To help see the value of this let's look at the story of Jo and Jae, two friends who lead similar lives. It's a cold, icy and wet Tuesday morning...
Jo is woken up by the alarm at 6:50am and looks at the weather, through the window, hits the snooze and goes back to sleep. Jo does this reputedly until 7:30am when it's time to get breakfast. In a hurry Jo spills the tea and in a rush to get in the car accidently drops the keys under the car, in the icy rain! Jo is annoyed with the cold weather and worried about an important meeting at work. On the drive Jo is going too fast, the radio is too loud and Jo nearly hits an elderly person crossing the street. Instead Jo swerves and hit's a bollard. Jo winds down the window to shout at them, unaware of a police officer approaching to give Jo a ticket for dangerous driving!
Jae is woken up by the alarm at 6:50am and remembers an intention to meditate. Despite the cold outside Jae sits up straight on the floor, under a blanket, tea steaming in front for 10 minutes, focusing on the sensations of the body and observing the thoughts passing across the mind. Jae feels more centred after this and checks-in by talking out loud and then setting an intention for the day. Today Jae remembers an important meeting and Jae decides to practice calmness in preparation and during the meeting. During breakfast Jae listens to calming music and in the car Jae drives carefully, enjoying the frosty trees and children throwing snowballs. An elderly person is crossing and Jae stops, winds down the window to say hello before driving off and smiling at the nice response.
The difference in these two days is clear and it can be attributed to setting an intention the night before to wake up and create space to meditate and check in.
This is something I try to do every weekday and I'm starting to open this up to others to join me. If you're interested check here to see if they are ongoing now.
The structure I often use is the folliwng:
Finally it's important to get up and move. In the past I have allowed the time boundary to lapse and I can spend an hour reflecting and getting caught up in thinking. Instead make it a practice to stand up and DO SOMETHING. I often do a short stretch and then go get breakfast.
I hope this helps you have a more wonderful day.
Come join me on my daily Morning Meditation and Check In .
Neil Morbey is a meditation teacher, group facilitator and inspiration guide for Positively-Mindful.com