In this blog post, we talk about the benefits of the Marcus Aurelius nighttime routine and what makes it unique.
Who was Marcus Aurelius?
The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was a man of morals. Very modest, in all things he liked moderation and modesty. From childhood, he had a strict way of life, not allowing himself extravagances. Marcus wore a simple Greek cloak, slept directly on the ground, and enjoyed philosophical discussions. What enigma was this man hiding?
Marcus never indulged in amusements and stoically endured all the vicissitudes of life, and life treated him to the full with unpleasant surprises. For example, he had to ignore Lucius Verus’ mediocrity, endure the infidelity of his wife Faustina, endure misunderstanding from people around him, and the ugly character of his son, Commodus, who had the best educators since childhood, but he was so pampered that he became a true tyrant.
Marcus Aurelius left some notes entitled “To myself.” These are divided into 12 books, which emanate nobility greatness; In them is reflected his whole generous nature and that high moral attitude which he promoted throughout his life. In these short summaries, his philosophical conceptions of life are reflected:
- “Time for human life is a moment; its essence is permanent floating; the feeling is vague, the structure of the whole body is perishable; the soul is unstable, fate – mysterious; glory – uncertain. ”
- “Everything related to the body, like everything related to the soul, is a dream and smoke.“
- “Life is a struggle and wandering in a foreign country. But what can get you out of the harbour? Nothing but philosophy. To philosophize is to protect your genius from scratches and wear and tear and to place it above pleasures and sufferings…”
Marcus Aurelius was sure that, disregarding the perishability of human existence, mankind has to solve problems related to true ethics, and every man must strive for such an ethic. To him belong the words: “Be zealous to accomplish the work you have begun to do, as befits a true Roman man, sincere and wholehearted, with love for people, with a sense of freedom and of justice ”.
The Marcus Aurelius nighttime routine
Marcus Aurelius was very introspective and meditative. He is called the philosopher on the throne. He professed the principles of Stoicism, the emphasis in his notes being on the ethical teaching and appreciation of life from a philosophical and moral point of view. “Everything that happens to everyone benefits the whole,” he said. The thoughts of the emperor-philosopher are simple and profound.
One would be amazed at his wisdom and spirituality. These golden notes addressed to the soul, the world and God, were born at night, when he was in a simple travel tent. They, like golden threads, are the link between the noble Marcus Aurelius and those who will perish over the centuries. These thoughts are not protected from the danger of non-existence, because they are accessible to mankind from all times.
This is the first element in Marcus Aurelius’ nighttime routine. The Roman emperor would often ask himself the question: “What would Zeno do?” during his meditation. Therefore, Marcus was contemplating what his role model would do, perhaps when he had to take an important decision.
We definitely need role models nowadays. A role model should inspire you to be better.
“What is your role model in life?”
When we are asked this question, we usually think of well-known personalities who have had significant achievements, famous people who invented or discovered something new and thus changed everyone’s history and daily life. However, the people I admire do not fall into this category, even if there are a lot of well-known people with beautiful character and ideas that deserve to be respected.
My admiration is especially directed at the ordinary people around me, who are not so publicized, but who never cease to amaze me with determination and courage.
First of all, they are the ones who have the power to embrace change with a smile on their face and to adapt quickly to new situations, without complaining or giving rise to tragedies.
I also like people who do not hesitate to start from scratch and re-profile themselves, to go to another field of activity, voluntarily or forced by circumstances.
I have great respect for people who prove that the impossible does not exist. He is not afraid of the possibility of failure or what others say. He tries, he makes mistakes, but he does it again until he reaches his dream.
Who inspires you? Who challenges you to be better, to do better, to want more? What would that person do in a difficult situation that you may be facing now?
Well, these are just some of the questions you can contemplate every night.
A view from above
This part of the Marcus Aurelius nighttime routine should not be taken too literally.
