Now that your body and belly are awake, we can work on waking up your brain. One way we can wake up the brain in the morning is by Becoming Present. Becoming Present is an important practice once you get to the place you will be spending most of your day (like school or sports games). If it is a school day, Becoming Present is especially important because this practice will get you in the right mindset for the day ahead.
Becoming Present means that we are gathering all of our attention and bringing it to the place we are right here in this moment. You can think of it like gathering firewood to make a campfire. You need enough wood and kindle to get the fire started, and then have to keep gathering more wood for the fire so it will stay strong. Our mind can be like an unlit fire sometimes, especially in the mornings. Have you ever felt like nothing is going on in there? When we need kindle for our thoughts, there are some tools for Becoming Present that we can practice to get our mind fires going.
So how do we become present? Well, you already practiced some of the first steps: Moving with the Breath and eating Power Foods. Now we will learn a practice for Becoming Present. Find a comfortable seat or standing position wherever you are. We will Become Present through three layers: Breath, Body and Mind. Let your eyes gently close if that is comfortable and begin to tune into your breath. How are you breathing today? Are your breaths long or short? Deep or shallow? Begin to make your breath longer and slower, like you are trying to take the slowest, biggest breaths possible. Inhale through the nose, exhale out the nose.
Begin to move your breath all through your body, as you notice how your body is feeling in this space right here, right now. How do your feet feel on the floor… your hands if they are touching your body… your lungs as they breathe in air? Take note of how your muscles feel. Are any of them sore? Move through your body from the top of your head to your feet and go down a checklist in your head about how everything feels. It’s okay if you miss something, just do your best.
Now we will Become Present in our minds. Noticing our bodies and breath helps us Become Present in our minds. Once we breathe into all the parts of our bodies that are taking our energy and attention, we can move to the part of our body that doesn’t always get our attention so easily: our minds. Clearing out tightness in the breath and body makes our minds open and ready to take on the day.
Use your breath and mind to bring your awareness into the very place you are sitting now. Imagine you are gathering all of your thoughts -one-by-one- like firewood, and building up a powerful fire in your mind to fuel the attention you will need for the day ahead.
When you feel like you have a steady fire in your mind, slowly begin to wiggle your fingers and toes, waking up your body to come back into the room.