Simply put, there are certain times of the day when it’s most and least beneficial for resting, eating, exercising, and working.
In our present society, it has become most difficult to naturally follow these guidelines. However, when one is experiencing an imbalance, it can provide much needed support. There’s never a better time to look within than in circumstances of stress.
Here are a few simple guidelines for establishing a more natural cadence in your daily activities:
1. Use your morning energy wisely. Connect with the natural world with a walk outside. Look up to the sky and feel the wide open space you see coming into the center of your body. Imagine yourself as open, especially in your heart. Breathing exercises and meditation performed before breakfast are beneficial for calming the mind and creating clarity. Generally, eat light in the morning.
2. From 10 AM to 2 PM we experience our highest natural surge of energy. Projects requiring focus and concentration are favored. We’re most productive and also have the greatest potential for digesting food. Therefore, eat your largest meal, if possible, around noon—at least before 2 PM
3. In the afternoon, our energy systems begin to wane. We’re digesting not only our food from lunch but also all the sensory perceptions of the mind from the moment we arose. Our modern society seems unsupportive of this time of day. However, it’s beneficial to take a short nap—20 to 30 minutes—to recharge. If napping is not possible, take at least five to ten minutes to connect with your breath and/or rest your head on a soft surface (ideally a pillow). Be mindful that the goal is to rest your brain.
4. As the sun sets, the resetting of our rest cycle begins. It’s ideal to eat the last meal before 7 PM, or 5 PM if you’re experiencing digestive problems. If you are in a stress cycle, try to avoid TV, phones, and computers after you eat. Try reading, gentle restorative yoga, or an evening meditation practice.
5. Getting to sleep at the same time each evening is helpful. Before retiring, mindfully go over the events of the day. Do not judge yourself or others; rather, be determined to be positive in your dreams and in the future. Remember, evening is for rest.
Living our lives in accordance with nature can be very healing on our bodies and minds. However, the most transformative action is AWARENESS itself. Bringing clear attention to our lives without our internal voice of judgment will create space and openness inside of us. This will naturally lead to choices in our inherent best interest and the best interest of others. May we all find our inner peace and therefore give way to the happiness of all beings.
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