Even if the alarm clock is hurrying you, resist bounding out of bed the second your eyes open. Hold still for two minutes. Even a car needs to be warmed up for optimal function.
So take a moment. Take a breath. Sit on the edge of the bed. Breathe. Become aware of your hips where they are pressing down on the mattress. Be aware of the muscles of your abdomen. Ask if they are already tense. Breathe into them.
Feel your feet on the floor beneath you. Be aware of how the bottoms of your feet feel touching the floor. Socks? A carpet maybe? Maybe not. Chilly? Check. Wiggle your toes. Include your littlest toes. Feel how the bottoms of your feet connect you with the top of your head. Settle your awareness into a sense of being in your whole body.
Take another breath.
Now…before your mind begins to warm up to the leftovers of yesterday, find some space in your body. Do this by imagining your breath as a vapor that you can see and watch it as it comes into the body on an inhale. See it circulating to the very tips of your toes, swirling upwards through your legs…torso…arms…neck and head.
Let this new breath sweep clean the events of yesterday. Allow breath, like a gentle breeze, to freshen your interior, every inhale… every exhale taking the past away. Spring cleaning with every exhale, making a corridor into something new.
Yes, you are anticipating a busy schedule. For now, just in this instant though, breathe. Get ready for the new day. There are already many blessings in it. Spend another moment taking stock of these positives. What is there for which you can feel gratitude?
You were lucky enough to wake up. You have a bed, a bedroom, clothing and food for the day. You may be hearing birds, crickets, pneumatic drills, or your teenagers playing music too loudly. Already. You have the capacity to hear all this. You can breathe. There may be someone who loves you. More importantly, there may be someone you love. And there may be a pet that adores you who is looking forward to greeting you. Just one more moment…is plenty of time to take inventory of this basis for gratitude.
Breathe gratitude in…out. Notice how you experience your body when there is gratitude passing through it. Where is there comfort…ease? Breathe. Feel where the bottom of the torso is touching the bed, where your feet are touching the floor. Where is the breath moving? Where in the body might be there pleasure right now? Where might there be comfort right now? Good morning.
Eve Elliot is a psychotherapist, yoga and meditation teacher. She’s authored five CDs and several books, including, Attention Shoppers! The Woman’s Guide to Enlightenment Through Shopping. She’s been interviewed over 60 times for TV, magazines, and newspapers including The Boston Globe and has been a sought after expert in the field of eating disorders.