Despite what our left brain, and culture, often is telling us, there is no “right” way to… well, do anything.
For a long while my morning routine was to stay in bed until I felt my system soften. As I’d start to wake up, and cognitive happenings started to come into attention- whether it be from dreams or just whatever spontaneously showed up- I’d go “underneath” them to the direct experience of the moment. Said another way, I’d notice and feel through the layers of “mentaling”, going to the direct experience of being present to the moment. This took me toward what was “here and now” as opposed to thoughts about what was happening, or thoughts referencing past or future, or other thoughts.
For the longest time this was a really profound gift to myself- no phone, computer, or anything else until the surface layers were “seen through.” I am extremely grateful for my commitment to practice this, especially when I wanted to engage in compulsions/escape from what I was feeling. My commitment to this practice unwound some unhealthy behaviors, and reset neural pathways that supported my nervous system and relationship to direct experience.
The truth is, I still routinely have this “practice” but I no longer call it a practice because it’s morphed into a way of living. And, it doesn’t just happen in the mornings. All day long I invite my attention to go beneath the surface area of attention, and rest in direct experience. What was once a practice has morphed into a way of living.
The other day I woke up and my mind was going. and Going. My inner manager decided that i needed to stay in bed until my hamster wheel of a mind stopped. Which made sense in that this had become my “normal” morning practice. As I laid there, my thoughts continued to go. And they kept going.
At that point staying in bed was no longer coming from usefulness. It was coming from a me trying to be in charge of how i was going to start my day, as opposed to an organic gift revealing itself to me. It was me trying to be in charge by doing it “my” way (my inner manager’s way) – based on an idea that that’s how my morning should go. It was a subtle way of how I try to take charge of life (albeit with the best intentions) as opposed to staying open to the possibilities organically coming my way. Doing it “my way”, as opposed to Life’s way, brought with it a harshness and a hardness, as opposed to a softening and expansion.
Luckily I caught onto what was happening, got out of bed, and went out to sit on my porch. It was only a moment later that my hamster wheel of a mind had shifted, and my somatics came on line. Hello direct experience. Hello this moment.
I’ve decided to share this because clients are often asking me what the “right” way to do XYZ is. There is never really a “right” way- but there may be a way that feels supportive, kind, and empowering to your system.
Some days it was the most kind thing in the world to stay in bed and feel through the hamster wheeling thoughts until my attention was able to meet what was underneath. But kindness may not always look that way.
Pointers and practices often have a shelf life, or sorts. It’s as if at some point “the ego” comes in and makes the practice or pointer “a thing.” It is at that point that the pioneer/practice tends to loose it’s effectiveness or usefulness- as it shifts from being that which curiously supports evolution, to that which is built upon right/wrong/should/shouldn’t/etc.
Be aware of what pointers and practices you’ve made into a “solid thing”- that is coming from ego as opposed to from the curiosity of life. It may be time to shake things up, and explore life in new ways!