When My Mornings Started Changing My Life

According to Ayurvedic philosophy, choices that you make regarding your daily routine either build up resistance to disease or tear it down and the way you start your day is incredibly important because it is an opportunity to set your intentions for that whole day.

Having Fibromyalgia makes my mornings the most difficult part of the day. I physically cannot sleep more than 7 hours even if I really wanted to because the longer I sleep the stiffer and more painful my body gets. This is how my mornings used to be:

I literally dealt with  stay up really late and sleep in till the last possible moment. Waking up was painful, if I hoped out of bed within the first minute or so of waking up the whole room gets blurry and I get nauseous and feel like throwing up.

When I finally got the stability to get up, my entire body is stiff and in pain. Extra inflammation in my muscles may have been caused by processed foods I ate the day before and I am definitely not happy.  I can put both feet behind my head but in the mornings I can barely bend half way to my toes. I used to mindlessly wake  up and the the first thing I did was turn on my computer and probably go straight to my email or facebook.

I wasn’t mindful of anything in my body, didn’t notice the weather, and never even thought to take 5 minutes to ask myself “How do I feel today?” and sit with that. Doing these simple things in the morning allows me to come to terms with how I feel- weather it’s good or bad, and allows me to acknowledge that that these feelings are temporary, as all things are.

Creating this awareness instills a responsibility in making every moment count so that I feel the way I want to feel, and there are no excuses for having a “bad morning”. I don’t have time for that shit. Nobody does.

Now, I get up anywhere between 7:00 am – 8:00 everyday, (it varies because I don’t use an alarm). I’ve trained my body to just do this on its own but it ultimately depends on how much sleep I got the previous night.

Getting out of bed takes about 10 mindful minutes to wake up all the muscles in my body. Practicing yoga has taught me how to isolate my muscles and awaken them one at a time. I wiggle my toes, twist my ankles in circles, flex by calf bones (one at a time) and flex in my knees and thigh muscles. I begin bending my back, extending my neck and flexing my arms. This feels lovely.

Once I am ready to actually get up I do not go on any social networking sites, I do not look at my phone or even turn on the music. If it’s not too cold outside, I will go out to my balcony (where I have my yoga mats and a peaceful meditation corner) sit for a few minutes.

This is more practical if I even set a distinct time like “at 7:55 I will sit for 5 full minutes and do nothing.” I try not to talk to any of my housemates and just worry about myself. In this state, I can really hear the ocean calling back at me and the birds singing in the palm trees.

Depending on the morning, and how my body feels, at this time I sometimes pack a small bowl — not enough so that i actually really get HIGH but enough that my muscles don’t feel so stiff anymore.

Sometimes I’ll do a “mind dump” and write all the things that are on my mind in an effort to tangibly and actively clear my mind. If it turns to be a list of intentions I’d like to follow through with I keep it. If it turns out to be things I wanna let go of, I burn it. ( I have large candles and glass bowls here too) Then I do a few Sun Salutations appreciating and honoring where I am in this moment, because despite ALL that I’ve been through, I’m still HERE.

Taking time to do these things in the morning cultivates mindfulness, a sense of patience and self- discipline, and an appreciation for myself.
NOW my day begins…..