There are so many things I have to do first thing in the morning.
I have to have my tea.
I have to have my breakfast and take my meds.
I have to have my fire in winter and it is still winter.
I have to satisfy my curiosity about the world and my friends.
I have to meditate.
I have to journal.
I have to do my alignment exercises.
That last thing, the alignment exercises, is the newest First Thing I’ve introduced into my morning but I’ve noticed that recently it has fallen by the wayside.
There is no order to these things; it’s more like, I have to do each one of these things first. So many morning urgencies.
When I look at this list I understand why the new morning practice of exercises has gotten lost. Why do I think I have to do them first thing in the morning? Because the guy who wrote the book said I should. “Do these exercises first thing in the morning so you get the benefits all day.” Of course.
Same thing with the journaling. I subscribe to Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages theory, expounded in The Artist’s Way: that writing just after rolling out of bed gets your creative juices flowing and of course if you have had dreams that is the time to get them down.
And I also believe that the day should begin with God because (apologies to God and Coke) Things Go Better with God. So I do want to meditate for 20 minutes. First thing.
However, if I listen to my sleepy mind and spirit and my chilly body, I really want that hot tea and warm fire first. And I have to take a daily pill before I forget and it has to go with food so I make and eat breakfast while I’m at it. So that’s three First Things right there.
And if I open my computer to journal, how can I avoid checking email, news headlines, and Facebook? This is just normal human curiosity. Maybe this is why Cameron was pretty adamant about Morning Pages being written by hand. But The Artist’s Way was written pre-Facebook. She just thought creativity demanded handwriting. Not for me. I’ve been journaling on the computer for 15 years. This is especially important now because if I start journaling something cool I can ease right into writing a blog post, which is what I am doing right now.
So blogging inserts itself as yet another First Thing today. Plus, I really intended to carry the laundry basket down to the basement and start a load of laundry First Thing so it could dry on the racks during the day but by the time I’d pulled my clothes on and remembered to put in my hearing aids (another First Thing) I forgot the laundry.
Just as well because yet another First Thing was calling me as I looked out the window and saw yet another lake-effect snow decorating the landscape on this First Day of Spring and I just had to get that picture on Facebook First Thing, before anyone else did.
And while I was taking pictures I noticed my iPad had captured a nice view of my kilim that didn’t show the dirt.
But before posting to FB I had to check if anyone else had posted the snow and they hadn’t, but I read what they had posted including some articles. And of course I checked email.
But before that I did make the tea and my breakfast smoothie (recipe below) and the fire so I could be warm and cozy and optimistic while I held my warm Mac on my lap, surfing and writing. And I shared a tiny bit of milk with the cat (whole milk for my tea is my daily deviation from my Lenten vegan diet).
So I have been up for a couple of hours and still have a number of First Things to do, including meditate.
Fortunately I don’t have to go to work anywhere or get any kids ready for school or walk down to a river to get water or any of the other First Things my sisters around the world have to do.
But I think I need to find another slot in the day for those alignment exercises. It’s almost lunchtime.
First Thing in the Morning Smoothie Which Tastes Better Than You Think
Blend in the food processor:
1 cup raw oatmeal
2 T ground flax or whatever healthy additives you are into (I add a green veggie energy powder which makes this smoothie ugly brown)
a handful of berries (I like frozen blueberries)
some applesauce or a banana
a splash of whatever milk you are into, or unsweetened yogurt
This serves two, or you for two days. The oatmeal gets even thicker by Day Two.