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COLUMN: A coffee ritual to start the day

My early morning will set the tone for the rest of my day

I start my mornings with a coffee ritual.

After grinding the beans and brewing the coffee, I enjoy a cup, savouring it slowly and unhurriedly.

My morning coffee is a calm, peaceful time, a time for reflection, prayer and gratitude for the new day.

This is not the time to scroll through my social media feeds, check emails and text messages, get a head start on the day’s work or watch, read or listen to the latest news. Those things can wait until I’ve finished my coffee.

Later, I will have time to face the challenges of the day with all the attention they require.

While I enjoy a good cup of coffee, this morning ritual has little to do with the beverage itself. Instead, it is about developing a mindset for my mornings rather than choosing a dark roast, a naturally decaffeinated coffee, a cappuccino or any other beverage.

Why do I start my mornings in this way?

I’m realizing how much my early morning will set the tone for the rest of my day. How I choose to spend this time will affect me later, for good or bad.

The importance of a positive start to the day may be part of the reason why numerous major world religions and spiritual practices have the concept of morning prayers. These include branches within Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and others.

Or, in a different direction, this is likely a factor in some social media personalities who choose to post their messages to show up around the time their audiences are waking up. The message may be something uplifting or inspirational, or it may be a sharp insult or a pithy rant. Either way, if that message is one of the first things one reads, its effect will linger.

Mornings set the tone for the rest of the day.

This concept also shows in George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. There, the day begins with a mandatory exercise regime, led by an instructor who uses a harsh tone. Later in the morning, workers are required to participate in the daily Two Minutes Hate sessions, designed to create hate for one’s enemies and unquestioning loyalty to the government.

Those two elements create the atmosphere that defines the totalitarian regime.

Orwell’s bleak setting is not a world in which I want to live.

The choice is not necessarily between choosing something inspirational or an angry message at the beginning of the day.

There are some who prefer to get up and plunge into their work as quickly as possible. The day begins at a brisk pace and the momentum keeps going. Any time for calm reflection or social media scrolling is relegated to the end of the day. Years ago, when I had a shift that started at 3 a.m., that was the way my day began. It wasn’t good for me and I felt stressed the entire time I had that shift.

These days, I have a growing appreciation for my calm morning coffee ritual. It’s a way to start with a relaxed and positive note.

Once I’ve enjoyed my morning coffee in peace, I’ll be ready for the day.

John Arendt is the editor of the Summerland Review.

John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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