Today is the beginning of the rest of my life, so the proverb goes. What does that mean to me?
I believe that every day is full of potential, a new opportunity to grow, express love, be present, be thankful. It also provides an opportunity to engage in harmful and unproductive activities. The choice is there for each one of us.
Each day, I start out with a morning ritual, or what I call my “morning liturgy”. With it, I speak to myself affirmations, take note of all that I am thankful for, and say prayers for others. (Well, I try to do this each day, but I am not the most consistent.)
The affirmations are a wonderful way to remind me of “what I am about”, my particular giftings and the good fruit that is produced from operating in these gifts. For me, creativity is what I am about, and I found some wonderful affirmations from “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron that I combine with some of my own.
When I recognize and be present with the positive potential of my day, I also affirm that the most essential thing I can do is attend to my self care. I affirm that I will treat myself with love, care, and dignity. I will do those things that are necessary to take good care of myself so that I can be a blessing to others. I cannot give from what I do not have, whether it be time, energy, attention, etc, if I have not properly taken care of my body or my mind.
One affirmation I say is that “I hereby reject all self-defeating thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors”.
Do I live in the present? Or do I wallow in the past? Do I choose to be thankful or to nurse resentment? Do I eat what is healthy for my body or do I eat junk food and/or overindulge? Do I get out and be attentive to the world or do I shut myself in?
The definition of what is helpful versus what is harmful varies with each one of us and is conditional upon our current needs and opportunities. Here is one example: I personally feel like I have wasted time if I spend too much time in front of the TV. However, sometimes I am physically and/or mentally exhausted and one appropriate thing to do would be to zone out for awhile in front of the tube. But it would not be appropriate for me to do something so unproductive if I have a full day ahead of me and I use the diversion in order to put off doing the things I need to do.
Anyway, some thoughts. Every day is a menu of choices. How will I live out today?