"Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty-four brand new hours are before me.
I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion."
Thich Nhat Hanh
Every morning, we have a new opportunity, a fresh day to make friends with ourselves, our family life, and the world. When we begin the day with positive mindful practices, we begin happier and tip our entire day in a more positive direction.
So consider adding a positive practice to your morning! I like to do one or two of these before I even open my eyes.
Morning gratitude. Reflect on things you are grateful for as you awake. Just the fact that you are able to awaken is a wonderful thing, right (even though you may be tired). Let them be both the ordinary, everyday things many of us normally forget to enjoy and the extraordinary big things. Name several things, write them down if you can or (even better) share them out loud with someone.
Self-appreciation. Can you think of three fabulous things about you this morning? Do it! Fill your cup and learn to see the positive in yourself.
Recite Thich Nhat Hanh's morning gatha (above) as you get up.
Practice loving-kindness meditation each morning. You can start with yourself, 'May I be filled with loving-kindness, May I be strong and healthy, May I be calm and peaceful, May I be truly happy' and then send it to others. Maybe practice loving kindness for someone you love and someone you've been having a hard time with. Maybe offer it to your family, your community, your region and continue until you are offering it to the universe. Come back and do a final round for yourself before finishing.
Enjoy your coffee or tea and your breakfast. Make the first sip and first bite a practice, slow down and experience it fully. Enjoy it.
Pay attention to the sensation when your feet first touch the floor. Offer a moment of thanks that the floor is holding you up. Notice the support that the world offers and open to support in all moments of your day.
Look at something beautiful. Take a few moments every morning to let yourself enjoy beauty. If you are lucky enough to see the sunrise, enjoy that! If you wake to a nursing baby, soak that sweet little baby in and enjoy her beauty. Keep something beautiful where you will see it in the morning--a flower, a stone, a photo.
I wish you joy today!
My life and work are guided by the these core understandings: that all beings (including me!) are capable of transformation and joy, that healthy parenting matters profoundly, and that simple practices can support each of us.