I’ve started a new morning ritual that is working amazingly well so far. Instead of indulging in the idea of “winning the war” with my alarm clock, bargaining for a few extra minutes to myself before leaping out of bed to start chipping away at a “to do” list, I now look forward to getting out of bed for a totally different reason. I spend the very first part of my day connecting in to my body, my gratitude for the heavens, the earth, the beauty that surrounds me every day, and the nature of my true heart. I stretch gently, I breathe, I sit, I sound, and I take the time to notice where I am right now. I realize that where I am is not the story my mind is constantly constructing, saying “What if…?” or “Should I…?” or “Isn’t it…?” but right now is just this breath. When the next breath comes, a new “right now” has already been born.

Instead of being greeted by and reacting to a list in my head – or a list of messages on my Blackberry – I proactively greet the day in my way. I remind myself of devotion to the essence within me, the peace that is always available to me, and the subtle discipline of practicing freedom. Yes, I am seeing that freedom is a discipline we choose to practice. It is a skill that is learned gradually and honed constantly. It is a devotion that requires effort to maintain over our many addictions and habits that so easily arise as instinct or impulse.

I start each day now with a reminder of my freedom, and I bow in gratitude to the start of another day, another chance to practice.