Fresh Start

Fresh Start

Try one of our favorite morning rituals to set the right tone for your day.

Chipmunks Love Coffee by Kevin Lucius

I take the subway to work every morning. Before settling into whatever I’ve brought along to read, I take a few minutes to list the things that I’m thankful for—like the way my dog puts her ears back when she’s excited or when she knows she’s done something wrong. It’s hard to be in a bad mood when focusing your attention on the things you love. —Sam Mowe, writer

Meditation is considered an essential part of my aikido practice. It took me a long time to work up to it, but now I set my alarm for five o’clock every morning and sit for one hour before starting my day. For years, I thought I was too busy or too tired to make this effort, but now I understand that making sure I get to sleep on time is part of the discipline I’m practicing. —Ilima Loomis, managing editor

I go out to my roof deck most mornings and fuss over my plants. Between the deck and my kitchen, I have a dozen varieties of succulents, a 15-year-old geranium, a pitcher plant, some orchids, two spider plants, and some air plants and staghorn ferns scattered around. Keeping all the various plants alive keeps me grounded and is one of my most soothing rituals. —Brittany Shoot, writer

After stretches in bed, I get up and do 25 prostrations, or bows to the ground. Then I dress and take Bodhi the dog out for his morning walk. During the walk I chant a chant called the Great Compassion Dharani and offer up any merit first to the people living in the houses we are passing, then to people living in Eugene, then Oregon, widening the circle until everyone and everything gets included. We come home for a cup of tea and some sutra study, and then everyone who is in the hermitage meditates together for 25 minutes. After that I step into the day, starting with fruit, cereal, and—yum!—coffee. —Geri Larkin, columnist

On the days when I wake before the alarm clock (signaling the start of my morning ritual of being a mom), I softly bring my awareness to my breath. I focus my thoughts on what I am grateful for in my life and consider how I can be of service in the coming day. Once I’m up, I light a candle in the kitchen and make breakfast as I welcome my sleepy children, emerging from their dreams. —Kalia Kelmenson, reviews editor

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