Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

An inquiry came from a listener to Steve Maraboli’s Empowered Living Radio show –  “How do you keep yourself authentic?”

I’ll elaborate on my reply.  It will immediately sound counter to all that I have to say about “begin as if it were on purpose,” and “live with intention,” but here goes.

I begin every day on auto pilot.  Yep.  It’s true.  My innovation, extraordinary productivity and fresh creativity comes from HABIT. EVERY MORNING is begun, essentially,  on auto pilot because I am committed to a routine that roots me in my mission and purpose for the rest of the day.  Wanna know?  Okay.

Most mornings it is cold in our house so I wake, snuggle the covers or my husband for warmth.  I invite myself, in this way to accept the invitation to the waking world.  While I savor a cup of coffee (generally delivered to me by my loving husband, although sometimes I make it myself) I select my life log, current guide book, meditation book a pen and my iPhone.  

I write everything in my life log that I remember of significance (that I remember) from the day before.  Events that stand out, lessons learned, joys and challenges encountered, conquered or observed, friends with whom I connected.  I usually write with a pen that was a gift from a special friend.  Even in that choice I begin to connect to my gratitudes in the day.

Next – I open my chosen meditation book and arbitrarily pick a phrase.  This year I’m using Thomas Merton’s edited/collected works called THE BOOK OF HOURS and today’s phrase was, “Breathe God’s Air.”  I write that at the top of today’s log page (which I will fill in tomorrow morning).  

After that!  I reach for my current “guide book.”  I’m honored that, for many people, this role is filled with one of my books!  This year I’m using a gift from a friend (don’t lots of our best books come to us that way?) A YEAR OF LIVING CONSCIOUSLY by Gay Hendricks.  Serendipitously, today’s reading was about breathing in the air of our own miracles.  (see “breathe God’s Air” above).  

Next I play a word puzzle.  It’s just challenging enough to get my cognitive motor going but accessible enough that most days I can complete it.  This helps me model a feeling of success and accomplishment which I bring into my day. And on the days I can’t solve the word puzzle – I use the exercise as a point of instruction. On those days I am cautious to be tender with difficult tasks and avoid doing things that involve a lot of numbers or putting complex pieces of information in columns!  

Almost done with my auto-pilot morning – I move to my Facebook news feed.  I connect with my friends and allow myself to feel the gratitude that I know so many incredible, truly fine people.  THEN…my feet hit the floor. The whole routine I’ve described takes between fifteen and twenty minutes.  And they are some of the most important minutes of my day. After that morning investment:   my auto pilot is switched off and I am ready for the jigs, jags and turns of the road that accompany the path of any day.  

David Campbell said, “Discipline is just remembering what you really want.”  This discipline, this practice that I do, without exception, every morning, connects me to my authentic core. 

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