How to Wake Up

by Sharn Rocco, Mindful Works

The start of every day is an opportunity to wake up mindfully, to start the day with awareness. Every day is an opportunity to begin again, to choose a good beginning.

Many of the meditation and mindfulness teachers I have encountered in retreats have offered tips for starting the day in a positive way. Lama Choedak exhorted us to ‘Leap out of bed like a dolphin’. Others have put it more bluntly, ‘Wake up. Get up.’ The Dalai Lama recommends starting the day with a compassionate aspiration. This could be something as simple as, ‘May all that I do today be of benefit to others’.

Too often, instead of greeting the day with a sense of curiosity and possibility we resist, even dread, getting up. We lay in bed ruminating, worrying about what has gone or what lay ahead. Some of us distract ourselves from worrying or find more reasons to worry by reaching for our ‘smart’ technologies. These are habits that put us at risk of succumbing to depression.

Every day is an opportunity to wake up to ourselves and the myriad small wonders life offers. Establishing a morning routine that acknowledges and honours the gifts of life with acceptance and gratitude is a good beginning.

“Mindfulness does not depend on what is happening but is about how we relate to what is happening.”

– Sharon Salzberg

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