I am thrilled to welcome a new contributor to the BLDG 25 Blog, Kristen Hedges! Kristen is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, a Yoga & Meditation instructor, and a wandering lover of words. Her writing, coaching programs, and classes help stressed-out spiritual seekers find their ideal lifestyle through dietary shifts, daily mindfulness, & a lot of wild soul searching.
Morning comes quickly here. An alarm sounds at five. At five thirty, my husband kisses me goodbye. I find it hard to sleep after that. Sunlight spills in and my dog rustles under the blankets.
Not long ago, I hated mornings. I woke aching, and dazed. I started my day running, and didn’t slow down until the sun sank below the hills. I was fatigued, and sick, and stressed.
But since then, I’ve learned the beauty of stillness. Of letting myself sink slowly into the moment and enjoy every breath I take there. After all, we only have this. Bring awareness to the fact that everything is right here, right now. Turn the lens on your life & focus in. If we can learn to find sweetness in each breath – each part of our day – we can heal, both within, and without.
I challenge you to find your own sweet moments throughout the day, beginning with the morning. To help you along, here are ten that might resonate with you & invoke a spread of warmth in your ribs.
Wake up, but not too quickly. Give yourself 30 seconds each morning to stretch before rolling out of bed. Reach fingers towards the headboard, and toes towards the wall. Curl into yourself and sigh. Then, stretch out again, feeling the life rush into every limb.
Find your heart. Press an open palm to your ribs and breathe in deep. Find the steady thump, thump, thump that’s keeping you alive. Allow it to settle. Slow down. Sink into that sound, and find comfort in it.
Reach for your notebook; the one that’s resting open and ready on the nightstand, and pull the cap from your pen. Write down everything that comes to mind. Lists. Things to do. Things to be grateful for. Things to remember. Poems, and stories, and whispered confessions. If you do, you might find that your day is more clear. With the busy, gnawing thoughts permanently pressed in ink, there is more space in your mind for joy.
When you finally feel the life in your bones, get up. Place your naked feet on the floor and steal a few breaths. Maybe close your eyes. Bring awareness to the subtle arch of each foot. The sensitive skin on your soles. Notice how the cold floor feels. Then, without losing the awareness, dig up some socks and pull them on.
Keep a blanket wrapped snug around your shoulders until you simply must shed it. Breathe into the fabric and feel your fingers close around the fibers. Rest your eyes. Comforted and cozy, you can begin your day with the heat of the sun on your face, and the feeling of soft, woolen arms draped over your shoulders.
Flick a lighter, strike a match, and light a stick of incense. Be completely present in this act. With every sound, smell, and burning hot ember. This is one of my favorite morning rituals. As the smoke rises and curls around your room, you can offer the incense with intention – to yourself, to your day, to the world.
Now, open a window. Crack the door. Go outside. Let the day permeate. Taste the temperature of the air on your fingers. Allow a hot cloud of breath to escape your lips. Welcome the morning for all it has to offer. Smell adventure on the breeze. Wrap that blanket a bit tighter, and go back inside.
Bring water to a boil on the stove. And with each step – the turning of the faucet, the filling of a silver pot, the click and leap of the flame from the burner – find sweetness. Now, turn that water into something more. Pour it into a mug with lemon, or over a bag of tea, or through a filter filled with dark coffee grounds. Marvel at this transformation.
Sip slowly. There’s no need to rush. Blow the steam away and allow the mug to warm your fingers. Drink your tea, or your water, or your coffee, as if the entire universe rests in the hot liquid. So slowly that you can feel the sharp lemon spark in your nose, or the coffee buzz loud through your blood.
Roll out a yoga mat and listen to the subtle sticking as each fold unfurls. Even if you don’t have time for a full practice, you simply must make time for a few gentle stretches. A quick forward fold. A mindful breath. An intention. Take a moment to find the sweetness in your toes curling onto the rubber. In the beauty of the day that awaits. Know now that this rest – the sweet stillness that you’ve found this morning – is available to you at any time during your day. All you have to do is close your eyes, and reach for it.
More from the 10 sweet little moments series.