Have you ever learned a huge lesson but it didn’t “take” at the time? I once learned a valuable lesson, one that I should have altered my life from, but I allowed my habits to overcome the lesson I slipped back into my ways of doing things.
Here’s what I mean…
I use my phone’s alarm to wake me in the morning and I sleep with my phone beside my bed. Somehow, I adopted the habit of checking my emails, comments, and messages as soon as I grab my phone, before I ever even rolled out of bed.
One morning, I did this and I read a fairly aggressive, hurtful email from a friend and it wrecked me. It wrecked my whole day. Before I rolled out of bed I had a pit in my stomach, a lump in my throat, and all my mental energies were now laser focused on the email. During my quiet time my thoughts were pulled to the email. While I was trying to read my daily “This is your day, go conquer the world” lesson, my thoughts were consumed by the email. For three hours, before 8 am, the tone of my day had been set - it was going to be bust. And it was.
There are actually many lessons here, but the big one for me that day was do not read messages, emails, or anything from anyone before you start your day, otherwise that is the start of your day. But it didn’t take. I eventually went back to my ways after a few days and I began to allow YouTubers to influence the tone of my days again.
Just last week, I looked at my phone before I got out of bed, as I always do, and I opened up my mind and heart to the arrows of negativity. And once again, I allowed a comment on one of my videos to tap dance its way into all my thoughts.
The funny thing is, I didn’t think the comment bothered me, I know not to take it personal. Yet, it kept interfering with my quiet time. I know this is a maturity issue. I should have let the comment go like water off a duck's back, but it became a thorn in my side. And, honestly, to quote Captain America in Winter Soldier, “It feels kinda personal.”
The real truth of the matter is, this is far beyond a maturity issue. This is a wisdom issue. I did not exercise wisdom in what I allowed to enter into my eyes, and therefore my heart, before I started my day. I chose poison.
I’m done poisoning myself. In fact, I’ve started fasting.
There are many different ways one can fast. One may define fasting as 'a willful refrainment of participating in an activity for a specified chunk of time". Many people think of fasting in terms of eating, but in this case, it's something different.
I fast from my phone, from emails, texts, and social media for the first three hours of my day.
I live with the people who are allowed to have access to me before 8 am. Anything else can wait. And you know what? My days are peaceful. My quiet time is quiet. My daily “This is your day, go save the world” readings reach me at a deeper level. My self-care, daily training sessions are more therapeutic because my thoughts are not tripping over any negativity. I am learning what freedom, peace in mind and body, feels like. And it’s pretty wonderful.
By fasting from the outside world for the first three hours of the day I am allowing my intentions and my morning routines to set the tone for my day, without competing with extra negative energy. I’m pretty sure I even move better and I’m more creative. Again, it feels like freedom.
We all know “garbage in, garbage out.” We know to surround ourselves with positive people and beauty. We know better than to consume poison. Yet, what we know and what we do are often not congruent. Maybe this is how we learn. Or maybe this is how we suffer. Either way, I have tasted a peace I had long forgotten, and I like it.
Protect your hearts and be vigilant about what you allow to enter your eyes and ears in the morning. Really, we should always do this throughout the day, but we’ll be better able to do it, if we make our mornings sacred.
I urge you to try fasting from “the world” for the first few hours of your day. I think you’ll find it worth the discovery.
And if you need a little help getting this idea to 'take', consider joining us for a 21 Day Challenge we've got running right now on our strongandablechallenge.com site right now. It's all about helping you get a jump start on your days by showing up on a regular basis. We've got groups starting on August 3rd and August 10th and we'd love for you to join us. Click here for more info.