Can you feel change in the air? The resistance. The unraveling. The stress of uncertainty, the transformation and revolution rising into powerful waves, crashing onto rocky shores. So hard to know where to be standing, where to dive deep.
There has never been a time in my life where the need to have a steady spiritual practice and faith in the ultimate goodness of life seemed so essential. Evolving from life sustaining simple air and water, we now require deeper daily breath and full emotional detox.
If you have a yoga practice, you know what I’m talking about when I say “the mat” is a deep comfort. I know when I fill my breath with devotion and movement, nourishing truth begins to soften the holding on, the clenching. In between each reprieve on the mat, it’s easy to feel pulled into the chasms and struggles, the fears and polarizations. With my practice I soften into love.
I’m going to share here a section called “The Daily Plan” from my book, Soul Path Way. I was interviewed last week by Suzanne Scully for her podcast “The Cosmos In You” (which will be posted in a few weeks). Before the interview she mentioned that she especially loved The Daily Plan in my book. I had to pause for a minute because what I call my daily plan is pretty basic and integral to my life now and I flashed that maybe she meant something else, something I’d written that would be more lofty and amazing. But no, she meant this basic daily life schedule, that began with childhood basics, like wash your face in the morning, and was amplified with yoga practice, ayurvedic morning routines (the face washing water should be cool, splashed 7 times), articles I’ve read, advice I’ve taken in from healers and so on. I’ve synthesized everything (as I do), and mostly follow it every day.
No selves were harmed in the creation & maintenance of this daily plan…
And when I don’t follow it, I don’t beat myself up over that. That is a critical element of a Daily Plan. You must breathe this discipline into your cellular existence until you love it like you love yourself–until the whole thing is like brushing your teeth–automatic–feeling weird if you don’t do it–but also give yourself permission to skip something once in awhile so you don’t feel owned by it.
– Wake up and look out the window at the sky. The light helps the brain wake up. If you’re going to skip yoga/stretching you can do three deep breaths, lifting your arms over your head with each inhale and down to your sides on an exhale.
– Endeavor to accept the day with grace and gratitude. Check the mind’s tendency to judge the day or the weather “good” or “bad” for some reason.
– Wash your face with cool water.
– Massage your body with warm oil or lotion, before or after your shower.
– Drink a mug of warm water with lemon, or even a large glass of room temperature water, to allow the body to complete the elimination of toxins from its night activities.
– Morning meditation: Spend at least five to ten minutes sitting in breath meditation. If you don’t have an altar and a comfortable place to meditate, look around to find a corner somewhere in your home to create a sacred space. An altar can be any table or small box, even, with a few things on it that feel special to you: a candle, incense, a picture of a beloved teacher, a little statue, crystals and stones, feathers. You decide what items connect you to your heart.
– Do some morning yoga or stretching.
– Read or remember your soul path mission statement and set an intention for the day.
There’s more you can add: Ayurvedic morning rituals for your particular type, extra yoga, chanting, breathing or exercise. Maybe part of your morning is taking the dog for a walk, or making a hot mug of tea.
Perhaps you have children pulling at your toes before you even wake up and the morning ritual is a big full breath as you look out the window and raise your arms over your head . . . and then-showtime. It’s on.
Whatever you choose, keep in mind that the purpose of the morning ritual is to remember you’re a Spirit having a physical experience before the ducks of life start pecking at you, drawing you into story and reaction.
DURING THE DAY
– Take small, mindful actions toward your goals. Break your goals into mini-goals. Allow fifteen minutes to be a worthy step.
– Organize your living space. Release clutter and unneeded items.
– Take a savasana restorative nap or just rest. Think of how you lie down and do nothing on a vacation and how good that feels (or maybe you have heard of someone who once rested while on vacation).
– Dance and sing.
– Slow down and drive the speed limit. Let other cars go in front of you.
– Make eye contact with people. Smile.
– Get outside with your bare feet in the grass whenever you can.
– Consider a limited TV/media diet. What do you watch? How much life energy is it sapping?
– Choose a bedtime that allows you at least eight hours of sleep.
– Minimize screen time at least a couple of hours before bedtime.
– Eat your last meal hours before bedtime.
– Take a soothing bath.
– Read inspirational, healing or funny material before bed or just before you fall asleep. I might read a pleasure novel for twenty minutes, but Adyashanti soothes me to sleep.
– Repeat a mantra as you fall asleep. I like “I am love,” but it can be any word or sentence that feels nourishing to you.
Add your own practices and unique embellishments and create your own daily rhythm of love and resolve–the tenacity and strength to live through crazy times.