TAKING YOUR MIND BACK

As soon as I wake up in the morning - I feel my mind start... "what appointments do I have today? Is it cold? What time do I need to leave? I forgot to get milk..."

Can you relate?

One of the first things my teachers taught me when meditating in Sri Lanka was to stop your mind starting as soon as you wake. Very hard to do... but I am now starting to take control, instead of my mind taking control of me. I open my eyes and think about how fortunate I am to have a cosy bed (especially this Winter) and a loving partner next to me. I try and think about the actual moment rather than the meeting I have at 2pm that afternoon. 

 Photo credit: Chantell bianchi

Photo credit: Chantell bianchi

I honestly start to bring my awareness, first thing in the morning, back to my breath. I take a deep breath in as I wake, so my body gets the complete inhale from top to bottom, enjoy the comfort of my pillow and blankets for a second more, before jumping out of bed. 

I'm actually silent prior to my morning meditation. When in Sri Lanka, we were taught to come to the Shala in silence, having no eye contact or morning conversation with a friend and this meant that I didn't speak for almost 4 hours by the time breakfast started at 10am. It was actually very therapeutic, even though it was quite hard at first.

So, even though it's not "no speaking" for 4 hours every morning now back home in Sydney, I try and stay focused prior to my meditation seat with no speech, so no thoughts or chores come creeping into my mind before I start.

If you don't meditate or haven't tried it yet, you can just start your day by focusing on your breath, relaxing into your day and stopping your mind wondering as soon as you open your eyes. The mind is very smart, so try and take control back and arrange it how you want. Your day starts and ends with you and it's a decision you make. You make your choice. Sure, difficult things happen and also days can start off badly... but it's how you deal with it and what you decide you're going to do with it for the rest of the day.