When we wake up in the morning, there is a nano-second between the moment we regain consciousness up and the moment the "thinking" kicks in. In that place of spaciousness, we might hear the birds communicating with one another, or smell the aroma of brewing coffee, or notice the light of the rising sun, or sense the warm body of someone a few millimeters away or just be in touch with our own body. There's no thinking, just sensing, being aware, noticing.
For those who are familiar with practices such as focusing, contemplation, mindfulness or meditation, this nano-second can be turned into seconds, even minutes. No thinking. Just sensing, being awash in awareness. No thinking. Just being present.
Then the thinking kicks in. The day begins. But how it begins can be a curiosity. For some, the day begins with a knee-jerk jump into an electronic world. For others, it's a meditation, or exercise, a prayer, or planning for and setting intentions for the coming day. How about you?
Here are some common or not-so-common ways to begin your day. They may resonate; they may not.
1. When you wake up, stay in bed. Breathe deeply. Sense your body, and notice (just notice; don't judge) what you're feeling. Are you happy, sad, angry, hurt, fearful, resentful, confused guilty, jealous? How do these feelings show up in your physical body?
Don't do anything. Just breathe and allow the energy of the feelings to run their course. Track the energy as it moves through your body. Don't attach stories to the energy. Just follow the energy. Generally, the feelings/energy will melt away. Often your body's inner wisdom will arise. Be curious. What's the message?
2. Notice the first thought/issue that comes to you upon awakening. Is it work-related? Family related? Self- related? Track this first thought for a few days. Do you see any pattern? Be curious about the pattern. What does the pattern tell you?
3. Do you usually wake up feeling alive, refreshed, and renewed? Or are you sad, unhappy or upset? Peaceful, calm and relaxed? Or angry, guilty or ashamed? Why? What needs to happen (or not happen) for you to wake up feeling positive, relaxed and in a state of equanimity?
Some questions for self-reflection
On a scale of 1(low) to 10 (high), how much do you like yourself? Do you practice loving self-care?
Do you wake up feeling you deserve to have a pleasant or good day, a productive day, a peace-filled day?
Do you commit to taking care of yourself during your day?
Do you feel you're deserving of love?
Do you surround yourself with toxic people? Why?
Do you spend more time and energy caring for others than you do caring for yourself?
Are you living your life from a place of honesty, sincerity and self-responsibility?