Originally published on January 10th, 2012
New beginnings? The world is full of them. Just look at opportunities that today presents. It's really not that hard to embrace the possibilities that this day offers. Cultivating habits that move you forward and into the world around you are fundamental if you want to maximize your creative energy, create a new direction for yourself, and enjoy yourself in the process.
Get out of your own mind and off your butt. It is time to go do. Go do your dream, go do your work out routine, go do the things that will set you on a course that you want to be on, instead of the one you feel powerless to change.
Wake up to a quick meditation. Prayer, a moment of silent observation, a chance to give thanks. Call it what you want. Even if things aren't going your way, be grateful that you get to wake up again and give it another shot. Because I promise you, time is the biggest gift you will ever be given, and each of us has only a finite amount of it.
Down a glass of hot water as soon you get up. I take mine with a squeeze of lemon. It gets your metabolism going, cleans out the organs, gets things moving.
Stretch. Get blood moving through your muscles. Work out the kinks. It's easier to be positive if you're as pain free as possible.
Open a window, stick your head outside and breathe in some very fresh oxygen, even if it's freezing cold outside. Let some of that fresh air into your bedroom (do this again before you go to sleep, getting fresh air into your bedroom before retiring) and the rest of your abode. Changing up the air is good for you.
Check your emails and respond only to what you must. Then get away from the surfing capability of your computer. It's passive entertainment, just like watching TV, and will only serve to make you isolate more from people around you and not hear them.
Forget TV for the most part. If there's something great you don't want to miss, make note of it and leave it off the rest of the time. It will kill your brain, and make you a slave.
Limit your on-line work time. If you work on line, make sure you break every 50 minutes and take ten minutes off. Step outside. Breathe fresh air.
Stay open to energy coming your way. Don't block new ideas or criticism or things that you can't seem to understand. Instead, let those things flow through you, to you Keep what works, let the rest go.
Look for connections. Timing is everything, it's truer than you think. But if we don't pay attention to the signs that are around us all the time, we can miss golden opportunities that present themselves to us. Look for things that hook into facts that you already know. Be aware of chains of events that might seem coincidental but are new possibilities, presenting themselves in costume.
Be observant. Notice what's going on around you, what people are saying to you. Don't discredit things out of hand. Be thoughtful with regard to your daily transactions. Don't create unnecessary hurdles. Seek out the easiest way to get things done. Listen to people who make sense. Be willing to learn.
Don't be a cynic. Don't be sarcastic. Sarcasm just sucks when it becomes a lifestyle choice. It makes you an energy suck. And don't talk about your friends or family or coworkers as if they each have a million teeny faults that drive you nuts. None of that makes you seem smarter or snappier or more interesting, believe me. I mean, do you want people droning on about how you never seem to have a nice word for anyone? No? Then cut the sarcasm.
Be nice, and mean it. It's a habit, just like being scared or being mean or being impatient. And it's a good habit. Get used to it. Nice people are fun to be around, and don't suck other people's energy.
Get off of the complaining bandwagon. There is nothing more addictive than bitching about things. Here's a word of advice: do with bitching what most of us did with smoking cigarettes. Just quit it. If there are problems you need to talk out with someone, you know who you can trust to listen. Go to that person. That's not the kind of complaining I'm talking about. I mean the kind of complaining that spins perfectly normal activities into daily pains in the butt. Leave it. Everyone has stuff. No one needs to hear yours.
LISTEN. Stop talking so much, and stop thinking you know everything. You will be shocked to find out what you still have to learn, and the best knowledge often comes from people you would least expect it from.
Smile. It's free and lets people know you're approachable - unless you prefer to be thought of as cut off from the world and unfriendly. Then by all means, don't smile.
Even creative work requires frequent breaks. As a potter and artist, I have to take care of my body because the work is very taxing on my neck and shoulders. Plus, walking away from creative work periodically, whether it be writing or artistic endeavors, gives you a much better perspective when you return and see what you've done.
Take a moment of silence before going to bed and give thanks again. It's not such a big deal. Just look at your day, the moments you've had, and be grateful. You are immensely lucky to have had the day today, even if things didn't go gangbusters You can learn from what went wrong, and take tomorrow on a wiser person.
Wake up, rinse and repeat.
Now go do, would you please?