Why everyone needs a little ‘excitement’ in the morning…

Image by GDJ courtesy of Open Clip Art via Creative Commons

You know that feeling of excitement you get inside when you start something new? When you have an idea to explore? A germ of a plan in your mind?

Perhaps its a decision to go on holiday and you get a little squirm in your stomach as you start thinking about the potential itinerary.

Or you decide to plan a surprise party for a loved-one, and the ideas start flowing, and you can just imagine that beam of joy on his face when the lights come up and he realises all these people have gathered just for him.

Or maybe you are about to start a new online course; one that promises to hold you by the hand and take you down a path so laden with gold, you can’t decide between the rose or the yellow?

Now, imagine if you could start every day with that kind of feeling.

Look, I know it is unlikely to last beyond breakfast. The itinerary quickly hits snags or you become overwhelmed by the potential expense. The surprise party actually involves the very boring job of gathering together email addresses of people you’d rather avoid; the golden path reveals some mighty potholes along the way, and your day can rapidly turn to shit when you get an email from the tax office — BUT!

That doesn’t mean you don’t deserve just a smidgen of excitement as you sip your cup of coffee first thing in the morning, before reality kicks down the door with its steel-cap boots.

Life is hard enough without thinking it’s rubbish before you even start. If you are someone who has embraced the idea of a morning routine, even that can become overwhelming. Morning routines get us thinking about the day ahead, and all the things we need to do, and it’s all too easy to just see drudgery stretched out ahead of us forever more.

So please, my friends, gift yourself this.

Gift yourself 15 minutes to read something that gives you a stir of excitement each morning.

Order the latest and greatest motivational book that Facebook begs you to buy, or dig out the self-help gems you buried at the back of the bookshelf some time in 1995 and see if they speak to you, now that you are older, and wiser.

Make it a guilt-free 15 minutes that reminds you of the world of possibility.

You don’t have to act on it, you don’t have to beat yourself up that you are not living the dream, you don’t have to throw in your job and run off to Costa Rica to become a digital nomad — you just have to allow yourself that little squirm of possibility that such books can provide. And bathe in it for a while.

It might spark some ideas, it might instigate a flurry of journal writing, or it might just remind you that there is always potential, even if today is not the day to act on it.

This week I picked up an aged copy of Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way’, one that I have had for about 15 years.

I know it’s been that long because when I opened the first page I saw an inscription from my sister to my mother. It had been a birthday gift. When my Mum died in 2002, this was one of the many books of hers that came my way. And during the months that followed I remember trying to work my way through it, as I re-invented my own life and future; a not uncommon byproduct of an unexpected death in the family. When I travelled to London it was boxed away in storage, only to be shipped along with the rest of my belongings when it was clear I was going to stay in this adopted city of mine. Since then, it has sat on my bookshelf, ignored.

But this week I picked it up and realised I was ready to try again.

The pages have turned sepia, the font feels old-fashioned, it smells like the musty old boxes it was stored in — but when I open it up, it takes me straight back to that turning point in my life. It’s a book that reminds me of new beginnings and opportunities, and I find myself thinking that maybe now will be the time I’ll work through it to the end. And maybe I won’t. Quite probably I won’t. Quite probably, just like last time, I’ll work through it until it gives me some answers, and then I’ll probably pick up something else from the shelf, or from the fabulous selection of new books Amazon tempts me with every day. And that’s perfect. Because every one of those books is likely to give me a squirm of excitement when I start them, and that little squirm is all I need to get through the rest of the day.

Gift yourself ‘the squirm’ — what books do you have on your shelf that might be just be what you need to read right now?