"How you start your day is how you're going to live your day. And how you life your day is the way you live life." ~ Louise Hay
I spent over 9 years as a Crisis Counselor which means many nights I woke up to one of the worse sounds in the world... the pager. As soon as that shrill beeping began, I woke up with a start and jumped out of bed, heart pounding, knowing I needed to get moving immediately. I made my phone call to collect the necessary information, got dressed and headed out to my call. The adrenaline was pumping and would continue to for the next few hours. I needed to remain on high alert as I entered into what was usually an emotional and unpredictable situation. This was such an intense experience and time in my life, just writing about it and thinking about it makes my heart pound.
For years after I left that job, I found myself waking up the same way. My alarm would go off, I would spring out of bed and take action. If you have challenges getting up in the morning, perhaps this sounds like an amazing start to your day, but I can assure you it isn't that great. Beginning with a start, heart pounding, feet hitting the cold floor... its jolting.
A few years ago, I shared my wake up experience with a dear friend and she challenged me to consider beginning the day in a more gentle way. I tried this and what a difference it made. Now it did take some retraining as the impulse was to jump out of bed as soon as I woke up, but using a softer alarm was a nice reminder - I didn't have to hurry and I didn't have to start my day in crisis mode.
If you find yourself always in a rush or starting your morning feeling stressed or anxious, or just not as intentionally as you would like to, here are a few tips on how to begin your day in a gentle and intentional way:
1. Set an alarm that makes you feel good. Sometimes I set an alarm with mantra, I love this version of Guru Ram Das, other days I use the gradual wake up sound on my phone's alarm app. It starts off quietly and gradually becomes louder, but usually the quiet sound is enough to wake me.
2. As you lie in bed, spend a few minutes breathing long and deep. Connect into your breath and feel gratitude for waking up, and for this day.
3. Continue to breathe deeply as you gently massage your feet. These feet will carry you through your day, thank them, feel grateful and show them some love.
4. Now it's time to slowly get up and begin your morning routine and your Sadhana. Take your time, no need to rush.
Try incorporating these steps into your wake up routine and notice any shifts in how you feel. Remember, how you start your day is how you're going to live your day.
I am an animal loving-Vegan runner, I practice and teach Kundalini Yoga and I love to cook and eat flavorful plant-based food.