Happiness lies in the "little things"
I'm proud of myself. For real. This morning, instead of waking up late and being in a mad-rush to get to work -- and afflicting myself with all the resulting headaches and chaos -- I made myself wake up just before sunrise. With a slow and relaxed pace, I followed my morning routine: sitting in silence for some time, while taking in the waxing colors of sunrise ... opening the large, wood-framed window and breathing in four or five deep, invigorating breaths of cold, energy-infused fall air ... practicing some gentle yoga and breathing exercises ... meditating for a while and communing with the tranquil essence of Spirit. I had time to establish positive contact with my significant other -- aka, not screaming, "Where the &*^% are my car keys?!" -- as well as prepare and pack a healthy lunch. I left for work without rush and aggravation. The rest of the day has been a positive cause-and-effect chain resulting from this decision to make myself get up and actually, with mindfulness, enjoy a relaxed morning. This is the glorious benefit of "tough" self-love. By not allowing yourself to succumb to comfortable, self-protective/contractive habits, you do things that are initially uncomfortable but ultimately SELF-EXPANSIVE/LIBERATING. You're always so grateful you did "the hard thing," and you feel a sense of love and pride towards yourself and life.
I have officially run out of excuses when it comes to how my morning impacts the rest of the day.