b'C HAPTER1 The Daily Practice of Life A wakened again from the peaceful escape of deep sleep, Ihammeredthealarmoffandstumbledoutofbed into the shower. I toweled off while my canine buddy fulfilled his early morning ritual of licking my feet and lower legs dry. Finally, I opened my eyes. With the lights still off, I hurriedly dressed, certain that both socks were a dark match. Then, I grabbed some coffee and breakfast for the car, left the house, and sped out for another workday. Around mid- to late-morning, I felt somewhat awake but not fully attuned.How we habitually spend our first waking hour of each day has a profound impact on how qualitativelyor notwe live. Being intentional about each days new beginning is an impor-tant first step. Stumbling around in a rushed stupor usually insured for me a distracted, dysfunctional daily experience. I leaped from one project to the next, typically with my mind racing ahead to what was next and always preoccupied with just making it to the end of the day.We set an attitudinal tone for each day in our early mornings or first-part-of-the-day time, whether it is 5:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. Will our experience in time be hectic or relaxed? Will we be focused and mindful or disordered and constantly looking ahead? At some point decades ago, I desperately needed and'