Life. Yoga. Joy.
Inspiring a life with smiles...™
Photo credit Samantha Eve Yoga. Copyright 2019.
Peter Gibbons: Let me ask you something. When you come in on Monday, and you're not feelin' real well, does anyone ever say to you, 'Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays'?"
Do you ever DREAD getting up and out of bed Monday mornings? Not ready to face the day, hitting snooze one more time and then again and again...If so, you are human! We've all been there.
But recently when talking with my yogis I had realized that it had been a while since I felt that way. That for some time now, 99% of my mornings I wake up with joy and even a little excitement at the start of the new day...
So how did I go from having the Monday blues to leaping out of bed?
Several years ago, in the midst of some life chaos, I began a morning ritual which I've kept ever since. In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn't intentionally start this practice, it just happened naturally. However when I realized that I was doing it, and that it worked for me, I conciously continued it.
And it is so simple...Three steps before I ever roll out of bed.
1. Open eyes and smile .
That's literally it. And it works. Here's why:
1. Open eyes and smile.
There was a time when I wasn't sure what the next day would bring, but I was fairly certain it wouldn't be pleasant. My body hurt, my heart was numb, and yet I kept going appearing so positive on the outside so no one would know how I felt.
One day, I woke up just as the sun was rising. I went up to the roof deck of my building and this thought hit me out of nowhere: "There will come a day when I have no more tomorrows."
It was a HUGE moment because I had been so unhappy inside and yet still believed that there was something more to life than what I was experiencing. And suddenly, from that moment on, I decided to treat each day as a gift. So I began the practice of smiling when I opened my eyes because I ALWAYS smile when receiving a gift..
BONUS: According to modern science, when you smile, the contraction of the muscles in your face actually sends a signal to the brain to release endorphins - the feel good hormone!
2. Be grateful.
Okay I get it...sounds SOOOOO CLICHÉ for a yogi to say "Be grateful." However something wonderful shifts in your perspective when you remind yourself of all the things going RIGHT in your life.
And here's the thing, it doesn't even have to be a written list. Literally it can take 30 seconds to do. Heck, if I wake up grouchy, the only thing that may come to my mind at the moment to be grateful for is the fact that I opened my eyes!
But some days, I really could go on and on and one because gratitude isn't limited to what I have or the people in my life but expands out to the whole world. And when you take a moment to pause and reflect on all the amazing things that are in existence that affect you in some way - from trees to foods to the way your body moves to capacity for love and hope to new technology benefiting you to having clean laundry to put on...lol... your ENTIRE PERSPECTIVE changes.
For me, since I started this practice I noticed that I needed less "stuff", and craved more authentic human interactions and experiences because those were the things I felt most thankful for in my life. And so I began to make changes that made space for the people and moments that lifted me up and inspired me to be my best self.
3. Say "Something magic will happen today."
I know it sounds a bit hippie, but hey, look who's writing this piece for you! (A warrior princess of a singing dancing yogi who's original nickname was "Tinkerbell")
Seriously though, something truly wonderful happens EVERY DAY that I do this practice. Sometimes it is MOMENTOUS, like getting an opportunity to go to GREECE for a yoga convention. Other times it is more subtle, like making a new friend randomly as I walk through town, or simply having someone smile back when we pass each other on the street.
Feel free to sub out the word "magic" for any other positive adjective too. However the point is if you go into your day EXPECTING it have beautiful moments, you WILL be OPEN to finding and receiving them when they happen.
The best part of all of this is it literally takes less than five minutes to do, yet greatly affects the feelings of positivity that exist now in my life. And this subtle shift in my routine, and in my expectation for the day, was just the first of many steps to transforming my life into one that is filled with joy.
And if that's not a reason to want to jump out of bed, then I don't know what is...
What is your morning routine my tribe? You know I LOVE to hear your stories...
This is my yoga.
Samantha Eve, a