How many of you wake up feeling like crap? What is the first thing you do? Reach for? Is it the Phone? Cigarette? Your mind is never more open and clear than it is upon waking which is why these first few moments have the power to make or break your day. If you’re feeling like crap, there’s a reason.
Rather than reaching for an escape from our reality we need to learn to wake into our reality. Whatever that is. Perhaps we wake to swirling anxious thoughts. Fear. Regret over something we did or didn’t do. Resentment towards someone or a task we have to complete. Sadness. Loneliness. No matter how dark or helpless we feel upon waking, we must wake into it. Whatever it is. It is how living is done. For many of us, we are so used to numbing or escaping our feelings that we’ve never considered why we feel like crap. All we know is we do and we don’t want to so we look for an escape.
The good news is we can control our waking experience. We don’t have to follow old habits and wake into a dark, oppressive, lonely world that we instantly feel we have to escape. We can construct a new world! After all, what is our world but our mind’s relation to it? By changing our mind, we can change our world despite what’s happening around us.
Like a river, our thoughts are in constant flow. We have the power to choose which thoughts stay. If we latch onto to anxiety, anxiety will become our world. Same goes for anger, jealousy, sadness, fear, bitterness, regret and resentment. We become our most dominate thought which is why our mind can either feel like a prison or a door to anywhere. As we learn to wake and stay in the moment we will hear the prison door squeak open and stepping out we will find ourselves in a safe new world.
Next time you wake, don’t escape. In fact, against all of your best judgement, follow each thought all the way down the rabbit hole. Stay with it. Don’t spin off. Don’t click away. When you resist a negative thought or try to distract yourself by going online, you only guarantee the thought will grow in intensity forcing your life to feel even more oppressed and your escape more dramatic. If you stay with the thought, look the thought in the eye, you’ll find the thought will vanish as it only has power when you look away. Don’t look away. Look within. The result will feel like a breath of fresh air. This is the heart of meditation and mindfulness. Now that you’re awake, get up, make a coffee and leap into your life. Enjoy the day that you have created. And if those pesky thoughts return, remember, they are a figment of your own imagination and have no power over you. Besides, you know what to do.