The alarm clock sounds. I wake up automatically and lean over to turn it off. I smile. I notice my breath, how my body feels, how my eyes still feel sleepy. There is a stillness within but it does not last for long.
Like putting a key in a car ignition and turning the engine on, random thoughts and images begin to penetrate my mind. Emotions follow. It is a familiar pattern that happens on a regular basis but it does not shatter my peace, my sense of beingness. I am not the voice in my head.
I smile at my wife, say Good Morning and then kiss her. I sit up on the edge of the bed. With an intentional inhale, slowly and deeply I follow the breath then naturally exhale. The random thoughts, images and emotions I leave behind. There is no place for them in this moment though I do not resist them, for what is unreal need not be fought against. This movement of mind is simply an involuntary process and in time it slows down all by itself by lack of attention on my part. I am the master of my house and the mind is a tool to be used, not to be used by it.
With another intentional inhale, as I then naturally breathe out, slowly and relaxed, I stretch my arms and my back, the body loses it tension. I feel like my feet are melting into the floor, connecting with the energies of the earth. A gentle smile arises.
Smiling, I feel so grateful. Feeling so grateful, a sense of joy arises and in that moment of gratitude I whisper three times to the universe, the source of all creation. “Thank you, thank you, thank you”.
The beginning of a new day is a wonderful gift. It is an invitation for us to start each day with a mindful breath, a gentle smile and a grateful heart.
A single mindful breath brings your attention to the present moment. It helps us to release any tension that we may unwittingly be holding in our bodies. It creates a space between the continuous stream of random thoughts and negative emotions. This in turn creates a sense of balance and well-being if practised regularly.
A gentle smile, even if you feel grumpy, upset or angry when you first wake up will help you to eventually feel more positive. There has been many recent scientific studies on how smiling can improve one’s mood and there is a reason why the Buddha is always depicted with a gentle, serene smile. So what better way to start the day?
Finally, what’s the big deal about gratitude? Well, gratitude is so important if we want to experience joy in our lives. This is certainly the case when we feel grateful for the simple things in life and the people who we share our daily lives with.
The simple things in life that we could be grateful for is the air that we breathe, listening to the song of a bird, enjoying the taste of fresh water. The list is endless.
If you feel like normal everyday life has become mundane, repetitive or even miserable it is time to remember the mystery and magic that life has to offer you and that time is now. So why not begin with a mindful breath, a gentle smile and a feeling of gratitude for something that you normally take for granted. Then see how you begin to feel. What’s the worst that could happen?
These posts are part of my mindfulness course, “A Little Piece of Mindfulness for Everyday Living”. This is a mindfulness course borne out of my own experiences and spontaneous living. It is not a programme for you to follow as a set routine in a robotic kind of fashion. It is simply to inspire you to live a more mindful life. To learn to live in the present moment and to show you that it is possible to live a life of spontaneous joy, peace and harmony.
Let us together, step by step, through our daily living, through the love of our hearts and the peace of our minds, touch the souls of others and raise the vibration of the planet so that we may all live in a more peaceful, compassionate and loving world. Namaste ॐ