I am a big fan of rhythm and routine—Not rigid and inflexible as in the many years before I had my daughter, when I lived like the slave rather than the master of my agenda.
But a gentle structure that ebbs and flows as needed and generally helps me live on purpose, clearly aligned with my vision and values.
An important part of my daily rhythm is to begin and end my days with simple routines designed to support mind, body and soul. Nothing fancy and yes, occasionally, I break “the rules.”
In the evenings I dim the lights and make an herbal tea and turn off my phone. It’s my time to reflect and reconnect.
Right before bedtime, I do my ‘3 minute before bed yoga‘ routine, then lay down and take a few deep, slow, calming breaths, and ask myself a series of questions to end my day well.
Asking myself 3 purposeful questions before bed helps me sleep content in the knowledge that though I did not live out my day perfectly, I did live it well and to the best of My ability today.
1. What are three things I am grateful for?
I started this life-giving practice in 2016 after I felt my life was getting to overwhelming and confusing. Expressing gratitude comes easy to me now, like breathing or laughing with my daughter.
But I have walked through darker seasons where I had to fight for gratitude. I struggled to find hope, reluctant to allow myself to feel joy, afraid of what lay around the next bend in the road. Back then this practice was hard work but part of what sustained me as I slowly healed and found my way back to inner balance.
I want to live with eyes and heart wide open to the amazing beauty of each day. To receive each day as gift, not guarantee. If I look for it, I can find gifts even in the midst of pain, or loss, or uncertainty. Don’t misunderstand; I do not welcome pain or loss or uncertainty but now know I have the resilience to walk through the storm and emerge intact. I have the power to choose what I am focusing on with that creating what I attract into my daily life.
2. What are two things I did well today?
I coach people daily in my yoga sessions. Many are aware about the practice of gratitude, that assists them to notice the small daily gifts that we often take for granted or miss because we are hurting or distracted.
But when I ask them to just list a few things instantly they feel grateful for…I meet resistance. It is so easy to see our struggle or shortcoming but not our real beauty and value. Can you relate?
I only added this question to my evening routine a short while ago. And I must admit that my responses require some thought. But as someone who, since childhood, struggled with believing I was enough—so painfully aware of all the ways I never quite measured up, this practice is changing me. I have even posted 2 articles about this…read them HERE and HERE.
Deepening the roots of self awareness and self compassion that permit me to step out in calm confidence.
3. What is one thing I would do differently?
Some nights I tell myself that there is not a thing I would do differently given the chance. But more often I can identify something: a word spoken in impatience, too much time on my phone distracted, the way I procrastinated out of fear or forgot to eat because I was busy working. The goal is never to criticize but to notice where I did not live fully aligned to my bigger goals and values.
I choose a growth mindset. I am gentle with myself, compassionate and forgiving as I am with my daughter and loved ones. But I am always aware that I get to choose who and how I want to be and that tomorrow is a new gift, a brand new opportunity to become more fully myself. Every day is a new opportunity 🙂
Though I have never actually timed myself, some days I feel like this practice of asking myself these purposeful questions takes me five minutes, other nights twenty. Once in a while I have a desire to rush ahead ;-)
But sacrificing a bit of my precious sleeping time is so worth it because of how calm and clear I feel afterward. At peace. Content in the knowledge that though I did not live out my day perfectly, I did live it well.
I truly hope this has sparked something in you and you will incorporate this into your daily routine or at least give it a go for a while to see what changes it creates in you.
Do let me know in the comment section about your experiences and don’t forget to share this with your friends.
Peace, Love and Abundance