I have a beautiful old Nepali street dog name Buddy. He rarely barks, doesn’t jump on people, never growls (only at cats) and has the best temper I’ve ever seen in a dog (and in many humans for that matter). Buddy is a fluffy perfectly imperfect senior street dog who is loved by many.
Buddy and I have a very strange connection. We are two old souls that found each other again in this lifetime. We understand, respect, long and love one another.
Ever since we moved to Amman, Jordan, my tasks related to Buddy have changed, meaning that I have to spend more time with him and walk him several times a day.
Our morning walks are scheduled in my daily routine. I make a real effort not to skip them, even if I have a busy day ahead. However, many times I’ve had to apologize to him for not being patient or tolerant enough when I’ve felt rushed.
Up to a few of months ago, I would start my mornings with my alarm clock (on my phone) and I’d check my phone right away while still in bed. I couldn’t wait to find out about all the news from my friends abroad, check my instagram account and even read the news. By the time I got out of bed, I already felt rushed and with little time to eat, get ready, walk Buddy and drive to the gym. It was only 9 a.m. and I felt irritated, stressed out and short of patience.
One day I decided to do things differently in order to feel better. I remember my dear Japanese friend who mentioned that she wouldn’t check her phone anymore on her way to work, and instead, she would listen to music or read. Hearing that made me realize that I too, could disconnect from the digital world in the morning and enjoy my mornings more.
I cannot tell you enough how much things have improved for me by making these simple changes; but, above all, Buddy is a happier, more relaxed dog when he goes out for a walk. His momma is too!
1 - Wake up to soft music (no lyrics) or to a guided meditation
I set up my phone on airplane mode the night before, so that when I wake up, I don’t see all the messages chats when I open my eyes. Having a smooth way to start the day sets the tone for my mornings. The right tone, that is.
2 - Drink water with lime juice and eat a simple home-cooked breakfast
Planning a hearty meal the night before helps me spend less time in the kitchen. I love preparing this recipe for overnight oats with almond butter and frozen cherries ahead when I know I will need a good meal for my busy mornings. Having an idea of what I will eat the next morning shortens the time it will help me search for and prepare a healthy meal.
3 - Meditate in a quiet space
Do you have a home office, a spare room or a balcony where you can close your eyes and breathe calmly? I turned a guest bedroom into my office / meditation room. I have an altar with candles and incense and next to it, I have my laptop with all my guided meditations. Closing my eyes and sitting on a cushion immediately brings a sense of calm, especially when I’m not feeling grounded. I close the door and close my eyes for 10 min. The person who walks out of that room is much calmer and grateful than the one I was when I walked in.
4 - Get dressed for your first activity of the day
In my case, I start each morning with exercise. I try to leave the clothes ready that I will use to go to the gym the night before. Having one less thing to worry about is better for me.
5 - Switch YOUR phone ON once you’re ready to walk out the door
Once I have eaten, meditated, gotten dressed and walked Buddy, I am ready to turn on my phone and leave my home. I don’t always respond right away to the people that wrote overnight or early that morning
If you’re a mom and you’re wondering how you could do this in case you need to be reached right away, consider providing your landline to teachers, other moms and friends that could potentially call you. That way your mind is at ease knowing that if someone important needs to call you, there’s a way to do it.
In this era when we are telling ourselves that we need to respond right away to all the forms of communications we receive like instant messaging and social media, it is useful to know that it is not mostly the case and that digital life can wait. First we take care of ourselves, then we can show up to the world, calmer and more grounded.
I hope you find this post useful. I can’t tell you how much more time and patience I have now. I’m not caught up in reading or responding emails, my mind is not getting cluttered with news and messages. I can also focus on doing my volunteer work and walk with Buddy in a more pleasant and calm way.
There’s a huge emotional shift when I don’t feel rushed. I am better to Buddy and to myself. That’s the way I want to start my days!
What about you? Are there some tips you would like to share on how to start your mornings in a calmer more mindful way? Would love to hear and learn from you.
Thank you for being here! Namaste.