Recently, I was asked to contribute an article to an Advent booklet being produced by my church. Such a request I always regard as an honor and so I enquired as to the theme for the publication. I was given the title: Awaken to Amazement. As you might surmise, the service I attend is somewhat untraditional, even eclectic.
You might also rightly assume that with the work in which both my company and I are involved, that this commission would be a no-brainer. After all, we are about purpose and possibility. However, in the spirit of living with integrity, I must be honest and state that rarely do I literally “awaken to amazement.”
In fact, my thoughts first thing in the morning are not at all amazing. I am often absorbed (like many of you I’m sure) by all that I have to do, what’s wrong with the world, and concerns about the future.
Fortunately, I have a powerful antidote that re-directs my thinking and focuses my attention on what matters most to me. I have never characterized it this way before, but I can in all honesty say it is – “to live as an amazing a life as possible.”
My antidote is a morning ritual to which I have been dedicated for over thirty years. As an early riser and “morning” person, I realize that this ritual is more challenging for those whose biorhythms are exactly opposite to mine. However, I can assure you the outcomes are worth the time and effort.
My heritage commands that the day start with a cup of tea – English breakfast with a dash of milk. This is transported to my favorite chair and then a candle is lit (a symbol of peace and protection.) On the side table are three books or magazines with daily readings, the content of which grounds me in the present moment and provides inspiration and encouragement for fully embracing the day.
I begin, however, spending time in contemplation. Purposefully, I direct my mind to thoughts of gratitude. I reflect and review the many blessings that are a part of my daily life. This ensures that I am taking nothing for granted and that my focus is on what I have rather than what I don’t have. The result of this process is a constant reminder that I have everything I “need” and my “wants” are inconsequential to what truly fulfills me and leads to happiness.
I then begin to read, sipping my tea along the way. All the readings nourish and nurture my spirit whilst, at the same time, speak to life’s possibilities and the potential for what can still be created. Thought by thought my self-imposed limitations are discarded, new vistas are opened up, and my soul is stirred by all that has yet to be learned and experienced.
I wish that I could walk around in a natural state of amazement, but that is not my reality. However, my morning ritual brings me to that place where I become conscious of all that is astonishing, wonderfully surprising, incredibly loving, and just overall magnificent. And what could be more amazing than that?