What do you do in the first 60 seconds of your morning? Is your mind filled with thoughts and worries about the day ahead? Do you drag your weary body out of bed like a heavy sack of potatoes? How can you bring yourself into the next 60 seconds with awareness and presence?

How do you awaken? Does a loud alarm rattle you awake? Do you hit the snooze button repeatedly because your body demands more sleep?

Spend a minute or two to notice bodily tension anywhere. As you do this, notice your breath and let it become smooth. Your breath is your intimate kiss with this moment. Listen to the music of the morning. Let all the little creaks and crackles, the rustle of the sheets, the birds outside, the animals inside, maybe the movement of a partner greet you while your head still rests on its pillow.

I have learned a lot from watching our three dogs awaken. They awaken slowly each morning. When they are ready, they stretch their furry paws far in front of them and gracefully arch their backs. Sometimes they go through this ritual several times. They are greeting the morning. What does your body’s morning greeting look like? Be sure to include a long, peaceful stretch that prepares your body for a day of gravity-defying feats.

Be at peace with your body in this minute. Don’t berate it, harangue it or push it around. Ask for its help in this next minute as you rise and begin to move about; it will be serving as your helpful companion through the day.

Pay attention to how many unique experiences there are in every minute, and see if you can notice even the slightest gratitude or appreciation for some of all of these happenings. Even if your morning time at home seems rushed, it actually offers a vast and open space. Give yourself permission to take it all in, for this is a morning like no other. Give the gift of this unique morning to yourself.

Does your morning greeting spread warmth and support to others? Or does it spread indifference or anxiety? Take a minute to consider the following statements and identify the tone of your greetings.

  • I am grumpy in the morning and want to be left alone.
  • As soon as I wake up, I am thinking about all the things I have to do and already feel the anxiety building up.
  • I don’t usually kiss, touch or hug others before leaving my home in the morning.
  • When I arrive at work, I am all business. I get right to work and don’t make an effort to talk to anyone other than with a quick “good morning.”

If any of the statements above resonate with you, then you might find that a 60-second shift to your greetings can hold new bridges with those at home and at work.

Slow down your morning. When you walk, know that you are walking. Feel the floor or ground beneath your feet. Sense each little moment. When you are showering, know you are showering. Listen intently to the running water. Note its temperature as it cascades over your skin. This morning, experience what it is like to let nothing go unfelt, unheard or unnoticed.