Use Morning Rituals to Find the Day's Purpose

Written by Pat Sullivan

showerThe busier you are, the more important it is to take time for a morning ritual that focuses and inspires you.

Before my father drove us to school, where he also worked as a teacher, he'd say, "In the morning I set my good purpose." Then he'd smile and begin to sing. The harder the day ahead, the more cheerful was his song.

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Take a moment each morning to get your bearings.
Stand relaxed and move right, left, forward and back until you find the position where you feel most balanced.
Say aloud, "Right here, right now, I receive this day. I give to this day my best," or whatever other affirmation has integrity to you.
Then dance this affirmation into your shower.
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Every spiritual tradition offers ways to transform relaxed sleep time into purposeful activity. We can also create our own rituals, as Dad did, even if we're busy.
Dorothy C. Bass, author of Receiving the Day, sometimes works with people who are so over scheduled that a single extra phone call disrupts the whole day. While time management techniques can help, writes Bass, "our predicament [with time] is more complex, our yearning deeper, and the shape of time in our lives of greater importance than such techniques can address."
Bass stresses the need to learn a richer language than the language of management. And to develop life patterns that will get you through the days not only with greater efficiency but also with greater authenticity as human beings.
Bass reports that the editor of Christianity Today, Martin Marty, begins his day by crossing himself and remembering, "whatever guilt I have from yesterday is gone. ... I cannot do anything about yesterday; I can only do things about today, and I only have strength for today."
Each morning task can be part of our morning ritual. Albert Einstein is reported to have gotten his best ideas while shaving. Louis Armstrong often spoke of the need to loosen his bowels to keep the music flowing.
My best inspiration often flows in the shower. While coming clean physically, I meditate on coming clean spiritually. Often I repeat a line from Psalms, "This is the day that the Lord has made. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad." Sometimes the rejoicing is mixed in with a loud grumble or two, as I'm forced to face once again the mixture of good and bad that comes with being human.
Standing under the gushing water, I gain more courage to meet the day with the best that is in me. Once I have set my good purpose, I am better prepared for whatever happens. Thanks, Dad.



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