Dawn, when the day begins: A Mindful Start
Posted on October 01 2016
‘I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.’ - Larry King
Waking up is something we all do, every day. Our consciousness unfolds from the swirl of the unconscious, our bodies ease gently towards awareness, and then more often than not, we suddenly snap into ‘awake’ mode: the thinking mind.
Immediately, our more intuitive, listening self is doused with a barrage of stories from the past evening, anxieties for the day’s plans, and to-do’s to accomplish. The flow of time becomes an inconvenience rather than an experience.
What are we rushing towards?
What we think, feel and do first thing in the morning has an inevitable impact on our day.
In the tradition of Ayurveda, sattva is a state of purity, harmony, and equilibrium. The hours before each sunrise are described as sattvic - quiet, contemplative, creative. These pre-dawn hours are seen as the ideal time for meditation, yoga, and reconnecting with our experience of being. Early morning is also a time for the body to detoxify after a night of slumber - physiologically, and mentally. With the sun rising earlier now, you may not meet the darkness before the dawn, but the sentiment of reflection upon waking remains the same.
This spaciousness in time and thought offers a chance to step outside of ourselves; to recognise that much of what we ’should’ do or ’should’ feel are actually constructs of the stories we perceive and tell ourselves.
How you invite yourself into each morning can bring conscientiousness to the hours that follow. Regardless of the challenges and stories that the day will bring, we can make each thought a conscious choice. You can choose to nourish your mind; to start, simply remember to pause. A tiny shift in trajectory can dramatically alter the course of your day.
Perhaps you’d like to try this tomorrow morning, as you slowly start to awaken. Keep your eyes veiled, and listen. Listen for your heartbeat, for your breath. What else can you hear from beyond your window? Gently wiggle your fingers and toes, spread your palms to feel the texture of your sheets. Feel the warmth lingering on your skin. Take a deep breath, expanding all of your lungs, into the back of your body, and then exhale to sigh out the stale air.
This is a point we can all come back to, any time throughout the day: a pause, a conscious breath, a clearing of thought and stories.
As we move through our mornings, let’s not forget how many hands worked hard to bring together the soft sheets on your bed, the hot water of your morning shower, the coffee you can soon sip on. And thank yourself, for taking a few extra seconds to stop the rush, take a breath, listen to your body, and engage in the experience of simply being.
This is part of a series of posts exploring how to integrate simple elements of mindfulness and Ayurveda into your days. Your can learn more about our mindful approach in bringing organic cotton creations to you via our Seed To Shelf story, and sign up below for our weekly newsletter below to join us on this journey!
About the Author: Lucy Lawes is an advocate for mindful living.