I rise in the morning (like many of us I’m sure) a little bleary-eyed, staggering flat-footed along the hallway from the bedroom to the kitchen. I blink and scrunch up my eyes against the harsh morning light pouring in through the blinds, and then I catch a glimpse of it …..
What do I see?
Why, the mess left over from the night before! I still don’t know how it accumulates but what I am sure about is that I like to start my morning with a clean and tidy kitchen. Perhaps this is a feathering-the-nest, mother-hen type of thing? Perhaps I just like order with everything in its place (even just for a little while before my husband rises to disrupt the temporary state of calm). This morning, as I was sorting out recycling and putting away the washed pots, I thought about how we can start each morning with a clean and tidy spiritual environment.
A clean and tidy ‘spiritual’ start to the day!
1. Maintaining a clean and tidy mind:
First and foremost, meditation. (I know, I do talk about it a lot, but omg, it’s so good!). Maybe you’re like me, lying in bed in the morning and immediately thoughts about the day begin to intrude. I allow them in, all the while knowing that if I want to get closer to God, if I want to feel peace and calm throughout the day, meditation really helps. It should be my first activity, before any of the cares of the world can take up my attention. So, I listen to my inner voice which is suggesting that I meditate.
Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting still in an unattainable posture for hours on end. It can be as short and sweet as you want. Here’s how: first sit with an erect spine to allow the flow of life-force (prana) upwards to the spiritual eye in the brow. Then practice a slow, calm breathing activity, such as Nadi Shodhan (alternate nostril breathing) or Ujjayi breath for a few minutes. Say a prayer if you like or set your intentions for the day. Sit in silence for a few minutes, gently brushing away any thoughts of the outer world. Do this in bed if you want, or if you have a meditation room, adopt the habit of going there first thing. if you have children or pets who need your care in the morning, set your alarm clock for 15-30 minutes earlier, to give yourself this special peaceful time just for you. As the habit becomes ingrained, you will feel the effects of the peace and calm in the rest of your day. It is worth the effort!
2. Maintaining a clean and tidy body:
The body is the body-temple which houses your soul. How precious is that! It’s taken me many many years to realise this and look after my body for the right reasons. My goodness in my younger years I thought the body was all about looking great. I would diet, I would fanatically exercise, I would lie out in the sun slowly burning my fair Celtic skin to a crisp, all in the effort to be admired. The ego appears to be so strong, but really is very insecure, requiring constant flattery to maintain its dominant position within the body-mind! So nowadays I do gentle stretching exercises most mornings, sometimes before meditation, and outside in the garden if the weather is fine. It’s glorious and I can thoroughly recommend it. The mind stills itself of restless thoughts while it concentrates on the exercise routine. The soul is bathed in joy as it wonders at the natural beauty all around, the body is filled with life-giving prana from the ether.
Afterwards, I have a healthy breakfast, usually porridge with ground almonds and soya cream, followed a couple of hours later by that delicious first cup of tea accompanied by a slice of home-made banana loaf.
3. Maintaining a clean and tidy soul:
Choose a spiritual quality to focus on today. If you are weak in this area, work hard and give yourself (or recognise) opportunities to acquire or enhance this aspect of your soul. The 26 Spiritual Qualities of the Bhagavad Gita are a good starting point. You can read about them here. For example, I know that I am weak in Absence of Fault-finding (especially with my poor husband), so I try to remind myself of this regularly and vow to replace any critical thoughts for others with a loving thought, something nice about them, something I’m grateful to them for and so on.
Okay, steps 1, 2 and 3 done. Tick ☑, tick ☑, tick ☑. You’re ready to start your day all clean, tidy and gleaming all over. Namaste. Om shanti. Blessings and love, Anita.🙏🙏🙏