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Tag Archives: morning routine

Beep-beep, Beep-beep

Operating on daily habit and my fond affection for my morning routine, I woke at 5:02am, just as my alarm intended.

As soon as my eyes popped open, however, I remembered that our all-day venture to the east coast will situate us at our final destination around 11:00pm, with still an hour plus drive to go before a bed will be a sight for sore bones.

With two layovers, a time change, and the fact that we’re in the seldom held position of needing to check our bags, I figure we have about a 14-hour day in which to spend in airports and airplanes and it will likely be close to 1am before we see the start of a proper rest.

So, I attempted to go back to sleep, re-setting my alarm for 6:02. I tried twice, even. And each time, my alarm saw fit to not properly receive the message. Beep-beep, Beep-beep, Beep-beep, my little bedside watch chirped.

It was as if, from a great sense of duty, it were saying: Nicole, get up, get up. Don’t worry buddy, I won’t let you fall back asleep. You can count on me!

And I was all like: Thanks friend, but, like, actually, I would dig another hour’s worth of sleep. Is that cool?

But, like what happens with myself more often that I probably realize, my alarm was unable to listen, stuck-tied to its own agenda.

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Restoring Balance

 

I wear a green shirt and brown pants every day that calls for me to leave the house and mingle with the weather and/or the people, which is to say, most days. My lounge-about/sleepwear, however, is slightly more varied, with purples and whites and grays. I have hoodies in brown and green but in the early mornings when I rise, perhaps in solidarity with the color of sky when I wake, it’s the black hoodie that makes the most sense to me to wear.

Yesterday morning, I grabbed a green hoodie because it was there and easy. I put it on, zipped it up, and set to making my tea and boiling my eggs, as though I hadn’t just monkeyed with the normal order of things.

I sat down at the table, next to a bobbing candle flame atop a beeswax base, and read the first few crisp pages of a new book I acquired the evening prior. But something wasn’t quite right. Like entering your house to discover a light left on that you knew you turned off, something was amiss. I knew straight away what it was: the green hoodie.

I got up and replaced it with the black one. Balance was restored.

Now, some might deem this an attachment I would do well to work on or an OCD moment I should tend to with greater skill. And if it weren’t for the fact that I was operating with self-connection in a spirit of befriending, verses that of compulsion and anxiety, I would readily agree. But I used my intelligence and made a conscious choice, and that makes a world of difference.

Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh) is often instructing us to use our own intelligence when it comes to the use of the teachings and practice tools. This means that we would do well not to think that any one course of action can be applicable in all situations. This means that we must come to understand that to actualize the full breadth and spirit of the practice, we must be able to tune into our present moment experience and ascertain what’s called for, from our own perspective and knowledge, with clarity and ease. As our local dharma teacher Rowan says, and I just love: The classic Zen answer to any question is “it depends!” And it really does. The practice is not static or fixed in place. It’s alive, like the relationships we have with our dearest beloved.

My morning routine of communion with the greaterness that occupies space and time and joins us all miraculously together, is not something I find wise to mess around with. And if a black hoodie helps me in this process, then…shoot, I’m good with that.

 
 

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Mindful Morning Saturday

I awoke just before 4:30am and turned on my Mighty Bright book light made in China, patents pending, and slid out from under a mismatched set of sheets, one fashioned from organic cotton made in India and the other I got from the Goodwill, who’s tag I was unable to locate while groping around in the dark trying not to disturb my sleeping husband.

After reciting my daily morning verse: Waking up, my smile greets a brand new day, I padded into the bathroom where I proceeded to use recycled toilet paper, glide on some Tom’s of Maine unscented deodorant, made in the USA, wash my face with 85% organic ingredient soap “made with care in Missoula, Montana,” and run a brush through my hair that I bought in Paris upon realizing that I had managed to hop across the pond without a detangling stick. A brush, I might add, that must’ve been made outside of China, due to its lack of stamped mention of a country of origin.

I then found myself in the kitchen turning on the electric tea kettle, made in China and sporting the words “Do not immerse in water” in five different languages engraved on the bottom, and readying my morning gunpowder green tea, which I order online and has Chinese writing emblazoned on the packaging. And I sip said tea slowly from my most favorite hand-crafted clay mug made by my friend Drew (see pic above), as I ease into the day.

And the day will proceed onward in this fashion – I will use and encounter an endless array of items and products, from both near and far flung places. My day-to-day activities will be due to an endless sea of people having created, fashioned, and made possible my way of living.

What most struck me this morning, as I was fine tuning my attention to my routine, was how much the presence of water factors into my day – and how often I take it for granted. In operation of the toilet, washing my face and hands, preparing tea, boiling eggs for breakfast, filling the cats water bowl, washing dishes, drinking, showering… Being able to turn a handle and have clean water dispensed is a miracle of convenience I don’t think enough about.

So, today, among other things, I celebrate water :)

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2017 in Everyday Practice

 

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Everyday Outfit

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I wear the same thing everyday. Not the same exact thing, mind you, but if you didn’t know any better it might seem that way. And sometimes I do wear the same exact outfit. I mean, it’s not like I work in the mines.

Green shirts. Brown pants. Long sleeves in winter. Short sleeves in summer.

It’s surprising how oddly challenging it is to find plain green women’s shirts. And not just any ol’ green shirt will due, either. It has to be the right cut and hue. In the men’s department plain green shirts are a staple, but apparently women prefer shirts with fringe, frill, trim, lace, ribbon, some kind of bedazzled effect, unusable pockets, embroidered kittens or words emblazoned on the fabric. And all that is fine for other women, it’s just not for me.

I progressed quite naturally into this daily outfit, about 3 or 4 years ago. It just seemed to make sense. And it’s afforded me so much more time and freedom. I used to invest countless amounts of energy into trying on different clothes every morning and futzing with my hair – attempting to find just the “right” combination. What about these pants? Nope. What about this top? Nope. Do these pants make my ass look fat? Does this shirt go with my complexion today? Bleck! I don’t miss those times.

I’m free! :)

 
 

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