Time is precious. You have read hundreds of wellness articles and books, you want to know immediately what makes this article different. I will tell you. This daily practice WORKS, not just for one person, but it can work for everyone. It's that simple. As a matter of fact, you can hold me to it. Call or write me after you have tried all 7 steps for 7 days. I will give you 15 minutes of my time free, if you disagree. I follow this very same practice ever day. Over the last 20 years I have refined and tweaked it, using myself as the guinea pig. Recovering from burnout and breakdown, I used every one of these steps and still do today. Stay with me a few more minutes, I will tell you how…
1. Gratitude (5 minutes) Every morning before you rise from bed or look at your phone.
Wake before 6 am if possible. Upon opening your eyes, take 3-5 deep breaths into the heart . Next, bring into your awareness 3 things you are grateful for, one at a time. These can be people, places, memories or experiences. As you visualize each one use the five senses to make them come alive. Hear what you heard, see what you saw, feel what you felt, etc…Take one minute for each. Place your hand on your heart, feel the heart rise and fall. If you cannot recall anything then imagine something you desire, same way, using the senses. Gratitude prevents anxiety about the future or worries about the past. Worry drains energy. We cannot time travel.
2. Nature's Gatorade (5 minutes) Every morning before your tea or coffee. No phone yet.
I will not ever deprive you of your morning caffeine, but first start your day with a powerful and hydrating ancient drink. It’s called Ayurveda Gatorade. This 5000 year old science knows a thing or two about metabolism and longevity. If you don’t have an electric kettle, buy one. It heats up water in less than a minute. Add a squeeze of lemon, a slice of fresh ginger, a pinch of sea salt and a teaspoon of raw organic honey to the hot water. This drink hydrates you to help alleviate the drying effects of caffeine. It just may even stimulate your morning bathroom visit!
3. Morning Observation (10 minutes)Every morning before looking at your phone and leaving the house.
Meditation may not be your thing yet, and that’s ok. It may feel difficult, your mind too busy. Follow me here. Sit in a comfortable chair. Dedicate a spot in a quiet room for this practice. Put your phone on airplane mode or shut off notifications. Set a timer. Insight timer app is great and works on airplane mode. Close your eyes. Do you remember the Wizard of Oz movie? I want you to imagine you are looking out a window like the one in Dorothy’s room when her house is up in the cyclone while she is dreaming. Visualize all your thoughts passing outside the window. You are the observer. You are not your thoughts. For this 10 minutes you are simply the watcher of those thoughts. Don’t move from the chair and jump out that window with the wicked thoughts. You are safe right where you are. Your thoughts, no matter how stressful they are, cannot hurt you. Observe without judgement. Once the timer goes off, take a few deep breaths. Observing your thoughts in this way will distance yourself from them, allowing you to see they are just fears, worries things to do, or old experiences. Open your eyes. Look at your the palms of your hands, feel the floor beneath your feet. You are well. Breathe. Stay in the present.
4. Make a List (5 minutes) Every morning before beginning your day.
If you are reading this article, then I know you like making lists, so this should appeal to you. In a journal or notebook, draw 3 columns. Self, Relationships, Work. Jot 3-5 things down in each section. Self - is your self care & self love list, not paying the AT & T bill or feeding the dog. Relationships - contact someone you have not reached out to in a while, who you love or care about, or plan an outing or dinner with your friend, spouse or child. Work can certainly be priorities of the day. Don’t forget to be creative and innovate. Everything else on the daily TO DO list will get done when you prioritize yourself in a new way.
5. Movement (15-30 minutes)Best done in the morning before work or daily activities.
Everyone gets this one. We need to move the body for a variety of reasons. To stimulate energy, get the heart pumping, manage weight and set the tone in a positive way for the day. Your exercise of choice should be something you enjoy. If you dread that run while you are lacing up your sneakers. DON’T go. Try a brisk walk in nature or jump rope. Run some sprints up and down your driveway or street. Try Yoga, but you don’t need to go to a yoga class. Get a mat and watch a video on Sun Salutations. Do 3-6 of those. Switch it up. Turn up your favorite music or put on an inspirational audio book. When the body is moving, the mind is listening.
6. Drop That Vice (0 minutes) Best done slowly reducing a little each day.
Ok lets get real. There is one thing in your life that you know is unhealthy and you need to ditch. This could be a food, a substance, a drink, a bad habit or a relationship. Pick the one that is contributing the most to your stress, breakdown or burnout. You know that one, when you do it, about 15-30 minutes after your symptoms increase or implode. Yes that one. It has got to go. No cold turkey though. That way can be self harming. Seek support. Reach out to a friend or family member, make a list of healthy foods to replace that daily sugar fix. If it’s a relationship, start to back away. Surround yourself with people who fill your cup, not empty it. Steps 1-5 support this change. You CAN do it !!! This step is essential and can save your life, literally!
7. Create New Beliefs (15 minutes) Best done after steps 1-6.
As you begin to feel the benefits of steps 1-6, we now need to anchor them. Everything in our lives is shaped by our beliefs. Recognizing and uncovering our most empowering beliefs is key. We need to remove the legs out from under the limiting beliefs. We now need to re-pattern our beliefs so that we do not revert to our old ways. Make a list of 3-10 empowering beliefs. From your soul, the deepest part of you that knows ALL you are capable of. Circle the top 3. Ask yourself this question: How does this belief really empower me and how does it strengthen my life? Next, make a list of 3-10 disempowering beliefs. Write it all out, your worst views of yourself. Then circle the 3 most limiting beliefs. Ask yourself this question: what are the consequences and pain from these beliefs and how much I am losing? Read the empowering beliefs each day. Each time a disempowering belief comes into the mind, replace it with the reverse. Anchor it with repetition.
We are awake approximately 16 hours a day. So the question is...are you willing to dedicate less than 1 hour each day to transform your life? Try this 7 day challenge and find out!