Tuesday, November 02, 2010

RISE UP SINGING: 9 Ways to Subtly Change Your Consciousness


DSCN1915, originally uploaded by patryfrancis.



This is something I've experimented with for a while. For it to work, you have to do all nine in the first hour after you wake up. If that sounds onerous, it's not. Most of these can be accomplished in a minute or less, and I personally guarantee that if you practice them, they will change the quality of your day.

1. Express gratitude. Whether to God or to the universe, to the person waking up beside you in the bed, or to the sun that has graciously agreed to light another day, let your first words be "Thank you." And if things haven't exactly been going your way, and gratitude feels strained, say it twice. Say it louder.

2. Don't just avoid toxic people who diminish and deplete. Be the antidote. Say something honestly affirming to everyone you encounter in your first waking hour.

3. Organize something. It doesn't have to be much. This morning, I picked up the shoes that had been scattered in the family room and made my bed. My "random act of order" took about three minutes, but it made me feel like an organized person. The sub-conscious mind took note, and looked for little ways to create order all day.

4. Do a one minute workout. Set a kitchen timer and do one minute of crunches or pushups or bicep curls. Will it change your body significantly? Probably not. But it will change it a little. And like the organization thing, it communicates to your sub-conscious that you are a person who is committed to fitness.

5. Make a promise to yourself. Vow not to say a single unkind thing all day, or to do a good deed without taking credit for it, or to keep working on something you care about for fifteen minutes after you want to quit or to avoid your favorite junk food. The only rule is you have to change the promise every day. Otherwise, it quickly turns into an empty "resolution," and we all know what happens to those.

6. Beautify something. Put a table cloth on your table or a pick some flowers and fill a vase. Get out of your sweats (if you work at home like me) and dress like you're about to have a very important day. And if you can't think of anything else, you can always smile. Voila! Instant beauty.

7. Be awed by something. Take in the florid sunrise if you get up early enough, or the shape of the cumulus clouds overhead or the chirping happy sound of a child's voice. The truth is there aren't seven wonders in the world; there are an infinite number of them. If you can live through a single hour without feeling amazed, you're only half awake.

8. Practice Mountain Pose for thirty seconds. Or as your mother used to say, stand up straight--preferably before a mirror. Get your body into perfect, regal alignment for a minute, and experience how balanced and sleek and wonderful it feels. You will probably forget and fall into your habitual slouch later, and that's okay. Slowly, slyly, you just may teach your body a new way to be.

9. Take one small step toward a long term goal. Maybe you have to go to work, or you need to get seven children dressed for school, or the dog ate your homework, but if you ever want to run that marathon, or write that novel, learn to fly a plane or speak Chinese, you need to set yourself on course by doing one small thing toward that goal every single day. First thing. Take out your running shoes and set them by the door for later. Look over what you wrote the day before while you're having your coffee...practice your aria in the shower.

38 comments:

leslee said...

Oh, these look wonderful, Patry! Have to print this out...

leslee said...

Oh, these look wonderful, Patry! Have to print this out...

Patry Francis said...

Thank you, Leslee. Love your butterfly!

debra said...

Lovely. Simple. Simply lovely.

Sky said...

i like this, patry. i need an attitude adjustment - good timing!

Patry Francis said...

Debra: Thank you for reading!

Sky: I seem to need a tune up almost every day..

Jessica Keener said...

Patry,
This is such inspiring advice. Thank you.

Beth said...

Some people probably find such suggestions corny but I don't! Like you say, they actually work. I try to do some of these already but I'm going to print this list and tack it to the bathroom mirror! (I like that one minute of crunches!) Thanks, Patry.

Patry Francis said...

Jessica: You inspire me every day!

Beth: That's why I decided to post them. They work! I've found a huge difference between days when I've actively tried to direct my consciousness, and days when I left old habits, and stressful input in charge of the asylum.

billie said...

What a wonderful list - I do some of them but not all - am eager to add them in... thank you!

robin andrea said...

Wonderful exercises, patry! I'm already doing some, but not all, and it will be fun to give it a try.

rdl said...

This is great! I was awed by those birds in the beach forest and of course by the tree!

Patry Francis said...

Billie: In stressful times, setting a course for the day is the difference between equanimity and "quiet deperation."

Robin: You show me the way all the time...I hope you know that.

R: There was a magical feeling in the woods that day, wasn't there?

LitPark said...

Love this. Thank you.

Sustenance Scout said...

"Setting a course for the day." Love it.

Patry Francis said...

And I love Lit Park! Been meaning to get over there and jump into this month's discussion.

K: So happy to see you here in blog world again! Simply Wait is not the same without you.

gerryrosser said...

Good stuff. I suggest an addition.

When you "download" (a modern version of talking about your day), to someone, do not relate the annoying things that may have happened during the day. Do not do yourself or whoever you are talking to the disfavor of giving annoyances and irritations any more life.

Patry Francis said...

Gerry: A HARD, but very important skill. Thanks for a wise addition.

lizamich said...

A lovely list, and Gerry, a wonderful addition. Thank you both.

Patry Francis said...

Liz! So happy to see you here!

Dale said...

:-) Wonderful, Patry.

Peter said...

Some group at school -- I think they're set up as an antidote to bullying -- put stickies on their lockers this week. They are wonderful. My favorite: "Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?" I knew they didn't mean Lucifer; I thought of Wordsworth's "trailing clouds of glory." It was how I benefited today from a group following your #2 here.

And #1 is like breath -- it's wonderful.

Zhoen said...

This is all good. Some I've done. Most I need to do.

Bless you. (By whatever blesses you.)

Patry Francis said...

Dale: Thank you-

Peter: I've thought a lot about the anti-bullying campaign lately, including when I wrote this post. Meditating on how our words and attitudes affect others isn't just a schoolyard issue. It's a grace opportunity for all of us. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story here.

Zhoen: Your presence here blesses me. Thank you!

Golden said...

Great list thanks and going to begin doing these in the morning.

Patry Francis said...

Golden: Let me know how it goes!

Patry Francis said...

A second comment to Peter: I was thinking about your comment mentioning breath when I read this quote: "If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would suffice."--Meister Eckhart.

i beati said...

excellent list

Patry Francis said...

Thank you, Sandy--and also for your comment on the previous post!

Annie said...

Patry, I am really late geting here, but I love this list. I do some of them already, but some I never thought of. Thank you for this. xoxo

Tinker said...

What a wonderful way to start the day. I love these ideas. I try to do some of these already (though not necessarily in that first hour - and I can see where that might make a big difference...). And I see some on your list that I let slip through the cracks far too often. I'll definitely give this a try. Thanks, Patry!

Patry Francis said...

Annie: You always arrive at exactly the right time. Thanks for your presence here.

Tinker: Let me know how it goes!

Max Oliver said...

I found your blog via facebook and then your website and read this - what wonderful advice! I'll print it out too and keep it by my bedside. Thank you.

forsythia said...

YES!

colleen said...

Can I wait to the New Year for these resolutions?

Just kidding, but really can I just do two of them?

Patry Francis said...

Max: Thank you and welcome!

Forsythia: Good to "meet" a yes person!

Colleen: Sometimes all I can do is say thank you, but as Meister Eckhardt said, that's enough.

herhimnbryn said...

Just found you again. Thankyou for this. Number 7. is ever with me and I wake early to find the beauty.

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