll be the beginning of a beautiful, comfortable, happy, sustainable life.