If it’s morning and you’re in bed, and you’re reading this on your phone… thank you. I always appreciate your being here. But please, put the phone down. Let’s meet back here in a few hours.
One of my worst habits? Letting other people decide what I am going to think about in the morning. And by other people, I mean my phone. If you’re looking to get up on the proverbial wrong side of the bed, grab your phone as soon as you wake up and get flooded by such things as:
- Tweets about chemicals in your favorite foods
- An Instagram post informing you that the Frenchie you insta-stalk died of a mysterious illness (True Life: This is why I don’t follow random dogs anymore. At least 5 dogs I followed have died in the last year. Which is both weird and sad. Also, I am convinced I cursed them all.)
- Emails from your boss sent at 11:44 PM, 2:06 AM, and 4:18 AM
- Facebook pictures of your friend’s cousin’s college roommate’s ultrasound
- “Breaking news!” about Taylor Swift’s most recent break-up
- Actual news about any of the upsetting things going on in our world
- Weather reports about 900 feet of snow
It’s a tough habit to break (tougher than Diet Coke, I think… still working on that one… again), but if you can hold off on the Insties and Twitters for even a few minutes — just enough time to choose what you first consume — it can work wonders. It can set your day on a happier, calmer, more inspired course. I was going to type, “It will change your life!” (and I kind of believe that), but I don’t have proof. So let’s just stick with this: Choosing what you read in the morning can have a really wonderful affect on your day.
You might already have something in mind. A mantra, a prayer, a favorite quote, or line from a movie. It doesn’t have to be complicated (and given that this is likely pre-coffee, perhaps it shouldn’t be complicated). I keep a few scraps of paper in my bathroom cabinet and in a notebook in my dresser drawers– my favorite things to read are right there when I wake up, ready to keep me from the glow of my iPhone.
Looking for somewhere to start tomorrow morning? Here are a few of my favorites. You’ll find the full text by clicking each title. Oh, and feel free to print any of the images and stick them to your mirror.
My morning reading list
Mary Oliver’s Five A.M. In the Pinewoods: I love everything Mary Oliver has written. This poem, in particular, feels very meditative to me.
A Precious Human Life, His Holiness the Dalai Lama: I’ve read this one so many times, I know it by heart (I love that expression). It is such a beautiful way to start the day — mindful, kind and well-intentioned.
Dr. King’s “Life’s Blueprint” speech: Last spring, I heard this speech recited by a group of eighth grade students in Washington, D.C. It was their middle school graduation ceremony and each student had memorized a few lines of the speech. While I’d read it before, I felt like I was hearing certain parts for the first time. It was moving and beautiful. By the time they got to “I would say to you, don’t drop out of school,” I was crying. The speech ends like this: “Be the best of whatever you are.” Yes.
The Guest House by Rumi: You have to read the full poem. It’s a perfect reminder in the morning (and in the afternoon and the evening) that we may not be able to control what or who comes into our lives, but we can choose our response and attitudes.
Okay. It’s safe to pick up your phone again.
Also On Tap for Today:
- What 10 minutes of mediation can do for you from Little Green Dot
- Picking my NCAA bracket… based on names that sound cool
- 8 ways to improve your morning from Buffer Social
How do you start your days?