Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How Do You Start Your Day?

I used to start my day by doing an inventory of pain signals. When the pain began to behave itself, I would mentally rehearse how I would handle the more anxiety-ridden encounters I expected to have during the day. It was as if I believed that careful anticipation could either better prepare me, or magically prevent the feared outcome.

I think I had become so worn out by my many battles with pain, who was often the victor, that I forgot how to trust both myself and the universe. Ironically preparing for tension only made me more tense and less able to ride the curves of the day.

Over the years, as my pain grew more muted, I became more thankful and confident. As Einstein once said, "There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle." I picked a third way -- some things really suck; but even so, it's important to take time to stop and eat the roses.

This may sound hokey, but now I start my day by saying (not sure to whom): "Thank you for this beautiful day in this beautiful world and for enabling me to participate in it."

It doesn't matter if it's hailing golf balls or if my pain is beginning its insidious climb to level 7 . I now have proof that it will eventually stop hailing and that the pain spike will retreat. I find that my new morning saying points the intention for the day in a positive direction and offers me a quiet pause, one clean breath of appreciation before I greet the "miracles" of the day.

How do you start your day?


therapydoc said...

I thank the Old Mighty.

donimo said...

Usually with a swear word, I'm afraid. But then I try to say something more positive! I like your "eat the roses" thing. I can't say that living with over-the-top pain or living in a world in which there is so much injustice allows me to approach life in an "everything is a miracle" kind of way, but I do try to be mindful of small things of beauty, moments of peace and moments of thankfulness. It's a very deliberate way of being in the world.