I often get up in the early, shadowy hours of the day. Darkness fills my room and I hear the earth awaken. It is that precious time when morning is not quite morning yet.
In these moments, I take note of the way the birds welcome the arriving light. Their chorus of singing doesn’t take the sun’s rising for granted. Instead, they seem to be readying their domain, encouraged for another beginning.
My twenties were spent attacking each day with the confidence that I would change the world. I took both my gusto for life and the rising of the sun for granted. With age, came more fullness. A marriage, children, financial concerns, aging parents and personal health issues threatened my optimistic approach to living.
I confided in a friend that I often felt defeated before noon. Rather than a limitless reserve of hopefulness, I seemed to be given just a small cup of happiness each morning. A call from a friend with news of her own struggles, or simply reading the newspaper would spill my cup, leaving me trudging through another day.
The power of resilience
One such morning, I was determined to change the pattern. I looked for something greater within me than unbridle optimism – resilience. Resilience resides in each of us. It is a core aspect of our supreme selves.
The supreme self is the one that is eternally at peace. Inner peace does not depend on external conditions. Connecting to that supreme self in the morning allows us to find peace at any place or time in our lives.
Tools for centering
When my days were simpler, the supreme self was readily available. As factors beyond my control threaten my inner peace, I take a moment each morning to purposely connect to my supreme self.
A set of tools help. I think of my tools as my own version of a birdsong – using them to ready my world for the sun’s arrival.
Practice practical gratitude. Create a list of things you are grateful for and put it in a place you see each morning. The simplest things can be included such as warm socks or a cool breeze. The big things can go on the list too, such as love and family. When you are feeling trepidation or uncertainty, name this list to yourself and give thanks for each thing on it.
Develop faith that you can overcome and be okay.In order for us to feel safe or stable and create peace in our lives, we have to truly feel that peace. Faith enables this. With faith we must believe with true conviction that everything will be okay, even if we can’t currently see exactly how it will be all right. Placing faith in faith will create an inner knowing – a feeling that we have deep inside that sustains us and reminds us that we are resilient and adaptable.
Keep your eyes and heart focused on how you add value to the world each day. We are each deeply valuable and deeply lovable. We each have a unique purpose and gifts we bring to every situation – you could say our purpose is scripted in our soul. In moments of mayhem, cling to your purpose in life. Stick with what is true to you. In times of panic, focus on your purpose.
Now, I live with a different confidence in my ability to better the earth. I can in fact change the world, but first I had to let the world change me.
Through life experiences, I have greater empathy for others and find that happiness and compassion go hand-in-hand. I know now, that my ability to make a positive impact depends on my taking care of my own spiritual needs.