Tuesday, November 02, 2010

RISE UP SINGING: 9 Ways to Subtly Change Your Consciousness

DSCN1915, originally uploaded by patryfrancis.

This is something I've experimented with for a while. For it to work, you have to do all nine in the first hour after you wake up. If that sounds onerous, it's not. Most of these can be accomplished in a minute or less, and I personally guarantee that if you practice them, they will change the quality of your day.

1. Express gratitude. Whether to God or to the universe, to the person waking up beside you in the bed, or to the sun that has graciously agreed to light another day, let your first words be "Thank you." And if things haven't exactly been going your way, and gratitude feels strained, say it twice. Say it louder.

2. Don't just avoid toxic people who diminish and deplete. Be the antidote. Say something honestly affirming to everyone you encounter in your first waking hour.

3. Organize something. It doesn't have to be much. This morning, I picked up the shoes that had been scattered in the family room and made my bed. My "random act of order" took about three minutes, but it made me feel like an organized person. The sub-conscious mind took note, and looked for little ways to create order all day.

4. Do a one minute workout. Set a kitchen timer and do one minute of crunches or pushups or bicep curls. Will it change your body significantly? Probably not. But it will change it a little. And like the organization thing, it communicates to your sub-conscious that you are a person who is committed to fitness.

5. Make a promise to yourself. Vow not to say a single unkind thing all day, or to do a good deed without taking credit for it, or to keep working on something you care about for fifteen minutes after you want to quit or to avoid your favorite junk food. The only rule is you have to change the promise every day. Otherwise, it quickly turns into an empty "resolution," and we all know what happens to those.

6. Beautify something. Put a table cloth on your table or a pick some flowers and fill a vase. Get out of your sweats (if you work at home like me) and dress like you're about to have a very important day. And if you can't think of anything else, you can always smile. Voila! Instant beauty.

7. Be awed by something. Take in the florid sunrise if you get up early enough, or the shape of the cumulus clouds overhead or the chirping happy sound of a child's voice. The truth is there aren't seven wonders in the world; there are an infinite number of them. If you can live through a single hour without feeling amazed, you're only half awake.

8. Practice Mountain Pose for thirty seconds. Or as your mother used to say, stand up straight--preferably before a mirror. Get your body into perfect, regal alignment for a minute, and experience how balanced and sleek and wonderful it feels. You will probably forget and fall into your habitual slouch later, and that's okay. Slowly, slyly, you just may teach your body a new way to be.

9. Take one small step toward a long term goal. Maybe you have to go to work, or you need to get seven children dressed for school, or the dog ate your homework, but if you ever want to run that marathon, or write that novel, learn to fly a plane or speak Chinese, you need to set yourself on course by doing one small thing toward that goal every single day. First thing. Take out your running shoes and set them by the door for later. Look over what you wrote the day before while you're having your coffee...practice your aria in the shower.