How I “Prime the Pumps” For the First 12 Minutes of Each Day

Emotion is created by motion. The way you move determines the way you feel. We have 80 muscles on our face. For most people that area is the biggest area of atrophy in our body. Most use the face the same way, have the same emotions.

Every day – these days – I have to prime myself to experience more range, more motion, deeper emotion.

It takes about 12-15 minutes. Sometimes I choose to go longer, but if I don’t have 12-15 minutes for myself, I don’t have a life. I am intentional about creating a healthy life for myself. That’s my number one thing. If I want to grow, there is no more “I hope I feel good.” Action has to be taken. Motion, motion, motion.

I will share my “prime the pumps” practice. This is what works for me. Whatever you do, I think some sort of morning (and evening) practice is important.

First, I physically feel my heart.

I put my hand on it and feel that heart. Lately, my inner peace meter is in the red zone so I seek to breathe deep and aggressively straight into my heart. It might even resemble heaving.

Steadily, I slow my breathing down so I can mourn for my heart.

There’s a 12 year old boy in there who is scared and nervous. That 12 year old’s mom is asking him if he would like her to walk with him, but he says No. He has to walk alone. That’s when the 40 year old version of me steps into the scene and tells the boy to follow.

I’m grateful for that 40 year old.

My hand is still on my heart, my focus still on breath. The 40 year old me is walking that 12 year old through a mural of grateful. He’s showing the boy all his value, all that he is meant to give and be. We stop. Hold our breath. Listen to our heart. Then breathe again. Our final grateful is for the uniqueness of our heart. I sit with this for a moment and find a normal breathing.

Then I reach for three things that I am grateful.

Sometimes, if I’m sharp, I find hard gratitudes. There are tiny seeds of gratitude inside every difficult situation. They can blossom into happiness if tended. Other times, they’re easy gratitudes. For example, this morning I heard the heavy breath of my son’s deep sleeping. I try to FEEL these three gratitudes. I want to overwhelm myself with it. Because I know that when I’m grateful, it’s impossible to feel worry, anger or fear. All my life it has been anger and fear that have set me back the most, whether that be in relationships, parenting or business.


Tony Robbins says you have to wire yourself every day.

That I can’t “hope” to be happy if my habit is to be worried, pissed off, frustrated or stressed. He says that most people have a highway to stress and a dirt road to happiness. Sometimes I visualize me and the 12 year old version of myself in good ole Mike Muligan’s steam shovel and we’re rebuilding my inner highway to happiness  – one load of dirt at a time.


I pray for myself.

This is a combination of actual prayer and a re-visualization of my dream board. I have a dream board I look at every day. I go through each item in my mind’s eye and narrate what is happening for each one as if it has already happened.

Current Dream Board 2017

I finish by saying my “Ground of Being” statement three to five times.

I say it out loud. My hand is still on my heart.

I am present. I am connected. I am creative. I am attractive. I am kind. I am confident. I am facing my fears and overcoming them. I am courageous. I breathe deep into my pain. I am opportunistic. I am making my life happen. I love myself. I am enough. I belong.

I do all this before getting out of bed.

When I am done with that process, I can get out of bed.

I pour a glass of water, take my Juice Plus capsules and open my journal. I write the date at the top of the page and recap the day before, intention how today will be and add thoughts, insights and responses. Next, I do 25 push ups, 25 sit ups and 25 air squats.

Now I can face my day. I have just given myself bravery. My pumps are primed. I have altered my state of being. My wires aren’t crossing. This is the work to be done.

This is a post from my healthy living series. If you’d like to receive all the healthy living posts, then subscribe here.

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