We know we’re taller in the morning than we are at night, after the compressive stresses of the day have weighed in. (See Monday’s blog). Now imagine what a day’s worth of interaction, decision-making and experience-processing does to our emotions.
Emotional compression is just as natural a reaction to the stresses of daily life as is gravity-driven physical compression. You may wake in the morning feeling expanded and energetic only to sense the day’s events slowly eroding your optimism and sense of well-being. Add gray skies (yup, we get ‘em in the Bahamas, too) and occasional illness, whether minor or serious, and it gets tough to hang on to happy.
Unless you’ve got a pair of bookends.
Whether you think of them as mini-meditations or simply reflective moments, bookends are a way to bracket each day with conscious intention. Here’s how they might look for you:
After waking, sit quietly for five minutes or more. Inhale a sense of expansiveness into your whole inner being. Welcome light through every pore and feel for a cellular shimmer. Just as you might at the beginning of your yoga practice, set a gentle intention for your day, like: laugh. Now take an emotional snapshot of how you feel right now and file it somewhere; you’ll come back to it.
Before going to bed, sit quietly for five minutes or more. Inhale and expand. Welcome peace into your body and mind. Release the day. Gaze at the morning’s emotional snapshot until you recognize yourself. Sweet dreams.