The stillness of the morning is my sanctuary and my enduring reward that welcomes me to each new day with a quiet blessing that says to me: “Give this moment to yourself.”  It may seem odd to relish the early morning that many others shun with covers over their heads; “sleeping in;” or using alarm clock tricks that either prolong the nightly slumber or silence the ringing alarm clock.  I invite you to the 4am “read-in” or “breathe-in” complemented by early morning bird chatter and the cawing of blackbirds as clarions a new day.

Early morning is a time to behold the blank canvas of your new day; to co-create with the unknown and the divine presence of miracles that animate and orchestrate the unfolding story of another day.  I hear silence that is really a steady hum of life that invokes a rhythmic dance of thoughts moving effortlessly into consciousness.  I awaken without a clock between 4am and 6am. After a brief transit through my wake-up routines that include water and eye drops, I begin a half hour stretch program before jotting down my agenda for the day. 

Joy is nestled in this time that I allot for me alone before I am launched into the hyper-speed of activity that defines my day, even though I am in retirement. Be forewarned, you can actually be busier in retirement than in your full-time work life or even your quarantined existence.  Without the morning for me, I can find no solace in the daily grind, nor satisfaction in progress because my foundation requires restoration derived from a morning of peace and solitude.

As I ready myself for the day, I find a little more joy beyond reflection and movement to discover it in my makeup case. I wash, hydrate and moisturize my skin in a simple routine; applying a light amount of foundation to even my skin tone. I gaze in the mirror and think about colors and textures for the clothes I will wear. The last and most joyful part of my morning process is the application of lipstick with a brush. This final step provides me with a lovely sensory experience that is absolutely luxurious.  The use of a brush elevates this mundane task with an unrushed present moment awareness and intention that is simply sublime.  Taking any routine task and doing likewise can infuse our daily lives with multiple sources of joy.  If you can do this, you may find that each day will become a marvelous thing made up of magical moments of splendor. The possibilities are endless, and so are the opportunities for joy.