for a strong, fast pick-me-up
‘The more we DO, the less we BE’ – a better way to start your day.
In a previous job, I’d start work almost as soon as I awoke at 4:50 a.m. Around 5 a.m. as I’d drink my morning coffee I’d watch the Morning News on TV, then move to listening to the radio while I read through the papers on-line. It was straight into work and usually filling my head with all the negative news that fills early morning bulletins – usually overnight crime, car crashes and fires.
These days, after chatting to my wise friend, Psychologist Kerry Deller, I’ve learned to simply sit without guilt and enjoy the morning unfold.
(My favourite part of our house – to just sit and connect with the morning)
(I’m also helping Kerry refine a book and explore pod-casting and vlogging -and during breaks we chat about things that I find are so helpful and ‘life-improving’)
T: I bet lots of people feel guilty about just sitting still in the morning. I bet they feel they should be doing something!
K: Yes, our societal upbringing is that our worth is determined by what we do.
And it’s an old saying but true: We are human BE-ings not human DO-ings
I’ve learned in the mornings to sit and pause and just breathe and just ‘be’.
You take a breath – and life gives you the moment.
T: What does that mean?
K: If you take a breath – go ahead and take a breath – and you can choose to have a ‘stressful breath’ where you think about all the things you have to do today.
Or you can choose to ‘be in that moment’ and choose not to get stressed about what’s NOT in that moment. If you are worried about the past or the future – you are not ‘present’ in the present moment. You lose the moment – you’re focused on the past or the future.
T: How do you start the day?
K: I’ve got some rituals. The first hour of the day is mine. It’s like sacred space…sacred time. That time connects us with who we are.
Science says we have sleep cycles and the REM cycle – this deep sleep is when we have no conscious awareness.
That’s where the true rejuvenation starts. So when we are still and relaxed, the more we rejuvenate our being.
When we wake in the morning, that’s the most connected we are to that rejuvenating sleep – so that first hour is a special time.
We can spring out of bed and get straight ‘on the rat wheel’.
OR we can allow a transition and in that transition we can get in touch with ‘the wisdom of who we are’ .
T: That sounds very new age-y and contrary to the common Western work ethic.
K: So for me, I’ve learned to connect. In this important quiet time sometimes I journal, meditate, pray, sit, just BE (whatever you want to call it).
I slowly enjoy the moment – with myself or whoever is with me.
When my granddaughter is with me, we get up in the morning. We have the luxury of a view of the city and so we go out and we say ‘good morning’ to the city and if there’s a bird in the tree, we say ‘good morning’ to the bird and we say ‘good morning’ to the clouds and the sunshine.
So it’s about taking the time to create our connection to the day and the environment.
(Kerry’s morning view)
T: and I bet you do the same thing when you grand-daughter is NOT with you. Kids can be a good ‘excuse’ to do things like that – but I bet you do it by yourself too.
K: Oh yeah! It’s so refreshing. I just connect with the morning.
T: Kids can be a great ‘excuse’ take the time to do these ‘gentle things’. That are so ‘nourishing ‘ to ourselves. But we may feel guilty for taking time for ourselves. We’ve got things to do!
K: Try it. It’ll make your day better – and especially this time of year there’s a freshness in the mornings. It’s a new season. The heat of summer’s gone. There’s a stillness. The city hasn’t woken up yet. The city represents the hustle and bustle of life. When you experience the morning before the hustle and bustle it’s quite ‘magical’.
T: Do you think that Western society sees this sort of thing as self-indulgent?
K: Yes, once again we have an emphasis on what we DO. DO DO DO!
Yet – the more we DO, the less we BE.
Whereas, the better we BE, the better we DO.
Many problems arise from us not being in touch with ourselves. We indulge in damaging behaviours (like scoffing chocolate bars) and we are not even aware we are doing it. We are not present.
T: Oh, I like that – ‘the better we be, the better we do’. I look forward to trying out what you say – without that guilty feeling that I should be doing something ‘productive’. I’ll have to ask you more about how taking the time to BE, improves what WE DO.