I have two great evening routines. For many years now I’ve been writing in my feel-good book, not every night, but often. Here I write down a few words about what has happened if I want to (no stressful reporting duties), and – more importantly – “Three (or more) things that I’m grateful for today”, “Something I need help with” and “Something I’ve done to feel good” (such as yoga, meditation or a jog). Writing down these things is a way for me to focus on some positive aspects, even a day when the sun isn’t shining. I strongly adhere to Dalai Lama’s idea that we’re so good at dwelling on the negative aspects in life, that we don’t have to make an effort to remember these, whereas what we really need to make an effort to do is notice all those little miracles in life.
Thanks to the Memento Vivere project, I also finally managed to get back to meditation last August, and now I meditate regularly, almost every evening before I go to bed. Meditation is usually an efficient remedy for my inspiration overload, although every now and then it seems to have the opposite effect, i.e. to open up yet another channel to my creativity. In those cases I simply have to give up and go write down whatever it is that comes flying.
But now to my mornings. My friend and colleague Sara has been meditating in the mornings for quite some time now, and her husband does some yoga. I’ve been envious, since meditation and yoga seem to be such great ways of starting the day. My morning is somewhat more complicated than theirs, since I still have such small kids (my youngest is three), so I’ve simply dismissed the idea. Until a few weeks ago, when I read a blog entry about a woman who had started a new morning ritual, which inspired me so much that I decided to give it a try during my May month. What she did was meditate and write some specific things down in a beautiful book.
I realized that there is indeed some room for me to do something similar. It can’t take more than ten minutes or so, but I can have those ten minutes to myself, after my husband and daughters have left for work and school, and before I take their little brother to kindergarten half an hour later. My son loves to watch some web TV with (really good!) children’s programs in the morning, and I usually let him do that for about a quarter of an hour or so, since it gets him in a good mood. I have now decided to do like this: Instead of walking around picking up things, dressing myself and my son, brushing teeth etc. during those fifteen minutes, I’ll get up a little earlier and make sure that everything is ready when it’s time for his web TV session. Then, while he’s at the computer, I’ll do a short meditation session and then write a few lines in my new notebook, according to the following headings:
- The best things things about yesterday
- My three most important tasks today
- Today’s affirmation (a sentence formulated as if something has already happened, e.g. I have completed X and feel very satisfied with the result, or as a state I want to be in, e.g. Today I feel really creative)
I hope that this will make me more efficient and even more positively tuned than otherwise to my working tasks. Then I’ll try to keep the evening routines as well, as a more general form of relaxation and reflection.