You wake up. You slap your alarm clock (or in my case that would be a 2ft high handsome curly haired little boy who'd like to play with his cars)
You feel around in the dark for your dressing gown... Time for another day.
Another day... The thought of that to a dehydrated brain is not enlivening or awe-inspiring. It's drudgery and and hard work! That's why the very first thing you should do when you wake up is drink a big glass of water.
Even if you don't read anymore and you just do that... You'll have a WAY better day.
But, as you may suspect, I have something more for you.
Now, I don't know if you are the most disciplined prayerful dude, or meditating dudette. Maybe you have your hour of silence tied down. You access the depths of inspiration, the vast reservoirs of latent possibility that reside within you on a daily basis that provide you with a foundation light, focus and engagement for an insanely productive day.
You might. Or you might not.
It always makes me smile when I read about the importance of a morning ritual to make the most of your day and your life. If only my 2 year old son had read the book aswell, then maybe my 6am start would be a little more contemplative than watching Cars 2 for the eighth time. (although we did both do a yoga move in front of waybulloo the other day .... "tree, daddy, tree!")
I don't have an hour... Maybe you don't.
But do you have a minute?
I bet you have a minute? Even you must have a minute a day that you can commit to developing your highest, best and deepest qualities as a human being.
I'll take that as a grudging yes.
Ok. I'll let you into a secret. It's a the foundation of a book that I am currently writing, and I call it "Soul Inspiration".
This is a very simple practice that condenses the best of visualisation, prayer, meditation, and... Breathing. You don't need to be spiritual to do it. You just need to be able to breathe :)
Firstly, let me sell you one few benefits. Many people advocate an hour of silence, prayer or meditation. Neuroscientists are now seeing the benefits of some kind of regular practise, to the physiology of the brain, including a vast reduction in age related illnesses, and brain shrinkage that can occur in later years. It's fascinating stuff.
But, you know what, you just feel better if you do it. Better about yourself, and better about life. You may even to get to free the world of some of your grumpier moods!
Most practises suggest using an object of some kind to focus on, wether its a scripture, a word, an image or your breath.
Now, being an artist, I thought I'd offer you an image that you can offer. It's a preliminary sketch of a new set of work that I will be working on in 2012 called "the soul chords". There will be 9 of them, and each one relates to a soul capacity that I have identified in my ten or so years of SoulScaping..
Take a look:
Soul Chord 1 - "Stillness"
Here we see a tiny figure near the top of "Stillness" representing your localised sense of awareness, the "I" that you believe lies on one side of your skin, behind your eyes somewhere. This is your starting point for the descent into what certain traditions call "the ground of all being". We start at the pinnacle of your true potential. See the gentle root-like tendrils that stretch down into the still, watery depths, navigating the strata of layers of incomplete life experience, until you find an inner chamber of openness and light.
This is the entry point into absolute stillness, and the vast spaciousness that is in the very depths of your soul, and beyond.
Here, very delicately stretched out, is a light body.. representing your infinity, God himself, waiting calmly in the stillness. Underneath all things lie the ever-lasting arms, waiting to give you the most gentle, warming embrace in absolute stillness.
Blues and whites represent stillness and calm, and pure divine energy emanating from the infinite heart of God.
So here is the practise:
First, find a timer and set it to one minute.
Take the soul chord that you would like to develop, stillness for example. Place the image in front of you, or gaze at it on your wall. Place your self in the picture, swap places with the figure in the image. Take a a deep breath and feel deeply into this experience. What do you feel in your body, what textures can you sense? What sounds can you hear? What fragrance can you smell?
With each breath, with a soft gaze focus... on the image and replay the experience until 30 seconds passes. Now close your eyes, and with each breath replay the experience, use your imagination to bring light, movement and light to it. Smell the smells, feel the textures, and let go deeply into this experience.
As you reflect on this piece, breath deeply, follow your breath into the depths of silence. Notice the space between your thoughts.... Feel deeper still and you find the chamber of infinity inside. Now... Rest.
When your timer goes off, gently open your eyes, observing what is different internally, and what you notice that is different in your surroundings
How did you find it?.
Please leave a comment below.
You see this isnt about the length of time you do something, it's about the quality with which you do some something.
And if you have a young family, or crazy morning like I often do, you can practise this in your room for one minute, in the shower... Or even on the loo! :) (Needs must sometimes!)
It can really set you up for the day, and make you realise that a truly inspired day is actually just a thousand moments that you have brought yourself too.
Give it a go and I look forward to hearing from you.
To your inspired 2012,