Your Morning Practice #4: Ground Your Actions in Reality
In Part 4 of Your Morning Practice, we’ll look at the fourth and final human system – the Body, the home of your senses and your actions. We’ve looked at the Mind, the Spirit and the Heart in this series so far. Now, we’ll explore in more detail new elements that specifically relate to the body.
And I’ll bring together all 10 elements to complete the picture of the perfect morning practice for your personal growth.
Your Body and the World: Input / Output
Your physical connection with the world has two directions: input and output. Through your senses you experience the world around you and receive information in five different ways: sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. Through your actions you act in that world and have an impact on your environment. Your physical body is as indispensable to your experience of the world – and to the world’s experience of you – as the Internet is to your work in it.
Your work with your body is to awaken your senses and to ground your actions in reality to keep focused toward the goals you most want to achieve. To bring these two things together requires you to raise your awareness and link it with strategic thinking and action. These two elements of your personal development practice help you do that:
“Keep your mind where your body is.” These words, said to me by an 85-year-old Buddhist I met in Sri Lanka, say it all to me. I’ve been doing a simple 15-minute yoga practice every morning for 35 years, and that is why. Yoga has kept my body flexible and strong and it brings my mind and spirit together in my body every morning. Just try it for a week and see how you feel. As I mentioned last week, there are dozens of apps you can use at home.
As you develop your practice, you will begin to have more and more ideas flood in, including action steps you know you need to take during the day or the week. This is a place in your journal to note them down. You can then transfer them to your weekly planner, but here you have a record that you can go back to see all the things you’ve achieved in one place, as well as things you might have forgotten, in the context of what inspired them.
As we come to the close of this series, it’s a fitting time talk about the close of the day.
Last week you learned to end your day with Gratitude. The Question is one final step to take before you turn off the light.
It’s well known that the subconscious mind is a highly intelligent, automatic system that keeps everything in your body working smoothly with no thought on your part. It is also known that its power can be directed by your conscious mind toward what you need help with. So the last moment before you fall asleep is the perfect time to give it instructions. Author and screenwriter Ray Bradbury said it this way: “Relax the mind. Delegate the problem to the subconscious.” Then spend a little time listening for the answer in tomorrow morning’s Aha! time.
So let’s pull this series all together now. We’ve looked at 10 elements you can use to build your perfect morning practice to feed your mind, body, spirit and heart for a productive day. It goes without saying that I encourage you to use these elements in any way that works for you. But in general your daily practice will include these steps:
10 Steps to an Effective Morning Practice
- Begin your day with mindful meditation.
- Listen to a recording of your affirmations.
- Practice yoga or stretching for 15 minutes.
- Download and pivot negative thoughts/feelings in your journal.
- Record insights from your subconscious into last night’s question.
- Read and study an inspirational book and record any insights from your reading.
- Write out your vision for the day, the week, for or a specific problem or project.
- List any specific actions to take this day or week.
- Reflect on your day and list five things to be grateful for at the end of the day.
- Write a single question to delegate to the subconscious while you sleep.
This is a DIY design-your-own process. As long as you nourish all four systems – mind, spirit, heart and body – with some blend of these elements, you will set yourself up for a beautiful day every day and years of long-term success. In my morning practice I’ve developed a format that works really well for me. I open up my journal and on the full two-page spread I create this structure.
Here is a template I’ve created based on what works for me. Please feel free to download it, print it out and use it as is, modify it, or re-create in your journal to keep track of your day-by-day discoveries.
FREE TEMPLATE DOWNLOAD: MyMorningPracticeTemplate
Every one of the elements contributes to the feeding of your mind, balancing your emotions, igniting imagination and focusing your actions for today and beyond. To give yourself this time each morning is a gift that will keep giving you your best… all day long and for years to come.
You are the center of your creative Universe. Let me know what you discover!