Every morning starts a little differently, but part of my daily ritual always starts with my ARM & PREP (no hammer). I’ve got to ARM myself with the tools I need for a few mindful moments to PREP for the day. This takes me 10 minutes or less - if I resist the almighty urge to multitask.  Believe me, it’s a Sisyphean task most days to mono-task here, so when I am tempted to listen to the news, check social media, cleanup my desk or empty the dishwasher, as I make my notes, I think of how totally crappy I will feel when my day unravels. It’s easy to feel crappy or agitated when my day unravels. That little Heckler in my head starts to ramble and criticize. I feel like my 19 year old self again, taking on too much, rushing around, not completing anything.

Or worse, like a schoolgirl who gets report card comments like thisLisa has the ability to be a good student. At present, she needs help in establishing good work habits, especially those involved with listening and following through on the task at hand…..A year or so later: Lisa is a talented girl who has decided to listen more and slow herself down. This has greatly increased the quality of her work.

Yup, that’s what my elementary teachers actually wrote, in perfect cursive on the triplicate report card form. There were probably many other teachers along the way that could have or DID say the same.  I’m still learning better focus every day! But back to learning patience. For me, it means practicing working slowly and methodically. With an end game and a daily plan that support moving towards my goals. This includes saying no, making sure my mental, physical and fiscal health is solid, or at least solid enough. Here’s one of the things I LOVE and am most grateful for - each day is a new start. A freaking do over!  And that’s what I sat with today in my meditation. It’s just FIVE MINUTES because that’s all I can handle first thing. I aim to start each day like this.  The truth is, I fail on a couple days a week.  Like this week - which has been a first class ticket on the Crazy Train. Lots of projects are peaking or needing my attention this week.  Many of what I’d consider “not urgent/important” have leapt into the “urgent/important” list.  So the Crazy Train rolls ahead, and I am confident it’s headed in the right direction because I keep my daily plan as best I can. I never thought I’d sit still to meditate (and sometimes I don’t - I walk!).  I find just FIVE MINUTES gets me started off in a peaceful, focused way. And it fills me with gratitude.  Are you willing to experiment with FIVE MINUTES to start your day?  Actually, you could use this at any point during your day, but for me, it’s helpful over that first cup of coffee - and often later in the day if I need a reboot.

Have extra time to dive a little deeper? I hope you enjoy this five minute guided meditation. And if you’d like to learn more, I hope you’ll reach out.

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