I had a restless night, so slept a little later than normal. Stumbled out of bed and made my way to the kitchen to start the coffee. Kissed the RS good morning, then picked up my cell phone and checked out a) the ongoing lexulous game with a friend in Ontario b) email c) FaceBook. There, on the Contemplative Monk site was this post:
1. Stay off social media for at least 30 minutes. Oops. Oh, no, I’ve failed already.
2. Drink a glass of water. Oops again. I’m sipping coffee instead. Fail times two.
3. Have a moment of gratitude. Oh, what a relief – my first thought when I awaken is almost always “Thank you!” Thanks for another night. Thanks for another day. So I passed that one.
One out of three habits to start my day off right: this doesn’t bode well.
Fourth habit: Meditate and /or exercise. I am going to amend the list – that will be #4b. I insert #4a: Wake Up.
Now that my brain is awake, though, I am becoming suspicious. Did the Contemplative Monk really write this list? All these things must happen in the 30 minutes before you finally get to check your social media, including meditation/exercise? And it all happens before breakfast, in thirty minutes??? This doesn’t sound very contemplative to me. I’m going out on a limb here and calling the contemplative monk out: I think he’s actually a time-management consultant, a goal-oriented get-her-done kind of person, who maximizes every hour of the day. You, Mr. Contemplative Monk, are FAKE News.
I mix up the list to suit myself from here on.
4. Get yourself ready and start your day. I get dressed, put on my walking shoes, grab my camera and rain poncho and I’m off. (Depending on the time I get up, either before or after breakfast.)
5. Meditate and/or exercise. These two for me go hand-in-hand. I have found out, the hard way, that I need to do my walk first thing in the morning; it gets increasingly harder to push myself out the door as the day goes on. Exercise is not something that comes naturally or easily to me; I envy all those who just love putting on their hiking boots or cycling helmet and giving their bodies a workout, but I’d rather be creating or writing or almost anything else. So before I go out, I give myself a pep talk. I tell myself that he first step out the door is always the hardest. I tell myself it’ll be a short walk through the neighbourhood, it doesn't have to be long. But, surprise, surprise, I often don't come home till an hour or more later after rambling the trails along the river and through the woods. It’s been 15 days, now, that I’ve kept to my June intention and taken my daily walk, and I’ve experienced a lot, which I will share in another blog. (In the interest of full disclosure, one of those walks was three times around the new garden path, slowly and meditatively. You may call that cheating, but I don’t!)
6. Set and affirm your goals for the day. Hmm. This sounds so sensible. Unless you set out an intention, you often won’t achieve a whole lot. This has been true for me in the three months of projects to mark off the days of April, May, and now June. But...if I set and affirm my goals for the day before I take my walk, I wouldn’t give myself permission to take those leisurely rambles, which give so much direction in my life and often determine how I will spend my day. Unless we are careful, the goals can become gods, which must be obeyed and worshiped at all costs. In our hope to get things done and mark off the items on our lists, we may miss out on equally wonderful things that might be calling out to us.
So I think I’ll add another item to this list:
7. Remain totally open ...to the promptings of the spirit, the call of the universe, your own personal mission to which you have been called. If unexpected opportunities present themselves to practice loving acts, bring joy to others, heal a hurt, speak out about injustice and/or a dozen other things that the world badly needs these days, chuck the goals and projects and DO IT!
And that will make for a very good day.