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the Presence Point

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Simple Morning

Simple Morning

photo by Sarah Lipton

A friend asked me to write about how to have a simple morning.


Sunshine peeks in the window earlier now. Spring is not yet here in Vermont, but it is coming soon, I can feel it in the tender increase of the sun’s warmth. There are more songbirds calling early in the morning to greet the day and buds are just starting to appear at the tops of trees, a sign of vulnerable hope.

Our tendency is to arise with a sense of urgency - alarm screaming, coffee pot buzzing, twitter tweeting, texts and emails piling up. We have to get up and OUT our gadgets tell us. But our body is not ready yet. It is still waking up, still warming up to the idea of moving again, our minds still emerging from the palace of dreams.

Before the alarm and coffee and gadgets, we could take a moment to pause and feel.

We could listen - are there birds outside calling our name, or at the very least, calling to one another? How does our body feel, even before we stir from our covers? What fragments of dreams do we remember, and can we let ourselves taste them? What messages are churning in our hearts, begging us to listen and hear?

Can we risk being simple enough to just feel the brush as we scrub our teeth and hair? Can we dare to feel the water running over our skin in the shower? Pause before you hit the switch on the radio, can you hear the house around you? Listen, can you hear the water heater coming on to heat your shower, the refrigerator motor running it’s cycle, the songbirds or dogs or doves cooing or barking near your window.

Before that first drop of coffee hits your tongue, pause and feel the quality of your wakefulness. What does it feel like to go from waking to sleeping? Sleep is one of life’s great mysteries - where do we go? And why do we come back? Are you the same person this morning as you were last night?

Try it, have a simple morning. Feel each moment of movement as you roll over and out of bed. Really feel the covers as they slide, gliding over your warm, sleepy body. Feel the urge to stretch as you wake up, and let yourself enjoy it. Taste your toothpaste, feel the water splashing over your hands, allow the air to touch your skin. Savor the soaking of water in your shower, dare to look yourself in the eye in the mirror. Breathe and just be.

Go ahead, enjoy a simple morning. And see if that simplicity can ooze into your day like the warming sun of springtime.