I am learning almost daily, that living life single has benefits and deficits and living life with others has wonders to behold and empty spaces to cause shivers.
Walking down the upstairs hallway from my bedroom to my bathroom first thing this morning, hair disheveled and bare feet cold on the hardwood floor, I thought: I like my life! Walking from second floor to first floor, down carpeted steps that keep my feet warm and watching the living room I created over a couple of years ago appear before me I thought: I love my home!
For a long while after Clo died, getting up to start a day each morning was a huge task. Getting out of a warm bed to face a cold alone day felt dreary and unending and big and uncomfortable. Filling all of that empty space felt impossible. No longer is that true. I have the formula I use for that change, to share with anyone who finds facing a day an almost insurmountable chore.
First and foremost there has to be a reason, a reason that works, makes sense and calls ones spirit, to get up in the morning. If absolutely NOTHING is happening, why bother?! So, I plan something for every day even if it is as simple as watching a video on my desk top to learn something about mindfulness.
Sometimes for me it is having clients, sometimes it is because the people who help me with cleaning and repairs are coming and I get to talk with them. Often times it is walking Aimee and looking for someone to say a simple hello to at the cemetery. Always for me it includes writing, often times writing gratitudes. Even on the most dreary of days there is one thing, frequently 3 things, to be grateful for.
That planning has to happen the day before today and you must genuinely put your mind and heart and intention into finding something and setting it up for yours: Today I have already on the schedule one thing…..or more….but one is a good start when nothing feels like what you prefer to be doing. Then when I am still in bed, trying to figure out how I can call up the courage to fling the warm blankets off my still sleep cocooned body, I think of one small thing that I am going to do immediately that gives me pleasure after addressing necessary issues in the bathroom.
Two things come to my mind, actually three now that winter is approaching: turn on the radio to classical music, and make a cup of coffee. The third is turn up the thermostat. Okay, getting started now. Next is to focus on one thing that I love that is in my home. A vase, a picture, a particular cup to hold the coffee, a view out my window, a card I received in the mail. I let my heart receive the pleasure of a possession and what it means to me.
Often it is a special cup my friend Joanie made for me, or a picture Clo and I had framed that we bought on our travels together, or a flower I picked up while getting groceries, or a card someone sent ages ago and I still keep.
Get it? Find any little or big thing that brings positive energy into your soul. You can do that. Intentionally every single day push away the drearies and insist on noticing something good or lovely or precious. The next thing I do, warm cup of coffee I likely will not drink cupped in my two hands, is to go to the computer and begin to make email connections. A BIG part of getting my day started: Is there anybody out there who knows I am here? Does anybody really care? Yes of course. I simply need to reach out.
Texting can work as well. Some of you Face Book or Twitter. Getting up when getting up feels nearly impossible to do, and connecting with friends is smart and healthy thinking. Just don’t do only that all day long.
By the time I have written a couple of emails and had a few sips of delicious coffee and am thinking about needing to have clothes on that mean the day has begun, I am moving into this now day of my life. A perfect time to write to myself or someone else at least 5 things I am grateful for in my life at the moment.
This is exactly the routine I have created for myself over the last while. And it works! By this time I am looking forward to getting Aimee out, you should consider doing some kind of exercise, and life is on its way. I truly have successfully set aside the doldrums and embrace energy and contentment via a daily positive routine that I can count on from myself.
I invite you to give this thoughtful consideration. You don’t necessarily have to be single to try out these suggestions. But I do think those of us who wake up one, need to be intentional about starting our day. When we wake up two or more, things often times are already arranged for us.
We CAN change our hard wiring. We CAN influence our brain. We CAN make a difference, a positive joyful difference in the quality of our life. It isn’t even difficult to do nor is it all that different than what we already know. We just have to let our brain remember what our heart really knows: that being positive is far preferable to being grumpy and glum and weary and dark. We must remind ourselves that shift can happen through regular intentional changes in our attitude. We don’t have to wait until we want to do something different. Simply begin and repeat,gratitudes, appreciations, something positive about yourself and your life, day after day, several times every day. Eventually it all adds up.
Neuroscience, brain research, developmental psychologists are teaching us that what the Chinese have known for thousands of years is true. We can change our brains, we can use our mind to make us healthy and content, even happy. We can think ourselves into bliss and divine peace is truly ours if we are willing to be mindful, intentional and conscious.
You don’t have to be single to make positive changes in your life. AND single people don’t have to have a partner to be happy. We all need connection and intimacy and regard. We can create that from the inside Self and from the world and people and animals around us.
Hugs, love, peace and joy. I wish it all for myself and for you. Nancy