The alarm sounds, and you are ‘off to the races’! Before you reach the shower, you mind is already filled with planning, worries, and ruminations. Your heart starts pumping faster and your breath gets more shallow. Your day has started you.
When your day starts you in this way, it is not only exhausting, it is often unproductive. Your mind and body start off in a state of high alert, that then is continuously fed by back to back meetings, no time for lunch, a constant stream of inner critic and judgmental thoughts, and blurred lines between work and personal time. This is not a life well-lived.
What if a morning cup of coffee or tea could make all the difference by allowing you to ‘choose to start your day’ rather than letting your day start you?
Try this experiment for just one day:
- Before you begin your day, prepare a cup of coffee/tea. Bring your full attention to what you are doing. Put down the phone. Listen to the sounds, smell the aroma, feel the warmth in your hand, etc.
- Find a place to sit or stand and sip the drink. Again, no multi-tasking, just enjoy the experience for the few minutes it takes to consume it. Let go of any intruding thoughts for now. Feel the groundedness and calm of ‘single-tasking’.
- As you near the bottom of the cup, ask yourself ‘what is my intention for the day? Some answers might be-to be productive, to be kind, to be creative, to be open-minded, to be available to my family, to take care of myself, etc.
- Finally, choose one step you will take today to support your intention.
It is a simple routine that many of the professionals that I have taught over the years point to as a powerful way to more fully inhabit their lives, and break through the constant, draining busyness. What do you notice?