Article by Ntathu Allen
Bless you gentle friends and welcome to Fab After Fifty’s Moment of Calm spot. We know how full your lives are and we’re glad you are taking time out of your busy schedule to pause and read today’s article, 3 Ways To Wake Up With A Smile For A Happier You’. Thank you.
The other day I read a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh:
“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”
How Often Do You Live Your Life Fully In Each Moment?
As I read Thich Nhat Hanh’s words, I wondered what can I do to live fully in each moment and look at all beings with eyes of compassion? It sounds so simple “to live fully in each moment”, yet, if your day is anything like mine, I’m sure you spend vast amounts of your day distracted and dance like butterflies in a spring flower meadow meandering from task to task.
How Compassionate Are You?
And as for being compassionate, the way I behaved towards my ex-husband was far from compassionateJ and when I am tired and stressed out, my daughters and close friends get the rough end of my frustration. Not nice.
The more I thought about Thich Nhat Hanh quote and observed my thoughts I realised just how judgemental I am and much as I aspire to be open, fair and loving to all, on one level I still hold grudges and feel hurt and upset by the way certain events have gone in my life.
Can you relate to these feelings?
When I’m out and about and see parents buy their children sweets at the checkout queue to keep them quiet or yell at their children for misbehaving, I forget I have done the same thing, and cast negative judgement on their parenting skills. If I see homeless people in the sidewalk or begging, part of me feels irritated and the thoughts “get up, get a job, sort your life out” flows through my mind. Not very loving or compassionate at all!
If like most people you aspire to be kind, compassionate and wake up with a smile, what can you do to strengthen your “compassionate and happy” button and ‘live fully in each moment?’ When you, or me, are in this frame of mind, we experience happiness and from that state it is easier to be compassionate, loving and live fully.
What can we do to maintain this state of being?
From personal experience, my daily morning spiritual practice is probably the only time in my day when I am fully present, 1000000% engaged, living in the now and feel total compassion and love for all.
During the day, when I feel myself slipping away from this vibration I consciously pause, take a moment to calm my thoughts, refocus and remember the vibe I felt in the morning. Once I’ve re-calibrated and reminded myself to be present and compassionate, my energy shifts, tension is lifted from my body and I can resume my daily activities and work from a more mindful perspective.
3 Ways To Wake Up With A Smile For A Happier You
If waking up happy and being more compassionate to yourself and others is something that interests you, here are 3 of the daily spiritual practices I use to help me wake up with a smile and start the day on a positive and happy note.
1. Give Thanks When You Wake Up
One of the first things you can do when you wake up to start your day in a more compassionate way is to say a quiet prayer of thanks for waking up and being alive. You don’t have to be religious to pray, all you need is a desire for inner peace, to be a better person and to give your best to all you meet.
For example, depending how I feel, I have a collection of prayers I like to use, sometimes I’ll say the Lord’s Prayer, other times, The Prayer of Jazeb , The Message by Sri Babaji is another favourite prayer I like to say ) and A Call For Guidance, taken from Opening to Spirit by Shola Arewa is my time much-loved daily prayer.
After saying my daily prayer, I’ll do a few rounds of deep yogic breathing. This always helps to calm and steady my mind and puts me a meditative frame of mind, ready to get up and do my meditations.
A simple breathing practice you can do is to place one hand on your navel and the other hand on your chest and just focus on breathing softly and deeply in through your nose for a count of 5 and to breathe out, through your nose for a count of 5. So that’s inhale 1…. 2….3….4….5 and then exhale 1….2….3….4….5. Do this for 3 – 5 cycles and you’ll feel instantly energised and happy.
3. Keep A Daily Journal
Writing your waking thoughts, dreams and aspirations in your journal is another spiritual practice which helps to ground your energy and prepares you to be more compassionate and mindful during the day.
Sometimes, as part of my daily journaling practice I will write down the things I am grateful for in my life, other times I’ll hold my pen in my non-dominant hand, focus on my breath and just write whatever comes to mind. This is an amazing way of accessing what’s going on under the surfaces and I’m always amazed at what comes through. In fact most of my prayers and poems are written using this method.
If you desire to be happier, and wake up like Thich Nhat Hanh… I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion… saying a prayer, breathing and writing in your journal are three simple spiritual practices you can use which helps you wake up happy and strengthen your desire to be happy, live life now in the present and to be compassionate to others.
What things do you do to wake up happy, stay engaged and empathetic? Feel free to write your thoughts in the comment box below because it will inspire others to be happy and kind-hearted.
Till next week, thanks for taking time out of your active schedule to pause and breathe.
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