It seems like there’s never enough time. We pack our schedules full, keep busy, keep moving and still, there’s an emptiness. Time just flies, and we have so little time for ourselves.
This past week, I resolved to give myself some time back. I resolved not to just wake up and do, do, do. I resolved to give myself two hours of my day back. That’s less than ten percent. It’s my morning practice. I’ve had a daily sadhana on and off for years, but in light of some events in my life, I’ve really doubled down on it.
I give myself 20 minutes to read whatever I want. I give myself 30 min of meditation. I give myself 10 minutes of reading any news that might impact me or piques my interest. I give myself a 45 min walk and about 15-20 minutes of journaling. I keep it all on a big, neon, poster board to keep myself accountable, along with my long list of to-dos.
In giving myself about ten percent of my day back “just for me”, I’ve learned things about myself–some of them joyful, some of them not. So many of us have guilt about putting ourselves first and we absolutely need to. When we lose our internal compass, we often make decisions that teach us not-so-fun lessons. When I don’t have my morning practice, I get un-centered and reactive faster than I care to admit.
One of the traps of a regimen, though, is that we can get regimented, and that’s no fun. I try to re-evaluate my morning practice monthly. The key to this, for me, has been setting an intention. What needs healing? What needs encouragement? What needs to be confronted? To me, a good morning practice shifts you in the right direction, so it needs to be re-intention-ed to be effective. As I shift, my intention shifts, so my practice shifts. I make sure that the changes I want are small, manageable and actionable.
If you are doing-oriented person like me, a healthy dose of compassion may be in order too. You may not get it all done. Life happens. Sometimes regimens and reality clash. It’s okay not to get all the self care tasks done in one day.
My morning practice gets a little too ambitious, even for me at times. It’s okay. I remind myself I can always adjust. It’s one thing to stretch; it’s another thing to burden and break.
If you have a morning practice, I’d love to know more about what works for you!