My one word for 2020 is transform. 365 days seems like a long time to make some significant strides, but nearly six months into this year I feel like I haven't positively transformed much about myself other than my geographical location. Moving was a huge, life-changing event for our family. It has certainly taken some time to adjust to our new home. Coupled with the past few months of uncertainty and upheaval due to Covid 19, I have found myself feeling a little derailed during this year of transformation.
I've had a book sitting on my bookshelf for several months just waiting for me to be brave and crack it open. Last week was the week I decided to set aside my fear. I consumed it in just a few days and am really motivated to take what I learned and apply it to my daily life.
Today I set my alarm clock for 6:15 and began my Miracle Morning routine. I have to tell you, I feel incredibly empowered and free after a morning of focusing on my own personal growth. I have been struggling with depression and anxiety for several years and while my desire to create some positive change in my life has been there, the will to do so has not. I deeply feel like this is my time to create a habit that will not only be beneficial to me, but for my whole family as well.
I know, I know, it's only day 1. As with all new experiences, the struggle will be sticking with it. Setting an alarm is not something I have done much since I had children. The kids have been my alarm clock for as long as I can remember, but is that really the best way to start the day? Perhaps one of my greatest mistakes during these incredibly trying past five years has been depriving myself of the time to mentally prepare for the day.
How would I have created that daily habit, though, after spending many nights being woken up multiple times and barely able to drag myself out of bed because I had to? How could I have set an alarm to rise before the children when their wake up times were so inconsistent? I could live in the cycle of "what ifs," but I now know dwelling on the past will not achieve anything. I can only focus on the present and what I do moving forward.
While life around our house is often unpredictable, it is a given that my days are filled with more stress and challenging moments than the average stay at home mother. I am raising exceptional children and often feel like I spend a portion of each day unsuccessfully navigating a home filled with landmines. We can go from having a really great day to an epic disaster in the blink of an eye. The big emotions. The obsessiveness. The inflexibility. It all adds up and takes a toll on my physical, mental, and emotional health.
But today is different. As I start my day homeschooling the kids, I feel so much calmer. My amygdala is not in a fight or flight state and it's 9:00. This in itself is a miracle. It is difficult for me to explain how the simple act of purposefully sitting in silence for 5 minutes this morning enveloped me in such peace I actually feel relaxed. For five minutes I sat and listened to the wind rustle the leaves on the tree and the birds chirp while I repeated this phrase while deeply breathing, "I breathe in peace. I breathe out love."
I'll be honest, when I started I thought there was absolutely NO WAY I could get my mind to stay focused on being still and not drift off every few seconds to the million thoughts typically racing through my brain. I sat on the couch on my lanai, criss-crossed my legs, shut my eyes and gave it my best. I was shocked when I opened my eyes to find 4 minutes had passed. I resumed my position and sat still for another minute and when I opened my eyes for the last time, I truly felt at peace. I was calm. It was amazing.
There are five other components of the Miracle Morning, but today I feel that my greatest takeaway was how important those five minutes of silence were to my overall mental state. The greatest gift I can offer you today is the heartfelt recommendation to give this a try tomorrow. Start small. If you have a racing mind, choose a phrase you can repeat on your inhaled and exhaled breaths. It could be as simple as, "I love my children. I can do this."
If you've never heard the book you can find it on Amazon (of course!). I have linked it here: The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (By 8:00 A.M.)
Sometimes we can get in a rut. Maybe it's just a few days. Maybe it's a few years or beyond. Whatever the case, there is a way out. It will take hard work, tapping into some uncomfortable feelings and realizations about yourself, and some cooperation from those who live in your house, but I truly feel like we owe it to ourselves to take time for personal growth in an effort to live our best life. Our success will not solely be for our benefit. It will pour over into our relationships with our spouse or partner, children, extended family, and social circle, which will lead to a happier, more fulfilled life all the way around.
There is not better time to start than now. What are you waiting for?