When I was a child, my dad would blast us kids with his uber positivity and optimism first thing in the morning.
“Rise and shiiiine!”
Almost like he was attempting to fill the room with the full energy of all life and the sun with those 3 words.
I would generally respond by stuffing my head under the pillow.
So, that’s not my preferred wake up practice, but I do like having one.
When I first notice I’m awake I try to pay attention to what I’m thinking about. Though it is usually not instant. My mindful awareness of my headspace comes a few seconds after I realize I’m awake.
It’s like this, with a few seconds separating each stage:
Wake up > realize I’m awake > ask myself what am I thinking about.
Then, I attempt to make an awkward hello to the day and my mind, which is less, “Rise and shine!” And more, “Hi, oh, hello, um, hi-good morning-uh-hello,” as if it were a socially awkward encounter with another person, but it’s just me bumbling though the first moments of awakeness. Understandably so, as I’m still kind of sleepy, and not capable of a full on sprint into sophisticated conversation with self or anyone.
But that’s my practice. To become aware, and try to say hello to what’s there.
“Good morning sleepiness.”
“Oh hi, yes, I know you–you often come first thing.”
“My first customer! How may I help you.”
Then, I’m off into jokes and watching where that goes. So much happens so quickly, first thing in the morning. Milli-thoughts in milliseconds.
“Do I want to go back to sleep or just keep my eyes closed for a while. How does my body feel. Is my right leg twitching. Which pillow is under my head right now the medium one, fluffy one , or flat one. What do I have to do today. Oh god I don’t want to do that. What else can I do. What time is it. Oh my arm is nice and warm and soft against my side. Is my face and brow tensing up. Relax my face. I want my phone. Don’t reach for it. Wait. It’s darker outside than I thought would be, is it cloudy. Oh yeah it was supposed to rain today. Maybe I should turn over. Should I get up. Do I need to pee. Do I need more rest. I’m aware of my thinking. How am I feeling.”
That represents probably about 4 to 5 seconds of thinking. To which I might say, “Oh hello flood of awareness.”
“Welcome to the very imperfect hospitality of the mind. Good morning.”
Rise and shine.