The best part of my day is in the early morning. I got into the habit of rising early when the children were small. It was the only time I could get any peace and quiet. I’d like to reassure you that I’m useless after 9pm. When some people are just getting started, my productive day is over. But I’m convinced of the value of finding time each day for quiet reflection.
Into the garden
This week I have been going out into the garden every day at 6am. It’s magical. There is a little hen sparrow who watches me and sings as she flits from gutter to fence to branch. The air is cool and smells delicious. I have a chair in a quiet corner under an olive tree, and here I sit to journal, pray, and enjoy the stillness.
The Artist’s Way
My journaling is along the lines suggested by Julia Cameron in her inspirational book, The Artist’s Way. Despite this title, I would stress you don’t have to be any sort of artist to journal in this way. My only rule is to write three A4 pages in longhand, on paper, every morning.
A torrent of self-pity
It doesn’t matter what kind of nonsense comes splurging out, so long as I write something. Often, it’s a torrent of self-pity. I moan about someone who upset me or lay out my worst fears. You wouldn’t like the woman who writes my journal. She is grumpy, petty, and self-absorbed. But writing down all this stuff helps put a distance between that miserable person and the me I want to be.
The great thing about my journal is that no one will ever read it. Not even me. It is a dumping ground for my rubbish, an entirely non-judgemental listener. It helps me work out problems. Sometimes just writing down my angst helps me unravel what is really bothering me.
A private space
Some days I use my journal to puzzle over problems in my novel, or to play with ideas for my next blog. Because this is a private writing space, I don’t have to bother about whether it sounds good, or even makes sense. I just let my thoughts flow with my pen, free to scribble utter drivel. Delicious!
Meditation and Prayer
After my three pages are done, I turn to meditation and prayer. That means different things for different people. For me, these days, I begin by sitting quietly and offering the day to God. Then I ask for help for whatever people and situations are especially on my heart.
After that I might pray the rosary, or listen to music, or to an inspiring reading or story on my favourite prayer app. Sometimes I like to accompany this with colouring a picture. Other times I just sit and enjoy the garden.
The Best Part Of My Day
My hour of journaling and prayer is the best part of my day. Even in winter, when I sit indoors, it is one hundred per cent worth getting up before 6am. My whole day goes so much better for this quiet beginning.
Part of a bigger whole
Why not reflect on what is the best part of your day? You might be an evening person, and you might prefer yoga over journaling, meditative walking over verbal prayer.
Maybe going for a run helps you sort out your worries, or perhaps you like to sit and work on a craft. That’s fantastic. The best part of your day should be something that balances you, gives you space to be yourself, and helps you feel part of a bigger whole.
My book, Finding Your Calm Space: Thirty-One Ways to Find Calm in A Crazy World, has lots of suggestions for ways to make peaceful space for yourself. The first step is finding the best time. What is the best part of your day?
My favourite prayer app is called Hallow. You can check that out here https://hallow.com/
I wrote another blog which tells you more about The Artist’s Way. You can read that here
Karen Lawrence is an author and mother of seven living in Billericay, Essex, United Kingdom. Karen has published two books and is currently working on three novels.
Letting the Light In: How A Baby With Down Syndrome Changed My Life is Karen’s personal account of having a baby with Down Syndrome. It is available from Amazon at
Karen’s first book, Finding Your Calm Space: Thirty-One Ways to find Calm in a Crazy World is available from Amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Your-Calm-Space-Thirty-One-ebook/dp/B08NZ1W9QY
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