Fake it Till You Make It
I remember not that long ago a much different morning that the morning that I cherish now. I owned terrible habits. My work-week days went something like this. I would set the alarm for 6:30 am. Awaken. Push the snooze three times and then third time, begrudgingly shuffle my way out of bed. Stumbling across my bedroom to the shower was the furthest vibe from joyous. After a shower, I would begin to feel the remnants of the day as I quickly gathered my purse to rush out the door. I was totally at war with my mornings. I did not look forward to the enchantment of a life based around renewal and newness! It was an exhausting cloak to wear.
I am living in a different way now. My mornings are loaded with a sweet ease full of habits and rituals that I crave and look forward to. I feel that if I do not get in my morning rituals, that I miss out on something so luscious in my life, that it forces me to be on my best behavior naturally. Dinacharya is a Sanskrit word for self-love rituals. And designing my life around these rituals of sweetness have made my life something that I now am limitlessly thankful for. In Ayurveda, the time between 2 and 6 am is a time of vibrance. Birds begin to sing, the sun is rising, there’s an energy that carries you throughout the day if you can awaken and move by 6:00 am.
I should say that living in the now can set us up for success. Forming habits around uplifting rituals fills the space of pattern based self sabotaging habits, allowing these bad habits to begin to fall away naturally on their own. I will say that this is EXACTLY how it was for me. Much like nature, habits built with ease allow us to continuously change and grow with each season, disallowing too much comfort and stagnation to settle in which tends to block spiritual progress and wellness. The easiest way for something to stick is to allow the space to create the habit to begin with. These rituals have a science behind them. They work.
In the past, many of the things that I cherished was simply unhealthy for me. My beer and wing nights to cope with work stress, was an escape from life. My beating myself up with Kettlebell, although it was a beautiful time in my life to feel my own power, was a bit tough on my joints. I was eating a lot of animal products and greasy style of foods when I went out with friends. All of these things are fine in moderation, maybe, but I have never been a great moderator. I was definitely on a hamster wheel and my drinking was becoming a serious problem for me. At the end of my drinking career, I was drinking at least four nights a week, and the other evenings was spent on recovery. I was a high functioning alcoholic at this point. The thing about alcoholism is, you can see the slippery slope of it all and consciousness begins to whisper to you softly. Especially on mornings that you don’t feel well and despise yourself for not being about to control your intake.
When Yoga was first introduced to the states by Yogananda, his philosophy was, “Continue to do as you do, just keep with the practice.” What practice? The practice of becoming a better version of yourself. This is exactly how it was for me. I never stopped. I just kept practicing. I practice every day. I have not one time stopped this practice for a full day in the last six years. Even when I’m tired, or sad. I get on the mat for fifteen minutes. i have a tea. I aim for early wakeup call. I practice getting to bed early. I breathe. I center. I have many practices to occupy the dark moments. I wanted my wakeup call to be at five am. I began to practice being a morning person. I began to practice being a happy spiritually aligned person. I began to clear the clutter out of my home and out of my mind. I began to live quite differently.
My mornings are much different than they once were. My life is much different. I no longer feel frustrated with people, or irritated. I pick and chose my battles for the most part and the battles have all but disappeared. I have healthy boundaries with people and have a strong awareness of how much time I have in a day to devote to work, personal relationships, and to myself. My favorite part of the morning is opening the window. to sit with my cat, and to watch the remnants of night begin to turn to day. To sit and close my eyes and to immerse myself into this stillness. This space. And to begin to feel a sense of adventure. That I get to be on this earth again. I never know where the morning will take me.