I wake up and drive to the market.Â Get my cart and load it up.Â 50 pounds of potatoes, 50 pounds carrots, red onions, spanish onions, 50 pounds of lemons, 50 pounds of salmon, 200 count cherry clams, box of chicken filets, various cheeses, 15 dozen eggs, endless veggies and so on.Â Drive my wife to school then drive to the restaurant that I work at.Â Clean the bar, cut the lemons, cut the limes, cut the oranges, open the wine, clean the windows, turn on the lights, turn on the heat, turn on the music, get dressed, fix my hair, check the messages, count the register, set tables for larger reservations, unlock the doors and wait for the customers.Â These are the first 4 and a half hours of my day every day with almost no variation.Â Some times I feel like the character Phil in one of my favorite movies starring Bill Murray entitled “Groundhog Day”, where he awakens every morning and it is the same day with the same events and only he is aware of it.Â Actually it makes me laugh to think of it because I even repeat the same morning conversations with my co worker at the market and with other co workers when I arrive at the restaurant.Â I know exactly what to expect, what they will say, and how they will react to everything that is happening.Â I never realized it until writing this but I really do feel this way and maybe that is why I like that movie so much.Â I think I relate to Phil on some level and even my wife calls me a groundhog as a nickname.
When I approach my morning routine unaware and unfocused on myself, which happens sometimes for various reasons, I think I experience life the way Phil did at the beginning of the movie.Â I experience discomfort, anxiety, frustration, irritability, pessimism, but above all else what seems to be a deep sense of discouragement about how life is going in a different direction than what I truly want.Â If I let myself go like this for several days I can sense that I am in some kind of danger.Â Not physical danger, but a danger of losing hope and the will to pursue my dreams.Â I don’t know if it is correct but I would call this a kind of spiritual danger.Â I have experienced it more times than I would have liked but I can’t say it’s without some benefit.Â The biggest benefit is knowing that these times come and if you hold on to your true self in anyway possible then you will come out of it sooner or later and can continue with great hope and some valuable lessons learned.
That is how the personal experience of my morning routine feels like on a bad day.Â On a good day I start my morning with my dream in mind and stay focused on my sense of being within my heart. This experience is completely different.Â The routine is the same but the experience is incredibly different.Â When I am able to keep my focus inside myself there is a great feeling of hope, positivity, love, effortlessness, joy, and clarity.Â Everything seems just right the way it is and it seems so easy to do what I want.Â There is no sense of trying to change others, judgement, comparison, trying to win something, trying to be more than something.Â These are the things I have found while focusing on myself.Â I have found these things in everyone else I interact with as well.Â After a while I could forgive a little easier because all of the things that people were “doing” to me is no different than what I have been doing to them.Â After some time I can feel a sense of space between me and those tendencies.Â They are still there but I can distinguish them a little more from myself and catch a lot of them before they come up and run loose.Â This little bit of space makes the experience of life’s routine so much more pleasurable it is with no doubt the greatest accomplishment I have made for myself in my entire life and motivates me to make more space everyday.Â I laugh at myself when I read these words because I know it is just a very small step but it honestly means so much to me and took so much effort that I am very proud of it and don’t want to lose it.
On a great day I am doing the same things and having all the same conversations with a sense of a wonderful brightness.Â It is as if I am very active within the routine but completely uninvolved emotionally with all that is happening in it.Â Instead of involving myself emotionally I am just purely enjoying myself and everyone there.Â For no reason there is joy, gratitude to others, love, and feeling of being very alive.Â Everything seems so bright and full of promise.Â I wear a smile from ear to ear with no need for a reason, similar to Phil towards the end of the movie.
Some days it’s easy and some days it seems almost impossible but the memory of what it can be keeps me going.Â I am very confident that if utilizing this type of meditation that I learned from Master Johwa as much as I can everyday to the best of my ability it will only be a matter of time when a great day is just a normal day.Â That’s one of my wishes.