Mornings and the Unfolding of Grace

by Janet Arnold-Grych

There’s something magical about mornings, particularly spring mornings. The soft blush of light and the easeful rhythm feel replete with grace.

In his commentary on the Yoga Sutra, Swami Satchidananda noted that before sunrise, specifically between 4:00 and 6:00 am, is Brahmamuhurta, or Brahmic time, an auspicious period ripe with a unique energy. Amid the calm of morning, I know I connect to something richer. Meeting morning does more than enhance my ability to notice the day; it changes how I move through it.

Be it spring or winter, when I bound out of bed toward a deliverable—a pile of laundry, a stack of bills, a work project I’m already behind on —I feel beholden to those duties, as though they get to judge the pace and value of the day. But if I embrace a different approach, if I make space by not grabbing the to-do list, my day becomes bigger. I sometimes think of author Neale Donald Walsch’s words: “You do not live each day to discover what it holds for you, but to create it.” Opening to the day through unscripted appreciation elevates my relationship to it.

Kripalu’s Grounds Supervisor, Kevin “Moose” Foran, is often at work in the pre-dawn hours and relishes the wisdom he finds there. “I have taken delight over nearly 40 years to make it my spiritual practice to get up and get outside when the dawn bids the night goodbye,” Moose says. “It may sound like an oxymoron, but the silence of the morning speaks so clearly. It’s a time of innocence when answers to the mysterious puzzles of life seem to arrive unsought.”

While the pre-dawn hours may offer the greatest infusion of grace, I am not one to bound out of bed at 4:00 am. Still, I relish the slice of morning I’m able to hold before my Outlook calendar kicks in. At home, that infusion is found in Lake Michigan's early-morning landscapes of blue, green, and grey. At Kripalu, I’m awed by the beauty of morning’s breath on the lawn.

The experience of morning opens us softly, often unwrapping clarity, peace, and even courage. “As the sun slowly rises, crowding out the sky with gathering light,” Moose reflects, “the stars slip away, having danced a dance that invites our continued curious nature to look further into our essence and purpose.”

There’s no doubting the amazing power of morning—whether that power flows from an ancient source, or our sense of the day’s unfolding potential, or perhaps our ability to enjoy pure experience without active thought. Early morning, particularly early morning in spring, carries an almost overwhelming ability to intuit grace and fill us with gratitude. It’s all waiting for us. Says Moose, “Happiness and fulfillment favor a well-prepared mind, achieved by an early-morning practice of greeting the dawn. Go, brave souls—get up and get out!”

Janet Arnold-Grych is a yoga teacher and writer whose work has been published in Elephant Journal, Huffington Post, Third Coast Digest, and other outlets. She’s also a marketing manager for a Fortune 200 company.

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