Colleen M. Doumeng
How do you start your day?
Do you know this fun fact – scientifically proven (see link below)?
If you are exposed to just three minutes of negative news first thing in the morning you have a 27% higher likelihood of reporting your day as an unhappy one 6-8 hours later.
Many of us start our day in devotion and gratitude. We read devotional materials, pray, meditate, write gratitude lists, journal, set intentions, take a walk in nature, serve our families, make love, listen to uplifting music, podcasts, what did I miss? And, many of us start our day by checking our devices. We start our day by trolling Facebook, Instagram, reading our texts and emails before we get out of our beds and/or watching/reading the news.
How do you start your day? ~ I’ll go first ~
No matter what time I open my eyes, (it could be one a.m., two a.m. or six a.m.), once I notice that I’m alive and breathing, I silently pray, “thank you, thank you, thank you” three times. I learned this gem from Rumi awhile back. At the time I was looking for a way to start a “quick” prayer practice that I would nail down and remember to do and this quote of his “mysteriously” came up:
“If you only say one prayer, let it be thank you.” - Rumi
Easy enough to remember and easy to do. I took it further and started to begin my day with gratitude affirmations before leaving my bedroom. As you read this they may sound like a lot but trust me, they take a few seconds.. and it’s another way for me to practice mindfulness (meditation) by stilling my mind as it naturally wants to race forward and backward…
I go nice and slow as I get out of my bed. I place my feet gently on the ground and notice my breath... I silently say, thank you for this day, for my bed, my bedding, the heat or air conditioning, my legs now on the ground, the sound of my husband’s breathing or his moving about. Entering the bathroom, turning on the light, more affirmations like, thank you for this light, thank you for my internal plumbing working and our external plumbing, thank you for toilet paper (yup!), running the water - thank you, washing my hands, opening up my medicine and vitamins, swallowing I say, thank you for my perfect health, thank you for all the people involved in keeping me healthy through the deliverance of this medicine ~ thank you, thank you, brushing my teeth – thank you – thank you for my healthy mouth ~ I AM perfect health, thank you, I Am perfect health. Then I wander into my scared space for devotional reading, prayer and meditation...this is my ritual.
FYI - This was not always how I started my day. I once was a person who bolted out of bed sometimes already feeling irritated and annoyed that I “had” to get up! However, as I became more aware and have been given the grace of aging, along came the gifts of the aging process – wisdom! Aging affords me more time in the morning to simply notice, slow down and give thanks. I have learned through this wisdom, coupled with my life experiences, how important what I do first thing in the morning truly is.
My prayer for us is that we keep in mind that what we do first thing in the morning impacts the entire trajectory of our day (and it’s scientifically proven).
I wish you infinite blessings today.
If you are interested in the study conducted by Michelle Gielan with the Huffington Post, here it is. And her book, Broadcasting Happiness is one of my favorites.