4 Mindful Ways to Start Your Day
That’s the article title I clicked on, rolling my eyes as I did so. Already anticipating the usual suspects. The cliche recommendations that are constantly written about in mindfulness or self help articles.
And guess what? It was exactly as I had expected.
Don’t check your phone right away. Do a mental check in. Set an intention. Be present during your morning routine. Etc. Etc.
Commonplace. Boring. Lame. Not helpful.
Chances are, whenever you’re having a good ol’ fashioned self-help binge, ya know... that phase where you are maniacally focused on personal development and so you want to learn all the things and change all the things and become your perfect self?, well you’re probably clicking on lots of articles. You’re reading lots of amazon book reviews. You’re buying lots of multivitamins. You’re googling therapists, trying to figure out which one will be able to deliver the most profound, transformational experience you could ever dream of.
And for a newbie who is hearing about personal growth and mindfulness concepts for the first time, this can be a really exciting time because, “Whoa, look at all these cool tools I can use that I hadn’t thought of before!”
But if you’re a seasoned pro, know-it-all, read-it-all, therapied-it-all, mindfulnessed-it-all type of person, you can end up feeling disappointed by articles, advice, and insights that no longer feel profound. You keep hoping that, just around the corner, there will be the next wave of profound information that can finally be the turning point for you.
You’re subconsciously thinking there’s some magical answer to (insert your current goal) that the world has been withholding from you. And with every bit of wisdom you read that is yet again too cliche, it’s as though the answer continues to hide away, taunting you all the while.
But ya see, when we become so focused on searching for the profound, we can end up dismissing the obvious. The boring things. The slow things. The things that don’t instantly turn us into our ideal self.
When we take on the “I’ve heard it all before” mentality, we need to pause for a moment and recognize that there might be a good reason we’ve heard it all before.
There’s usually no magic bullet for anything in life. And the same is true for our quest for happiness. We can’t continue to expect that learning something profound is the only way to move forward.
I know, personally, there are plenty of times that, when I'm in a more negative or desperate headspace for change… I read things and want to roll my eyes and say "Duh! I already knoooow these things! I’m a therapist for christ’s sake! Give me something better!"
But It’s much easier to put the blame on an article's lack of profundity than it is to put the blame on ourselves for not taking the small, consistent steps needed -- for not implementing the things we know, yet don’t do.
Taking the small steps can be slow. They don’t get us where we’re going right away because the incline might be steep. And they make our thighs burn as we climb. Which inevitably leaves us winded at the top thinking, “Oh my god, I seriously need to get in shape. Why am I breathing so heavily?!” But damnit if you didn’t manage to get where you wanted to go, one slow, obvious step at a time.