Because the start of your day sets up the momentum for the rest of your day, I meditate each morning as a means to cultivate a strong, focused mindset for the rest of my day. Each day is a new start, and a night’s rest clears the mind, enabling you to reorient yourself each morning to prepare for whatever lies ahead of you that day. I’ve dedicated a space in my apartment for morning meditation on one of my yoga mats, which I recently bought from Fabletics. When I am in that space, I practice silencing my mind to become more mindful. I let go of the things that hold me back from being fully present and aware in each moment.
I created my morning meditation journal from a Barnes & Noble sketchbook. I read through the poems/prayers/mantras to reorient my mind for sharper concentration techniques throughout my day. I sketched the title page myself. Sketching, like all works of art, is a form of meditation. The goal of meditation is to place yourself fully in this very moment to become mindful of: yourself, your potential, and your will. You must ask yourself: “What is happening right now?” This may be more difficult than it appears. I’ll share with you some of the entries from my morning meditations journal.
The first step to living in the moment is to examine what rivals your natural ability to simply be yourself and live in this very moment at this very time. Here are ten steps to finding zen, which I’ve come across surfing the web. As you read them, ask yourself if you can challenge yourself to do these things.
Ten to Zen
- Let go of comparing.
- Let go of competing.
- Let go of judgements.
- Let go of anger.
- Let go of regrets.
- Let go of worrying.
- Let go of blame.
- Let go of guilt.
- Let go of fear.
- Have a proper belly laugh at least once a day.
Once you let go of the things holding you back, which is no easy feat, you can try expressing your gratitude to yourself and to the energy within and around you.
Road to Gratitude
I practice gratitude and compassion in all I do.
I give thanks for obstacles and smooth roads too.
I give thanks for challenges that make me grow–
Each one, a new opportunity to accept myself and let negativity go.
I try to align myself with these words. Gratitude and compassion feed each other. I’ve learned that compassion is when sympathy meets love: the love you have for yourself and the love you have for others. When we are compassionate, we practice gratitude. Whenever we practice gratitude, we are one step closer to becoming an agent of compassion in this world. It is easy to be grateful for our good fortune, but we grow from our difficult situations that challenge us to become our best. When we become grateful for obstacles and challenges, we show compassion to ourselves. Show compassion to yourself. Making the best out of an unfortunate situation, makes the best out of you. We must start to appreciate the fullness life.
A Start to Appreciation
I open my eyes to a new day
and whatever next will come my way.
I will receive it with an open heart,
knowing that each day is a new start.
I open my eyes to the little things,
and all the hope that love brings.
I give thanks for this day,
and all the opportunities that come my way.
When we appreciate this moment, we awaken. It is our choice to awaken: our heart, our soul, our love, our compassion, our mind, our most aware self. Awaken your best self.
Awaken in this moment
Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty-four new hours are before me.
I vow to live fully in each moment.
Vow to live fully in this moment– this very moment–right now. Listen to the way your body breathes. Listen so closely that you can feel the beating of your heart. Silence your mind and awaken in this very moment. What does this moment mean to you?
With practice and repetition, meditation becomes familiar and natural. In time, if not immediately, you will find yourself awakened in the moment. You’ve probably lived fully in the moment before. Think back to a happy memory. In that memory, you were fully in the moment. That’s what we choose to remember. It’s how the brain works… we remember moments. Movies put us in the moment. When you’re enthralled in watching a movie: you aren’t doubting yourself nor are you criticizing yourself. When you’re watching a movie you love, your mind only envisions possibilities. You are living within a moment constructed by a talented writer’s inspiration, a director’s unique vision, an actor’s breathtaking performance– that’s what movies are. In that moment, you just are. That is meditation. Here is another one of my morning meditation mantras to put yourself on your path by finding serenity within.
The Path to Serenity
I accept that which I cannot change.
I have the courage to change the things I can.
I have the ability to know the difference.
I have the strength to walk my path.
You truly do have the strength to walk your path. Essentially, that’s what makes it your path– only you are strong enough to walk it. Your path is unique to you; you pave it yourself. Your path may consist of smaller paths that others have already paved by their paving of their own path, it can intersect the path of others, it can lay beside another’s path– but it is still your path. We pave it by each moment we live in fully. The present moment is a gift. You are a gift! With your confidence, you have the power to uplift. Focus your mind and expect to see and be abundant prosperity. Wake up to watch the sun rise. Live in this moment!