Friday, February 1, 2013
Last night I had some crazy dreams. I don't remember exactly what they were about but I woke up -- not feeling rested. In fact I woke up a few times with a throbbing headache. I didn't take anything to relieve it because I try to stay away from medications and hoped the pain would leave on its own. It never did until I gave in and took an Ibuprofen.
I do practice yoga, meditation and read inspirational writings, but lately I found myself back on board the 'crazy train' of daily life and not taking care of myself like I know I should. My body has a way of telling me to get back on track and I now I work at paying better attention.
I believe the most important thing in life is our health and that we should (I try to stay away from that word, but in this instance I think its appropriate) do anything and everything to maintain good health...no matter what.
I mentioned before that its important to keep our body, mind and spirit in sync to live a healthy life. I am doing good with my diet but sometimes I fall off the wagon when it comes to my mind and spirit. These days there are lots of things going on to distract us and keep us away from ourselves...meaning taking away our time to just 'be'.
Our society is geared in such a way that we believe we must be lazy if we aren't 'doing' something every waking moment. That concept is bad for our health. If our minds are out of whack then our bodies will follow shortly. Our minds are easier to fix but once the body is sick, it takes longer to heal.
I talk with many people who tell me they don't have time to even meditate for 10 minutes a day and I say they do have the time. Its not about having enough time, its a time management problem. I believe the best time to nurture ourselves is first thing in the morning. I know we all love to sleep in to the last minute before we have to jump out of bed and rush to get to wherever we have to be, but this isn't good for our mental or physical health. Taking time for ourselves sets the tone for the rest of the day. I know because it works. If I take at the very least 30 minutes for myself -- first thing in the morning my day goes a lot smoother. I am more focused and relaxed. I can deal with whatever comes up and not get caught up in any drama that may try to sneak its way into my day.
But I am human and that means I forget... and sometimes I sleep in to the last minute and jump right into my day and rush around like a mad woman... feeling drained and off balance. This morning my body reminded whats important and its to stay healthy...no matter what.
The first thing I do are yoga stretches...nothing strenuous but enough to loosen up my muscles. I used to be much more limber before my cancer treatments but everyday I can stretch just a little bit more. Yoga isn't about doing the poses perfectly, its about doing it the best you can and stay in the moment...breathing in and breathing out. Its about 'being' with yourself. Since I have a balance issue I use a chair or wall for the standing poses and then I do a few poses on the floor. It takes me about 10 minutes.
Then I sit for 10 minutes and just focus on my breath. I do use guided meditations but not in the morning. I want to focus on being in the 'now'. It helps me stay present during the day and if there is a 'snag' I can respond to it and not have a knee jerk reaction.
After that, I read inspiring writings either from books or on the Internet. The great thing about the Internet is that we can follow the writings of just about anyone, because most authors or inspiring Teachers have a blog. Today I am reading the writings from Thich Nhat Hanh. I found some books on Zen Buddhism at the library and they carry alot of his books. Zen is something I resonate with. Its a form of Buddhism that I like following, but spirituality is a personal thing. Find something you resonate with and contemplate its teachings or words of inspiration. There is no right or wrong.
I met a woman at the hospital where I volunteer, getting cancer treatments who is also a yoga instructor. She is Christian and calls her practise 'yoking with the Lord'. She likes to read books by Christian authors. She resonates with her belief. I resonate with eastern philosophy. There is no right or wrong. There just 'is'.
If you do these 3 things first thing in the morning on a daily basis, I know your day will go more smoothly. If you have a family that needs your attention first thing in the morning, wake up 30 minutes earlier than them. You are worth the time and effort and your body will thank you for it.
My next post will give you tips on staying grounded throughout your day.... stay tuned!