Most important to-do for the day
It is not always easy to wake up and jump out of bed, anxious to face the new day and all it has in store. Maybe a little ache, a little slowness, maybe something on the agenda that you are not looking forward to or maybe it is just so nice and warm in bed that there is no real good reason to vacate. After all, you are retired. If you just had that little push to get you started…
This is the perfect time to take a few minutes and gather yourself and your thoughts for the pending day. Before you get out of bed, before your mind takes off reviewing lists of to-dos, take a moment to prepare yourself, take a breath and get yourself centered.
I start my morning with a quick check in with the Man upstairs, thankful that I am here, kicking and breathing, hopeful in the day at hand. Taking a few minutes to get the right perspective and start things rolling.
Then I go through a wonderful check list that I discovered while reading a book by Thich Nhat Hahn called The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching. In this book there is a section dedicated to the Noble Eightfold Path with a central theme of living in the present moment. What works for me is to think about each of the eight steps, one at a time, then move to the next (I will talk more about all eight steps in a later post). The whole process takes only a few minutes as you strive to get the right perspective before the day gets under way. Throughout each step, focus on your breathing – steady, rhythmic, peaceful.
Back to the central premise of focusing on the present moment. You are here now so be here now. Do not worry about the past as there is nothing you can do to change what has already happened. Do not worry about the future which is beyond your grasp. These thoughts take your mind away from the present where you want to be to actually experience living. Appreciate and experience THIS moment, don’t worry about other moments. A rather simple thought but a powerful way to focus your energy before your retirement day commences.
And through the day, if things start to snowball and you get caught up in distractions and find your mind a million miles away, stop…remember to return to the present moment…and touch life deeply.
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