You begin your day serial snoozing your ringing alarm and now you’re late!  So you jump out bed, half asleep, and hit the floor running, frantically making a pass through the shower, rushing around the house and finally jumping in the car to drive to work through snarled traffic that really sends you over the edge.  You arrive to work exhausted, angry and frustrated…  That used to be me. But I changed all that.
I began to spend 15 minutes, right after I open my eyes, sitting quietly and becoming present in the world.  I pray, meditate, read Bible passages, or affirmations.  I celebrate that God has opened my eyes once again to see another day.  I take a breath in the quiet of a new morning to center myself in peace.  And that 15 minutes made all the difference in the world…as a matter of fact, I’d venture to say it changed my life.
To be sure, it takes making a conscious choice to leave morning mania behind to achieve it.  You may have to rise 15 minutes earlier to incorporate your new session into your morning, but trust me, it is a worthwhile investment.  Spending time with God (and myself) for a brief period before I brush my teeth or take a shower, or read emails, or ANYTHING truly grounds me.  Taking time to be grateful, or telling myself “You’ve got this, girl!” sets the tone for how the day will go – no matter what happens after that!
Think about the power of covering yourself in peace and mindfulness before anything else.  In making sure you’ve fed your gratefulness before you drink your coffee.  Self-talk and talk to God, being quiet enough to listen to what God wants you to hear and what He wants you to do  has infinite power over your ability to think positive thoughts!
Positive thinking requires self-talk.  It requires that you say positive affirmations to yourself, and sometimes you have to say them aloud.  When you have a negative thought, whether it’s about yourself or something else, go ahead and have the thought!  Let it pass right by…but immediately after, remind yourself through self-talk that the negativity has no place in your mind or your soul.  It’s a practice – success doesn’t come overnight!  You’ll have to remind yourself each and every time – the same way you talk yourself out of a cupcake or chocolate chip cookie when you know you’re on a diet.  Don’t you have to do that more than once?  I know I do, sometimes many times a day!  It’s the same with positive thinking – it requires consistent and intentional self-talk.
Tomorrow morning, set your alarm 15 minutes ahead of your usual waking time.  No matter how difficult it is, do not press the snooze button.  Do not lay there to sleep 5 more minutes, because, let’s face it – there’s really no such thing as 5 more minutes of sleep!  Get up and go to a quiet place in your house – even the bathroom – somewhere where you will not be disturbed.  Light a candle, play spiritual or meditative music, and immerse yourself in meditation, deep thought, prayer, whatever YOU call it.  Read affirmations – there are ton of daily affirmation books that will do the trick.  One of my favorites is Acts of Faith: Daily Meditations for People of Color, by Iyanla Van Zant, which contains 365 days of affirmative passages and quotes.  Get a chalkboard for your space, and write affirmations on it – for example “I Am Beautiful,” or “I Am Enough” to speak aloud to yourself.  Download an app on your mobile device that contains daily Bible verses.  Create a list of things you are grateful for and add to it or re-read it each day.
No matter the method you choose, the key is to enjoy a period of time, before the hustle and bustle of the day begins, to honor your Higher Power and yourself by doing something that brings you peace and personal fulfillment.  Fill yourself with positive energy, and I guarantee that it will set the tone for the rest of the day.  However the magic spell is created – Law of Attraction, or a superpower cape you’ve symbolically draped over your shoulders, or just God’s infinite grace – in time you’ll find this practice will change your life too.
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