Becoming an early bird. Sort of.

  Anyone who knows me knows I am not a morning person. I prefer the inky black of night to the multicolored pastels of the morning sky, and, really, I don’t like to say words before 9 a.m.

But I’m an adult with a job that requires my presence at 7:30 in the morning and I have children whose internal clocks seem to be set at 6 a.m. Our days are chock full of school, work, practices, church, meetings, and by the time dinner has been cooked and eaten, I’m exhausted and ready for some quality time with the Netflix machine.

Trouble is, I have goals. I want to practice yoga six days a week. I want to meditate every day. I want to write more. I want to read more. I want to spend more time hanging out with my husband and kids. 
I spent years complaining about these seemingly unattainable goals. At some point, though, I had to accept the harsh truth: because I cannot create more time in the day, if I want to do all the things I want to do, I must wake up earlier. Like 5 a.m. early. This realization may or may not have come with a heavy sigh of defeat.

So, about a month ago, I started setting my clock for 4:45 or 5 a.m., and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the painlessness of my new routine. At 5 a.m., it’s still ink-black outside; the house is silent and I’m not quite awake enough to fret over the day’s tasks. I can wrap myself in a blanket and sit on my meditation cushion for several minutes. My thoughts haven’t quite picked up to their usual anxious pace, and so stilling them isn’t the Herculean task I’d grown used to in evening meditation. On the mornings I practice yoga, my move to the mat is slow and unhurried. My body is still shaking off the elixir of sleep, so my first few minutes of yoga are a bit creaky. Then I melt into a few sun salutations and, to my constant surprise, I awaken and move vigorously through a 45-minute or hourlong practice.

By 6 or 6:30, the mind-fog is mostly clear and I’m present enough to pack lunches and get the kiddos ready and out the door.

Though I’ve settled into this routine for several weeks, I’d say I’m a long ways off from being anything close to “a morning person.” But for the first time in many years, I finally feel like I have enough time in the day (on most days).

If you’re feeling hemmed in by the day, see if you can wake up just 15 minutes earlier. Use that time for unhurried thinking, a luxurious cup of tea, a walk around the block, a short devotional, or a handful of sun salutations. It’s amazing how an extra pocket of time in the morning can make the coming hours more manageable.

Let me know how it goes!
Namaste!

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