I started an experiment last Monday.
After years of waking up to reach for the alarm and get up in a slight daze to start my yoga routine, which would then wake me up fully and get my day started right, I have decided to experiment with waking up mindfully.
Waking up mindfully means waking up from your night sleep in the same way that you would emerge from a relaxation after a yoga session. You start by wriggling your feet and hands, you give yourself a nice big stretch before rolling over to one side and staying a little while longer in bed before getting up.
I found that doing this made my body and mind more awake when I did get out of bed. My mind was switched on from the moment I left the comfort of my bed, rather than having to wait for the beginning of my yoga routine to get there.
But what has really added to my morning, is to use those couple of minutes when I lay on my side to set my intention for the day. Now an intention isn’t a to do list of things that have to be done! It is a decision on how you want to live your day, do you want to take everything in your stride? ; do you want to try and stay calm through work and traffic jams? ; do you want to try and stay happy for the whole day ?
Simply affirm to yourself your chosen statement, in the present tense: “Today, I am happy”; “Today I stay calm”; “Today I am living to achieve my goals”…
I found that these simple statements have a profound impact. One day, I was about to lose my temper with one of my daughters refusing to do her homework, when I remember that my intention for the day had been to stay calm. So I took a deep breath, swallowed down my angry words and approached the situation in a very different way that I would have done had it not been for my morning intention.
A week on, I love my morning intentions and I find that they do give a direction to my days rather than letting myself be carried by the events and reacting to them in ways that I don’t particularly like. After all, happiness is a state of mind and each day we can decide to try our best to be happy, starting from the moment the alarm rings!