Dead Set On Living Bonus Practice: Rise And Thrive

August 22, 2017 by Chris Grosso

Dead Set On Living Chris Grosso

Rise and Thrive

Here is one more bonus practice for you. I call it rise and thrive and try (key word being “try”) to do it first thing every morning before I get out of bed. It’s a great way to intentionally start your day from an intentionally positive and determined place. That doesn’t mean five minutes after you walk out your door that morning that everything won’t go to complete shit because, well, life is life, but if you work with this practice for a while, I truly believe you’ll begin to see some noticeable results in your life.

Smile For 10 Seconds: (or 5 or 20, I don’t care, just start your day with a smile). As Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hnah has said, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” I’m far from a neuroscientist or anything like that, but I can say there’s been all sort of studies done on how smiling can benefit your health and happiness, as well as help towards fighting off stress. It also relaxes your body while lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. Very much worth the 10 seconds (or more) in my opinion.

4/7/8 Breath: This was already explained at length in the “Be Here Now” practice session, but here’s a quick refresher: You can do this in any position. Standing, seated, lying down—all are fine. Since this is a form of yogic breathing, you’re asked to keep the tip of your tongue touching the ridge of tissue in front of your upper front teeth. It’s said that this completes and energy circuit, but what do I know? I’m just trying to share this as accurately as possible. Begin by inhaling through your nose quietly to a count of four (using a count of “one one-thousand, two one-thousand”). Next hold your breath for a count of seven (again using a count of “one one-thousand”). Then exhale through your mouth, pursing your lips for eight counts, making a swoosh noise while doing so. After you’ve finished your exhalation, immediately begin the next inhalation, and repeat the cycle four times.

Forgive Yourself: Simply scan yesterday’s events briefly and forgive any areas you may have acted unskillfully (towards yourself or others). Id appropriate and/or necessary, make amends (apologize) to whomever you may have hurt or offended during the day.

Gratitude: What are you grateful for? Think of at least three thing (more if possible) that you’re grateful for while lying in bed. Perhaps it’s the fact you have a bed to lie in, or a roof over your head, or that you live in an area where bombs aren’t consistently falling around you. I don’t know. Just find some gratitude. It’s definitely there!

Intention(s) For The Day: Keep it simple and realistic. Perhaps it’s getting through the day without the use of drugs or alcohol (okay not so simple), or maybe it’s adding 5 minutes to your meditation practice, or not eating any sugar, or giving yourself some form of self-care (a bath, massage, hike etc.)

Self-love / Loving Kindness: This is just the first part of the beautiful Loving Kindness practice that’s meant so much to me through the years. I highly recommend implementing the entire practice into your life, but for the purposes of this quick “rise and thrive practice” I simplay use the first part, focusing on myself and with both hand over my heart center (optional) mentally repeat the following phrases: “May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I live with ease.” This work for me but please feel free to use whatever works for you. Also, some may find it selfish to only focus the loving-kindness practice on themselves (which again, I recommend bringing the entire practice into you repertoire) but for the purposes of this quick way of starting our day intentionally on a positive note, I believe it’s absolutely applicable and perfect. If we’re able to bring the healthiest, most compassionate and gentle version of ourselves into the world (on a good day) what’s wrong with that?

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Chris Grosso is a public speaker, writer, recovering addict, spiritual director, and author of Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster) and Everything Mind: What I've Learned About Hard Knocks, Spiritual Awakening and the Mind-Blowing Truth of it All (Sounds True). He writes for ORIGIN Magazine, Huffington Post, and Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine, and has spoken and performed at Wanderlust Festival, Yoga Journal Conference, Sedona World Wisdom Days, Kripalu, Celebrate Your Life and more. Chris is passionate about his work with people who are in the process of healing or struggling with addictions of all kinds. He speaks and leads groups in detoxes, yoga studios, rehabs, youth centers, 12-step meetings, hospitals, conferences, and festivals worldwide. He is a member of the advisory board for Drugs over Dinner.