It’s a beautiful morning here in Chicago.
Sure, it rained, but that’s part of living in the Windy City. It comes with weather. It’s kind of like the opposite of Los Angeles in that. Things are messy here, even the sky, and that’s okay. It’s very real, very “not on tape” and very in-your-face about it. The people wear their emotions on their face, sometimes smiling, often not, but never being afraid to make eye contact. They smile back at you though, when you’re brave enough to smile at a stranger.
And that’s what I did as I walked to Walgreens this morning to pick up some Red Bull, a Get Well Soon card for my Poppy, and some much-needed red hair dye.
See, I’m doing today a little differently from the way that I’ve been doing most of my days so far, and as it turns out, the day is already better, and it’s not even 11 am yet. (And yes, that does mean that I still haven’t eaten breakfast. What? I have bad eating habits…)
Today, I’m following some advice that I picked up while I was in the hospital: to try to be fully present where you are… not thinking about other things, but to be absolutely involved in your environment and to interact with it because you are a part of it.
The first, and most important part of being fully present is to Welcome the Day. Well, how do you do that?
How to Welcome The Day
- First, you stretch (and I like to do this part in bed first, and out of bed next): You let yourself feel what it means to be inside your whole body. You reach to the sky as hard as you can, from the tips of your fingers to the tips of your toes digging into the ground. You want to feel your whole soul trying to escape your skin, like your very spirit is going to explode out of you. You have to let yourself get really big to do this! Arms Up! Legs Out! Take up as much space as you can! Twist around and realize that you are part of your environment, and next…
- You stand tall, and proudly, and take a deep breath or two to welcome life-giving air into you. Out with the old, and in with the new.
- Now is a good time for some light physical activity, if you have the energy. Some people like to run or go to the gym. Others like to do yoga. Me, I like to put on 2-3 songs and dance, when I remember to. At the hospital, they even had special morning mixes of songs that they would put on for us to dance to. It’s a really great idea to make yourself some playlists to get yourself going in the morning.
- Next, you go wash up! This could mean a shower or simply washing your face and brushing your teeth — whatever your personal morning ritual for cleaning up is, so long as you do something positive to improve your hygiene and show yourself good self-care.
- And now for breakfast! It’s important to give yourself delicious, healthy food to sustain you throughout the day so that you can be your best self and feel good.
Maybe you haven’t done your dancing for today… I know I haven’t, and I’m about to clean up the house to make it a place in which I want to be present.
Here are some great songs to boogie to, so we can have a great day together!