A view from above means stepping outside of your point of view and trying to look at what is happening to you from a different perspective. This is an ability that has to be trained, that is not always easy to accomplish and that involves a high degree of empathy, but also the power to let go.
The purpose of this exercise (which is brilliant, from my point of view) is to make you understand that there are always more perspectives on things. Also that you are an element in a universe that is infinite.
Sometimes our problems become smaller when compared to the troubles that are taking place around the world, such as famine or a pandemic. Therefore, such a thing will make you understand the fluidity of life, and the fact that you are not alone in the world, that no matter how hard it would not be for you now, at the same moment a child is born, someone gets married, someone divorces, someone is dying.
Although the Roman emperor believed that working out is “vain,” physical activity is still included in Marcus Aurelius nighttime routine, because he believed that a healthy mind can only exist in a healthy body.
Whether you like basketball, football, tennis, etc., or if you go to a gym or take a simple walk in nature, this physical activity activates endorphins. These are the chemicals in your brain that are responsible for your well-being. They are the ones that make you feel more relaxed and happier. Team sports are, in particular, those that place you in a framework that motivates you to outdo yourself.
The reward will be proven by the efforts. It will be a rewarding one, which will improve your physical skills, but also your mental ones. These exercises also give you the opportunity to develop better social interaction skills. They allow you to form closer relationships with your friends or colleagues, all in a relaxing and pleasant environment.
While you may not include exercising in your nighttime routine, take into consideration to take at least 30 minutes to do it during the day, as it will also help you sleep better during the night.
It is proven that sports in general, but also other forms of physical activity, improve the quality of sleep. This is possible due to the fact that sport requires, first of all, physical effort. In this situation, the chances of falling asleep faster at the end of the day and having a deep and restful sleep increase considerably. The fact that you sleep better improves your memory, attention or concentration, as well as your mood.
When you are rested, the stress of the day and the situations during it will no longer seem so tiring. However, consider starting these exercises as early as you can during the day. The physical activity started in the evening, before bed, can create an “energy boost” that will prevent you from sleeping.
Meditation has great relevance in the Marcus Aurelius nighttime routine. Meditating each evening before bed will change your life.
There are at least two ways to meditate. And one of these possibilities is a guided meditation, which I wholeheartedly recommend.
Why meditation? Because it takes a lot of your worries off your shoulders. Guided meditation means putting a .mp3 recorded on your phone or computer, and while listening, you follow the steps that are guided to you.
It is very easy to meditate in this way because you no longer have to think about the next steps. You just listen relaxed and execute. Then, depending on the experiences you will have, but also depending on the results, you can move on to meditation techniques in which you are your own guide.
If you meditate before bed, you will normally accumulate fatigue during the day and your body is willing to relax. If you meditate in the morning when you wake up, it is important to catch those minutes when you have not fully woken up yet and start meditating. It will be much easier for you.
Review the day
This is the last step in the Marcus Aurelius nighttime routine, but also a very important one. Marcus Aurelius emphasized this stage and its importance countless times.
In the evening, before falling asleep, try to review your day in chronological order. Remember how you woke up, if someone was next to you, what you saw, how your feet felt when they touched the floor. Continue like this with your whole day, as if you were at the cinema and the movie that it’s on the screen is your very own day.
The importance of this exercise lies in the fact that this way:
– You will understand where you went wrong today, and how you could make things better next time.
– You will notice what you did well, and you can be proud of that.
– You will recognize the things you have to be grateful for.
– You will understand how you evolve and how close you are to achieving your goals.
Why should you try the Marcus Aurelius nighttime routine?
The Marcus Aurelius nighttime routine is composed of contemplation, a view from above, physical activity, meditation and review of the day.
You should try the Marcus Aurelius nighttime routine as it will improve your life considerably. The 5 elements of this nighttime routine are suitable to lead a balanced life, health, peace of mind and fulfilment.
What do you think of the Marcus Aurelius nighttime routine? Sounds like something you might be tempted to try? Let us know what you think in the comments section!