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Archive for the ‘Personal Flow’ Category

The smell of fresh coffee beans in the grinder. A hint of sunshine above the treetops. My favorite chair and a quiet house. Weekend mornings are reserved for nurturing my creative soul. Meditation gives way to reading and writing. Sometimes, I relax in my chair and just be. Cozy in my favorite pajamas; a steaming cup of coffee under my nose, and life is as it is meant to be – perfect.

Outside my window, birds are twittering, butterflies enjoy the breakfast bar at bright red flowers, and the cat chatters at the lizards who scurry along the window screen; her hunting instincts longing to capture the prize. I’m just happy there is a window between them or I would be getting lizard lip kisses from her later.

While early mornings on weekdays begin at 5 or 5:30 am, early on the weekend is usually just before sunrise rather than a specific time. If left to it’s natural rhythms, the body knows the brink of sunrise. Weekdays I need an artificial sunrise; on weekends, the body rules.

The benefits of early rising abound – here are my gold stars:

  • Going to bed earlier – your body needs sleep and the only way to be an early riser is to be an early go to sleeper. Most of us really and truly need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. I know, this is nearly impossible for most of us. Sleep research shows that the body uses the hours before midnight for healing and repair. I’ve found, though, that this one change to go to bed between 9:00 and 10:00 has had a measurable positive effect on my overall health and well-being.
  • Alone time – even the most gregarious person needs time alone. Meditate, de-stress, reflect, create – each of us needs time for personal growth and creative pursuits. When my daughters were small, early morning was my only option. At this stage in my life, I have more options for alone time, but still prefer early morning.
  • Time for breakfast – no one argues the benefit of a healthy breakfast. I used to eat grab and go breakfast at my desk. Breakfast was usually interrupted by the first crisis of the day – not great for enjoyment nor digestion. Now I enjoy a healthy breakfast at home as part of my weekday morning routine and start my workday physically and mentally ready for whatever the crisis du jour may be.
  • Punctuality – even just an extra five minutes in the morning can make the difference between running late and getting to where you need to be on time. Have you ever noticed that when you’re running late every traffic light turns red just as you get there or you end up behind the school bus that makes ten stops? When you leave just a few minutes early, that little time cushion changes your entire mind-set. Instead of stressed and hurried vibrations, you tune into calm confidence that you will get there on time – and you usually do.
  • A walk at sunrise or any other form of exercise outdoors. Some mornings are just spectacular. Besides contributing to my body’s health, this practice adds to my mental, emotional, and creative well-being. Whether a bright full moon illuminates transition of midnight blue sky into fringes of daylight, or rays of sunshine pierce clouds in shades of coral, pink, and orange; every morning is unique. The trick is to remain present – allow the thoughts and constant dialogue in your head to keep moving right out on out. Tune in to your heart and emotions to feel and experience the flow of being and belonging to the world. Let nature remind you of the sacredness of life.

I’m sure there are many other benefits from early rising – these are some that bring me to flow and give me a better chance at a glorious day. Now if I could just find some secrets to flow at work…

How about you? What are the gold stars of early rising for you?

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This is Olivia. She looks like an ordinary cat. And yet…

She is a great teacher. Perhaps even another Yoda.

As I was contemplating what to write, I kept shooing Olivia away – I was busy after all. She would have none of that, thank you very much. When I finally listened to her, this was her message.

  1. Now; this moment,  is all we really ever have. How will you choose to spend it?
  2. When someone offers you unconditional love… accept and cherish it.
  3. Cuddling with a loved one is infinitely better than working – or watching TV – or just about anything else that we think we need to do.
  4. Expressing your love for someone else makes you feel purry inside.
  5. The only way to experience flow is to be fully present.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily drama of life and let our minds go spinning out of control with our endless to-do lists. There is just so much to get done! And yet, if we take just a few minutes to slow down and allow ourselves to truly savor the present moment, we can find that contentment and pleasure that is flow.

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