Starting your day neutrally
This morning I awoke after a fairly nutty dream. I thought about it, laughed, and sent a text to the person it was about. The sun beamed through my window and as I walked to the kitchen I put on one of my favorite songs by India Arie. She's my musical spirit-guide, always helping me to remember who I am and what I want to make my actions and life about. I was given peace. I was given ease. I was given motive to write neutrally.
So here we are.
When we wake, we generally take a moment to remember what the heck just happened in our mind (perhaps after cursing the alarm). We try to recall every mysterious moment of our night, only to realize it didn't mean anything, we make it mean something, or (in most cases, I find) we squeeze the story so hard trying to remember as it quickly flees away and we are left blank on an adventure in which we, moments ago, were fully immursed. It's gone.
Whether you allow the dream to affect you, or you didn't dream that night, we awake and have our first thoughts:
What time is it?
Am I late!?
Today's the day!
Why won't my alarm be QUIET, doesn't it know i'm sleeping?
.....Thoughts of your itinerary line up.....
Ugh, I really hope that nasty person at work doesn't bother me today.
Oh damn, there's that really big thing I have to get done today.
Whee!! It's Friday!
The first instinctive thoughts.
From these, we tend to mindlessly assume and conclude how the day will proceed from there.
"The sun is shining, and I have lunch plans with someone I love so it must be a GOOD day"
"It's gray outside, and that jackhammer won't stop, and damnit I'm out of coffee, I am deeming this a BAD day"
Some of us are able to stop ourselves after a rocky morning and search for a brighter turn in the day. But more or less, we start the day having thought about whether it's good because we're hopeful, or bad because we've already been turned off to it.
Most of us know that because things happen one way or the other within the first minutes of a day, does not necessarily mean the duration will follow suit. It could take a turn for the worse, or the best. Or you might be right (more on that later) and that day you have deemed as such will continue on as you have named it. Look at you, calling the shots, big guy. So smart.
My challenge to you is not to deem the day as bad.
My greater challenge to you is not to deem the day as GOOD either.
That's right. Do not deem your day as Bad or Good.
I don't care what happened or is going to happen and what you think will happen, you do not KNOW how it will happen. I do not mean logic, I mean turn of events, how someone will speak to you, who will cut you off, who will send you a check, what cute baby will warm your heart (or dog, if children scare you).
YOU DON'T KNOW.
So don't call your day good. Don't call your day bad. Because that way, it's just a day.
"Now wait a minute, isn't the whole point of this blog post for inspiration?? C'mon Tiffany! I'm having a rough morning and this was my inspiration! Don't give me some spiritual mind challenge, I've got s%^t to do! I started reading, to get inspired! Start your day with a smile! Control your destiny with an optimistic mind! ORDER ME TO BE HAPPY! RIGHT!??"
I think as a society, we get stuck in labels. SO MANY LABELS.
Good, bad, terrible, right, wrong, ugly, pretty, boyfriend, girlfriend, gross, friend, friend, weird, nice.. I'm not saying emotions don't accompany situations and appropriately describe things (because I LOVE WORDS), but the situations themselves, we are always so quick to NAME IT. And give it meaning.
Once something is named, we can decide how we feel about it, RIGHT?
"Let me KNOW what it is, GIVE ME A LABEL, so I can decide how it can or can not RUN MY LIFE".
What if we feel a certain way about it, and let it be what it is... without declaring and categorizing this ever-changing, fluid life?
Through categorizing good and bad, we allow events and the way we feel about things to control us and our life.
When I was in my first year at college in New York, my roommate and I took the LandMark forum education program by invitation from a teacher. Landmark offers opportunity for personal growth. Like many forums of this caliber, there were opportunities to 'enroll' and continue on through donating money and the next step and the step after that and all you should do once you've heard the initial message.
But I didn't need all that.
I got the message, and that was all I needed (I was also a broke college kid who wouldn't be donating or upgrading my personal growth level anytime soon. Not if it cost me any more money).
The message was this:
Life has no meaning.
Now before you dramatically flail through your home in terror, or throw yourself off a building because, what's the point!? Let that settle, and let me explain.
Things have no meaning.
Life instinctively has no meaning.
As landmark says, "We are meaning-making machines"
This is that, this means that.
You do this, which means this.
Because this happened to me, it means that I am this.
You're from this place, which means this.
You're skin is this color, which means this.
Sure Tiffany, nothing means anything. But I KNOW what happened in the past and I have to use that to protect myself.
I am not telling you to live mindlessly. I am telling you to live openly. Yes, you may be right. Your assumptions could be correct about a situation or person. But these assumptions are only a theory, and life does not happen so you can be right or wrong, because no matter how you react, life keeps on going.
Life is an experience.
Life is something to lived.
Life is not something to be given meaning.
Life is to be lived.
...I guess that's why it's called life.
..But I could just be making a meaning for something ;-)
We get so caught up in trying to predict the future that we forget to experience the present moment.
If you are too busy proving you are right about something, you cannot find an opportuniy to learn from the present moment that is right before your eyes.
Life grows and nature expands and evolves.
It does not have a REASON for growing other than that it is instictively what it needs to do to survive. To evolve. Naturally.
Nature is neutral.
Deer do not gallavant around eating grass because they know it is their PURPOSE. It's because they're hungry, and they have to survive. Because if they don't eat, they will die. That is not meaning, that is fact. When they are faced with a threat, they run.
They do not run because they are supposed to. They do not instictively move because of anything beyond the fact that if they don't, they will die.
I understand we are much more advanced and intellectual than deer. But we have evolved from nature. We are a natural entity. It has been proved that we are made of light (Barnica, 2014). Whether you believe God made us and we evolved, or you are convinced we are cousins to the apes, we are nature. We are part of the Earth.
And we are.
No, that's not a typo.
That's it. We exist.
And we, as humans GIVE THINGS MEANING. They are not born with meaning.
Referring back to the example of the deer. What are the things we must do? Eat, drink water, breathe air, move our body, because if we don't, we will die. Great.
I'm not telling you to only do these things. I am reminding you that the stakes we place on things, such as an average day in the life of (insert your name here), are only as high as we make them to be.
-Let me repeat-
The stakes you place on your life are only as high as you make them.
We have no control, because life is a natural thing. So let it happen to you.
Just as your day has no meaning and becomes what you decide it does. And yes, it is wonderful to exclaim affirmations of the vivacious and wonderful power that you wish to bring about in your day. But that is not determined by the events in your day, that is determined BY YOU! By the way you see things!
So stop blaming the day for the bad, or giving it the credit for the good.
Because YOU are the maker, the meaning-maker, the decision-maker.
Things will happen intrinsically. The world will spin. Life continues whether or not you get what you want, whether you think postively, or whether you brood through life. Life doesn't care how you feel. Life continues and is not affected by much. We may as well enjoy the ride if it's going to keep on going whether or not we throw a fit or a party.
So today, start by not making anything good or bad.
Just let it be.
Jonn Lennon was on to something with that. Perhaps there was just an over-population of hippies at the time, but I"m pretty sure the popularity of that song speaks for itself. -Oops, look at me giving things meaning ;-)
Happy Wednesday, and thanks for reading.
**Check out the song attached to today's post. India Arie is a wise, wise woman.
Barnica, B. (2014). How Biophotons Show That We Are Made Of Light. Retrieved from: