About a thousand different thoughts about life, love, work and people travel through my mind each day. With more time on my hands than I know what to do with, I spend a lot of it reading and thinking as I roam a new street or ride on bus, train or plane. Much of what I’ve read about “the power of your thoughts” I’ve been experimenting with on this journey. From consistently setting a daily intention when I wake up, to being intensely aware of my natural reactions, and by practicing different ways of expressing gratitude to God and to those around me. Simple practices that I wish I had prioritized more time for in my normal environment. Better now than never.
Yesterday I woke up and as I laid there looking out my window at the big white city-farmhouse across the street, I set my intention for the day: “be positive, be open to what life has in store for you, be patient, be kind to everyone, smile, don’t complain about anything, and be YOU”. Sounds simple, right? For some it might be, but for me, it takes a fair amount of effort to keep my intentions at the front of mind throughout the day.
There were days when I used to wake up and the first thing I would do is reach for my phone to scroll through work emails, sift through social media and start my “to-do” list for the day. I still struggle with the desire to do these things, but I’ve found that having them be a part of my morning routine isn’t adding value to my life (in fact, it has done the opposite). It comes down to the simple difference of push and pull. If you allow technology to push information to you, you have given it the power to shape and influence moments of your life whenever your device is near. Alternatively, if you only pull information when you’re ready to digest it, you’re in control of when and how it influences your day. I’ve been cognoscente of this for quite some time, which is why I keep my phone on silent for most notifications, why I don’t allow social media to send me notifications unless I go into the application, and why I’ve tried to detach from my iphone. But is that really enough? … It was a step in the right direction, but to really see the ripple effects clearly, it took removing myself from my routine environment to answer that question.
The positives of being so intentional are significant:
- You wake up more slowly, pausing to soak in the beauty of the noises, scents and sights that surround. (Well, I’ve done this most days… having slept in 28 different places (beds, planes, trains and busses) in the last 53 days…. a handful have been more along the lines of “WHERE the eff am I? Great, another new bug bite. And OMG I need a shower”).
- You are present in your current environment, which invites a multitude of opportunity to learn, engage, interact and enjoy.
- You appreciate the silence, stillness and peacefulness. So much so, that I find myself needing “me time” in the morning, to read, write, workout or simply sip a cup of coffee.
- When you put good in, good comes out. When I give myself this mental practice, I’m a better me to others. A better friend, daughter, companion, customer, guest, and traveler.
Yesterday, one mantra was particularly on spotlight “be open to what life has in store for you”. I went to have “tea & angels” in Sydney with my old colleagues, meeting many of them face to face for the first time after working together for years over Skype and email. I always knew they were some of the most friendly and genuinely beautiful souls on this planet, but meeting everyone in person was truly something special. Over tea we shared stories, laughs and almond orange cookies. I stayed for the day to help with a small project as I was itching for involvement, and if there is anywhere I want to donate my time to, it’s this group. Turns out being open to where the day would lead, invited a surprise. I was asked if I wanted to volunteer in Nepal next month.
Looking back and connecting the dots, my “angels” cards fit perfect.
Easy does it, there’s no rush. Everything is happening, as it should.
Count your blessings.
Kick up your heels, new opportunity awaits.