Today I offer an excerpt from the upcoming free Householder’s Mini-Retreat.
“Let us get up then, at long last, for the Scriptures rouse when they say, ‘It is high time for us to rise from sleep’ (Rom. 13:11). Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from God, and our ears to the voice from the heavens that every day calls out this charge: ‘If you hear God’s voice today, do not harden your hearts’ (Ps. 95:8)”
Rule of St. Benedict – Prologue
It takes me about fifteen to twenty minutes to move beyond the early morning grogginess and step onto my mat for asana, prayer, and if I have time, meditation. In life before motherhood the first thing I did was put the kettle on to boil water. These days, because our bedrooms are adjacent, instead of taking the risk of waking up my son by walking downstairs to the kitchen, I get water from the tap in the bathroom, drink a little then sit.
I close my eyes and breathe. I thank God for getting me out of bed and onto the mat and ask for guidance. Then I do asana. My prayers at the end of asana shift slightly as I ask for the ability to be patient with my child and the willingness to surrender to whatever God asks of me this day. I do a little pranayama and if there’s still time, meditate.
Next my son and I “play toys” for a bit. When we go downstairs I put the kettle on, feed the cat, and scoop out the litter. I drink boiled water while making our breakfast.
The moment hot water passes my lips I feel more awake. Revived in a way even asana can’t do. I am roused from sleep. I can listen: to my body, to my son, to God. A student once said, “Drinking hot water is like a loving hug for your insides.” Prayer, asana, hot water – I am awake, my heart is softer than it once was, and the day feels a little less scary.
Wellness Practice: Hot Water
As soon as possible after getting out of bed, boil some water and drink two to three cups hot. I fill a mason jar with half boiled and half room temperature water. If you don’t have a kettle, heat water in the microwave.
Drink your hot water before any coffee or tea, and preferably, before any food.
Hot water invigorates the body, stimulates digestion, and flushes out toxins.
Sip it throughout the day. When you feel like snacking, try a little hot water first and see if that takes the emotional edge off the need for extra food. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t. What it will do, is rouse you from sleep and soften your heart so you can better listen to the charge of the day.