I start my mornings the same way pretty much every day. I get up, eat breakfast, sit through an episode or two of whatever show I’m watching, then have a quick work out and jump in the shower. I like to take my time if I can, it’s a peaceful little ritual I have all to myself and I like the structure of it. The sameness is soothing.
But on Tuesday morning last week, I tried something different. I sat on the sofa, facing out of the window and listened to ‘A Practice to Start the Day Well’ with Tamsin on The Heart Movement App. It was one of the practices in the beginner section so felt like a good place to start.
I’ve mentioned before that I have a habit of falling asleep during guided meditation, but I didn’t have that problem during this practice, despite being so tired. Keeping my eyes open helped me stay awake, but added to distraction. I found myself watching magpies out of the window, which was lovely, but not what I was supposed to be doing.
It was nice to spend the first few moments after waking up with my own thoughts, even if they were wandering all over the place.
Tamsin talked me through taking notice of my breath in different parts of my body, and paying attention to parts of myself that I wasn’t holding right or not allowing to move with my breath. It was a short practice, only seventeen minutes, but it was nice to spend the first few moments after waking up with my own thoughts, even if they were wandering all over the place.
I still felt like falling back asleep afterwards, but got on with the rest of my usual morning routine anyway. I’d had a tense conversation with a friend the night before and was hoping that I might be able to use the practice to let that go, but I was still anxious about it until I talked it through with them.
What I have found is that two or three times since Tuesday morning, I’ve heard a little voice in the back of my head during more stressful moments, reminding me to check in with my breath. I’ve taken moments to put a hand on my chest and feel the air moving my lungs and then started working on something else.
It’s not been earth shattering, or life changing, but it’s a nice indicator when something isn’t clicking, to just change the thing I’m doing, instead of reaching for my phone. It’s definitely not worked every time; I have taken mindful breaths and then continued to scroll through twitter for another thirty minutes, but it’s certainly a starting point.
This is part 4 of a series entitled ‘A Sceptic’s guide to entering the World of Mindfulness’.