Most of us experience moments of feeling overwhelmed by life. So much to do and so little damn time. It’s kinda how our society works nowadays. The demands on our time and energy continually exceed our capacity. And in response we try to be (cue Kanye) harder, better, faster, stronger. To do this means we need to dive deep, deep, deep into our reserves so we can push through the day and then collapse into bed at night. We oddly feel rather accomplished that we’re this exhausted, it means we’ve maxed out our potential and are succeeding at life right?
Waking up exhausted is not a good look.
“Good gawd, how is it morning already?! Why am I so tired? Wait, what time did I go to bed? Ugggh, I didn’t get enough sleep. I have so much to do, shit, I’ve got that meeting today!! Why did I stay up to binge on Bloodline?! Ugh, just 5 more minutes is all I need (as heavy eyes begin to close you excitedly realize…yessssss, I can totally dry-shampoo it today!)
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of dry-shampoo, Bloodline, and I’m a gal who used to hit her snooze button more obsessively than an addictive rat in a twisted Pavlovian lab test. However, I learned something new this year that completely up-leveled my life and falls squarely into the #thisshitworks category.
And it only takes 10 minutes.
Then soon enough, you realize this is becoming a habit. And habits soon enough become patterns. And patterns are what keep us from moving forward. We spin our wheels, deplete ourselves, and then wonder why we’re going losing our shit on the innocent flight attendant who just asked if we’d like some more water. We’re reactive, explosive, and running on empty.
Which is why we need to recharging a priority.
Yep, just like your trusty phone.
Our phones nowadays are miraculous. They keep us connected, organized, productive, and we take great care of them on the whole. Yet so many of us don’t take such great care of ourselves. Is it because we don’t have that blinking battery telling us to shut down? But even then, would we give ourselves permission to slow the F down and rest??
Well, we need to. And here’s how.
I grant myself the glorious permission every morning to do my 10 minute daily practice. It keeps me sane. Focused. Calm. Positive. Inspired. And now, NOW, it’s a non-negotiable.
This doesn’t mean that every day consists of me dreamily flouncing around with a beautiful breeze blowing through my hair and easy laughter. Nope, just like every human on this planet, life can throw you some major curveballs and it can take a lot of energy to grit your teeth and not go all ‘Beyoncé Lemonade’ on the daily.
Which is why the daily practice is so important. It’s what keeps me grounded, strong, focused, and clear.
Now I realize it’s a bit counter-intuitive but I’m telling you, by investing these 10 minutes, you actually GAIN hours.
Because taking this time to connect with yourself gives you brain time to slow down and get organized instead of starting the day in that harried, scattered, scarcity mindset I described earlier. By being able to slow down and be still, you can erase the craziness and focus on what’s truly important. You’ll realize what’s within your control and what you can let go of. Think of it like clearing the path in the forest. You’re walking slowly and steadily towards your goals instead of getting distracted by what’s happening all around you (SQUIRREL!!).
So how do you start? With a 1-minute meditation.
1 minute. Don’t tell me you don’t have ONE MINUTE. Do it on the toilet if you need to.
Begin by getting in a comfortable seated position. Straighten your spine and breathe. You’ll know you’re in perfect alignment when your breath can flow easily into, and out of, your belly. Once you’ll nailed the deep belly breath, set the timer, and close your eyes.
Bring your focus back to your breath and see if you can even it out. 4 counts in, 4 counts out. Then simply do that over and over again. If your mind trails off (damn squirrels!), then calmly bring it back to your breath and count….4 in, and 4 out.
You can do anything for 60 seconds…
Notice how you feel after that 1 minute. My bet is you’re feeling pretty damn zen and relaxed. And my next bet is you’re going to want to feel more of that in your life. And you can. You simply have to CHOOSE to do this practice. To make it easier, make it part of your morning ritual. Mine is waking up, going to the bathroom, then coming back immediately to bed and follow the steps above (I’ve just built mine up to 10 minutes over time). And you can too….just gradually build up the minutes until you get to a place that feels right for you. Some may be 3 minutes, others may be 30. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but it is a process, so keep at it.
Oh, and that’s the other thing….it’s called a PRACTICE for a reason because you have.to.keep.practicing. Especially when life it going pretty good! When you think ‘pfftttt, I got this meditation thing DOWN’, you might let your practice go. And maybe things will go fine for awhile and then just like that ‘running on empty battery’ we talked about earlier….your mindfulness reserves get depleted and then next thing you know you’re freaking out on the cashier who just asked you to “kindly insert your chip card into the reader”.
So get back to it. It’s ok, you’re going to fall out of practice from time to time. Just get back on once you’ve realized that. 🙂
It’s amazing how this one simple change can boost your energy, your mood, and up-level your life. When we take the time to recharge we gain strength, clarity, and connection – and who doesn’t need more of that in their lives?!