I can only think of two time periods in my life when I wasn’t naturally happy waking up in the morning. The first time was when I was in my twenties and had a job so far away I had to get up at 5.30am to arrive on time – I had anger in me every single morning! And the second time was four-five years ago during the breakdown of my marriage, when there was so much sadness in me so that even an amazing blue sky, birds singing outside my window, my children and dog close to me, nothing helped on my super-low mood.
That’s when I realised something had to change. And that’s when I started practising mindfulness.
Taking a moment to tune in to a new day has become the most important part of my morning. It truly sets me off to a good start! I find I am taking my place in the world. And I like the feeling of having done my part. I am ready for the day and life to unfold from there.
First thing I do as I wake up is connecting with my breath and noticing the aliveness within me. I follow the breath as it moves in and out of my body. It doesn’t need to be many breaths! It is a confirmation to myself that I am here.
Secondly, depending on the day of the week and how early I manage to wake up, I listen to a 10, 20 or 30 minute guided meditation. To me it feels easier to be guided in a mediation rather than sitting in stillness early in the morning. It doesn’t sound very professional but works for me – I’d rather do the sitting in stillness on my own later in the day when I am fully awake.
From reading about it and experiencing it myself, I know it is a good thing to list a few things that I am grateful for. So I do this as well (in my head). Anything is welcome on this list, anything from being grateful for my children, to having a car, to being warm in that moment, to meeting a friend later that day. Whatever comes up is good! Going through a gratitude list helps me value all the goodness around me.
If I remember I will say the following words to myself that I learned from a meditation teacher: “The fullness of the day is here”. This quote is soo good! Anything can happen in a day. I don’t know what but I am ready! The thought easily brings a smile to my face.
Opening the curtains in my bedroom, I take a moment to look outside and take in what I see.
And then I check my mobile… Not sure what I want to say about that habit!
A new day is special, and I hope that you find that to be true for you too. It’s a new beginning! I want every single day to count, and my intention is to be as present as possible for every part of it. It makes me feel alive and happy.