Starting your day with Grace


How do you begin your day?  Slamming the snooze button, racing out of bed to beat the clock, lingering in the yumminess of the dawning light?  How you start your day impacts your entire experience of it.  Ya know the old adage, "got up on the wrong side of the bed?" Starting rough is a hard one to recover from, so here are a few quick suggestions to make your emergence more easeful.

  1. Wake up and give thanks. The minute that the alarm sounds or the light penetrates through your dreams, feel grateful that you get to breathe, see, taste, feel another day. Don't think about the grudges or challenges, don't contemplate the bills or the list, for just one moment be grateful that you are alive, then turn off the alarm and roll out of bed.

  2. Be aware that you are a part of a much bigger process. As you blink your tired eyes open, acknowledge that there are thousands of others in the world doing the same thing. Wearily waking up to look another day right in the eye. You are not alone, you are, in fact, an integral part of a huge waking family of earthlings. All species and genders, all ages and experiences, waking up to participate in life. Just like you.

  3. If you are blessed to have a window to look out of when you first awake, then pause for a moment and look. Take in the fact that the world is an amazing place. Beauty is all around, and unfolding for you in every moment. Whether it's trees, water, highrises, train tracks or interstates, the world outside of your window is nothing short of a miracle. Begin your day in acknowledgement of it.

  4. Admit that you are a miracle. Upon waking, take a deep breath into your body. Be present with the literally hundreds of processes taking place in your body at the moment you breathe. Feel your lungs, your muscles, your bones. Feel your heart beating and the blood rushing through your veins and arteries. Before you start thinking about all of the aches, pains and worries, be present with the miracle of you.

None of these choices take more than a few seconds.  None of them will make you late or behind.  None of them need to be spoken or shared.  All of them have the potential to shape your entire day into an experience of beauty and grace.  Simply by acknowledging the power of Grace in your first waking moments, you begin to shape and form a day that offers you unending positivity.  And, even if a heinous day unfolds, you can carry with you the memory of your waking moments as refuge.

Be warned.  This is a practice.  It's a practice of remembering (smarana) in the deepest sense.  You work to remember every day.  You slow down your reactive response to waking, and you receive a slower rousing, one which invites the flow of beauty into your life.  There will be the mornings, where out of habit, you race out of bed and forget, and at some point in your day, you will remember.  On those days, use the moment of remembering to plant the seeds of grace.  And see what happens.