Even as we struggle to awaken and shake off the vestiges of sleep, we begin to engage the new day. Our mind goes to our "to do" list for the day while we engage in the mundane tasks of getting ready. . . . Nevertheless, we can orient our day and thus have an impact on its quality by taking a brief moment for reflection. We can create a spiritual "to do" list. To whom do we want to be sure to express love, caring, warmth, friendship, or just appreciation on this day? How can we be slightly more conscious in our behavior toward others? To what spiritual place can we be a little closer at the end of this day? This spiritual reckoning requires just a moment — as we wash our hands or take a shower, as we put all the things we need for the day in our briefcase. Find a moment that seems right for you and create a daily ritual. What follows are a number of suggested rituals for awakening to the day, some traditional and some contemporary. They are suggestions for practice. You may use these to create your own ritual or liturgy, or you may simply set aside time for silent reflection and meditation. Make your own choices but understand that how you start the day can make a difference.

To renew your faith in the morning, do not involve yourself in any worldly activity or speech when you get out of bed; just go to the bathroom, wash, then meditate, thinking of the Creator of the world with full concentration — that God is One, Single, and Unique.

Look through your window at the sky and the earth and recall the verse "Lift up your eyes on high and see — who created all this?" (Isa. 40:26), and think that God created it all out of absolute nothingness. And think, "How many are Your works, O Lord, with wisdom have You made them all; the earth is full of Your creations" (Psalm 104:24). Think of how great God's works are, in the creation of the heaven and the earth and all that is in them — inanimate and animate — plants, animals, humans, creatures great and wonderful. "God created the ocean and all that is in it, the awesome whales, God formed the mountains and created winds and fire" (Kitzur Shnei Luhot ha-Brit).

Modeh ani — an awakening ritual Upon waking up, say: Modeh ani lefanekha melekh hai ve-kayam she-hehezarta bi nishmati be-hemlah, rabbah emunatekha. "I give thanks to You, Source of life and existence, that you have once again placed my soul within me, great is your faith (in me)."

Alternatively: "As the sun rises to reawaken the world, let wonder and possibility be the blessing of my life this day renewed."

Michael Strassfeld, Rabbi Yeshaya Halevi Horowitz in A Book of Life by Michael Strassfeld