20 Mar
Posted in: Books, Practice
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Mindful Morning

Want to get off to a good start? Try this practice from Emotional Chaos to Clarity, by Phillip Moffitt:

“The practice of starting your day with clarity begins with becoming mindful of what’s true in your body and your mind when you awaken. So while you’re still lying in bed, notice if you feel rested or if you’re still tired. Is your body tense or at ease? What parts of your body are relaxed?

“Next observe your mind and notice whether it is relaxed or tense, quiet or busy. What is it doing? Is it resting, planning, complaining, rehearsing, or remembering a dream? Is it fuzzy or clear? Is it experiencing an emotion such as excitement, dread, or fear? You now know what needs your attention.

“The next step is to use your body or your mind state as an object of contemplation…Maybe you don’t feel rested, or you feel rested but parts of your body are tense, or when you think about your day parts of your body tense up…

“In response to whatever you discover to be true in your body, continue to lie in bed and do a body scan. In a body scan you progressively tense and relax each part of your body as you imagine healing energy moving through it…

“Once you’ve completed your body scan, which can take as little as five minutes or as much as half an hour, turn your attention to what’s going on in your mind…. Is there underlying tension? Is it racing? Jumpy? If so, invite the mind to relax. You can evoke this feeling of relaxation in a number of ways: focus on a soothing memory or image, reflect on something you”re grateful for, or do loving-kindness practice in your mind [send wishes of well-being to those you love]…

“After relaxing your body and mind as best you’re able, the next step in starting your day is to contemplate what lies ahead. First picture the day in your mind. Observe your attitude….When you focus on something that’s difficult or requires a lot of attention, pause, breathe, and allow your body and mind to relax.

“Repeat this process of imagining, noticing, and relaxing until you feel centered. This feeling of centeredness becomes your reference point when you’re actually engaged in the difficult activities you imagined.”

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