What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?
- Embracing life
- Hiding under the covers
- The work you love
- How to call in sick
- Yoga class
- Coffee and donuts
- Loved ones
- The bathroom scale
Yes, how we wake up and our first thoughts can tell us a lot about how yesterday was, how our day will be, but more importantly about our state of being and health. Whether we bound out of bed singing sunny songs, slide out on the “wrong side of the bed” into a foul mood, pull the covers tightly (when every side of the bed seems wrong), or sit on our bed’s edge waiting for some motivation to spur our achy body on — mornings are a telling part of our health journey.
My mom used to come in every morning with a glass of OJ, piece of buttered toast, a flip of the light switch and a “Good Morning” song. As a child, I loved this. As a teen I dreaded it. And now, there are days I wish my 77 year old mom would drive over and greet me with breakfast (gluten and dairy-free now, of course) and a cheerful serenade just to get me to embrace my day. As a “health choreographer” you would think I’d have figured it all out, every morning would be a ray of sunshine and I would jump out of bed with healthy enthusiasm. But even I have the struggles of chronic illness, caring for a special needs child, daily aches and pains and self doubts. There are mornings when I know that just looking in the mirror will bring back unwanted old “tapes” from the past and I will have to work on reminding myself of my worth and beauty. But friends, this is part of being human. Because then there are days when all I see is the sunshine through the clouds, hear only my children’s laughter and focus on all the beauty in nature around me — and on those days I can remember why I love being alive. And I have grown to appreciate and learn from the grumpy mornings, the days I want to stay in bed, and the ones where I start out self-judging from the get-go.
So, what is your morning story? Why don’t you take advantage of what your body is telling you in the first moments of your day (especially the ones that aren’t so good) and ask it questions –it would really like to educate you!
Practice Exercise: (You fill in the blanks)
“Because” Questions: This morning I am ____________ because___________?
- Sluggish because I stayed up too late, didn’t eat enough yesterday, last night’s binge…?
- Achy because I didn’t drink enough water, took five aerobics classes, am afraid of eating good fat….?
- Grumpy because I am working too much, not happy in my relationship, need more fun, angry at my bathroom scale…?
- Sad because I don’t feel worthy, won’t let myself eat fun food, hate my job…?
Then take inventory of what your body needs you to do to feel better. It might be as simple just adding healthy fat or more food to your day, eating regular meals, moving your body more, exercising less, or throwing away your scale. It could be as big as eliminating a negative person from your life, changing careers or getting real on how to love your body more. You might even need to talk to someone, a trusted friend, spiritual counselor or a health/life coach who can be your sounding board. You may find journaling your concerns and desires a way to let go of the toxins and fears that hold you captive.
What ever it is, look into it.
Next time you wake up, listen to what your body is telling you and ask it what it needs!
The Health Choreographer