In the past I would get up in the morning, and like a horse race when the gun goes off, I would begin my daily to do list. The goal was to get as many things done as possible and deal with everything else that came my way successfully. What I realized was, as quickly as things were checked off, more things were added. The to do list was never ending.
I can’t honestly say I don’t have a “to do” list anymore. I am quite the list maker. However, I have incorporated some new choices into my morning and evening routine. I now check in with myself regarding my choices and what those choices are creating in my life.
I begin each day asking myself how I feel. If I feel good or peaceful, I take a moment to appreciate that. If something is bothering me, I take the time to write it out, to clarify what I’m feeling. Then I ask myself two questions;
1. How would I prefer to feel and what is the smallest thing I could do to start moving in that direction today?
2. What do I intend for my day? This isn’t really so much about what I’m going to do. It’s about HOW I’m going to do it. What attitude do I consciously choose to bring to my day? Some days I might want to move through my day in kindness or pay special attention to being patient. Perhaps on a day off I might want to bring a more relaxed or playful attitude. My thought is to take a moment to reflect on what I might create throughout my day with my attitude. Without taking the time to figure out what I’m intending, it’s easier for me to unconsciously slip into worry, judgment, impatience or anger.
At the end of my day I take a moment to see if my day was reflective of my intention. If not, without judgment of myself or anyone else, why not, what happened? What might I do differently next time? I think about what I gave to others and what I received. Kind or unkind on this day, I bless everyone involved and myself.
This practice of checking in with myself evolved overtime, starting with 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening. Overtime, this brought more peace to my life so I decided to allow more time. There is now a richness to my days that I didn’t have before. I find myself increasingly aware of my thoughts, words, feelings and actions. It feels like I’m watching myself as I’m speaking to someone else. I find myself observing, am I being kind regardless of the other person’s choice? Are my thoughts without judgement? Am I stating clearly and in the best way possible what I mean to say?
If the idea of checking in with yourself sounds appealing, why not start experimenting with something that feels good to you? If you’d like, you can start with my process or better yet, choose something that feels more like you. Consider allowing yourself to be flexible as you mold it into something just right for you. On a more practical level, as one of my clients mentioned, we can just ask ourselves what’s working, or feeling good, and what’s not?
“Don’t become too preoccupied with what is happening around you. Pay more attention to what is going on within you.” – Mary Francis Winters
With love, Jackie