Morning is my favorite part of the day. I have always loved the feeling of looking forward to the day. To me, it feels like being surprised—like not knowing what’s in store and still being tremendously excited about what may come. The early hours of the morning are a time when you can appreciate the quiet around you for yourself and by yourself. I have always been an early riser, and I’ve been able to keep these magical, mystical hours just for myself. And as a result, I get a lot done in the quiet hours of the morning. My reflections, my exercise, and my meditation are all very important because they help me maintain my equilibrium and enable me to face anything, good or bad, that comes my way.
I like starting my day by feeling gratitude while I'm still in bed. As soon as I wake up, I continue to lie in bed with my eyes closed and think of all the things in my life that I am grateful for—my family, friends, my writing, the books and ideas buzzing inside my head, my good health, the continued health of my family. I have found that feeling gratitude not only helps me to feel good at once, but it helps me live in the present and builds my strength to see me through challenging situations.
Next, I get out of bed and begin my morning exercise. My routine varies as I try to keep it interesting and some days, I go for a thirty-minute walk or a jog in the park. I am more of an outdoorsy kind of girl and prefer the smell of the fresh, morning air surging through my lungs and listening the morning birdsong instead of music on my headphones. There’s just no comparison or choice for me between being out in a park or at the gym. Nature is a great motivator for me and encourages me to think clearly and see all things in their proper place and perspective.
Choosing to exercise in nature either with a walk or a jog serves a twofold purpose for me. It triggers the right side of my brain and taps into those parts that make me more creative and think more laterally. All my ideas, whether to write or to connect with people and events around me happen during this part of the day. The physical benefits of morning exercise are also fantastic. Not only does this kickstart my focus, it also kicks my metabolism and mood into high gear. After a good workout, I feel every part of my body bursting with life and vigour. It’s such a wonderful feeling that I often feel I don’t know how to express it in words. I would highly recommend you make exercise part of your daily morning routine to understand what how great it feels.
What I do immediately after coming back and freshening up is to meditate. It was not easy at first, and the first time I sat down to meditate, I was more conscious of my surroundings, more distracted than ever with my mind racing in all possible directions. This seemed to me in stark contradiction to what I was meant to be doing—just being quiet and sitting in calmness with a well-ordered mind. Initially, I would fight the thoughts distracted me, try to push them away only to discover more and more thoughts emerging from the ones I was suppressing.
As it turned out, my meditation was as stressful as my working hours that stressed me out. Every morning, I started the day with me battling my mind. But slowly, I began to let go, to allow my thoughts to wander and then bring them back, gently and without judgment, to the point of focus. I became an observer to my thoughts, let them pass through my mind without fighting them. I continued with this routine till gradually I got a hang of it and my mind realised that if it could no longer distract me from and cause chaos, I’d finally managed to live in harmony with and deal with the multitude of thoughts racing through my mind. Meditation has now become an activity I look forward to in order to be able to deal with the gamut of events and emotions that the day will almost certainly bring.
So, dear reader, pick a minimum of three things you like doing and begin your day with those activities. Ensure that exercise for both for your mind and body is part of these and you will see yourself having better and better days, every day. Make the best of your mornings and be thankful for them, because they are a beautiful sign of how life starts anew daily, an indication of how light always transcends the darkness.