So, why should you wake up early? This is a great question.
What I know for sure is that I don’t want to do something just because it is trendy and/or because everyone is doing it. I want to do it because it makes sense to me, my body and my life.
So what are the benefits of waking up early? Well, we all probably know them already, and if we don’t, it’s just a simple google search away. Listing the benefits of waking up early is not the purpose of this blog post. What I want to write about is is the magic of rising early.
Because once we know the magic of it, then it becomes us naturally. Without the magic, no matter how many logical reasons you read why you should do something, you just can’t bring yourself to do it, or at the very least, you can’t sustain it.
Coming to life: A new day, a new life
Waking up is something we often take for granted. But when you really think about it, isn’t it a beautiful thing? Isn’t it a miracle?
On this very morning, millions of people have not woken up. And on this very morning, you, might not have woken up. But you did. And here you are. Living, breathing, alive. And you have 12-15 hours ahead of you before your next small death.
When I look at the simple act of of waking up naturally, without an alarm – how can I put something so beautiful into words? The coming to life of waking up. The way life, consciousness, awareness flows into your body, seeps into your mind, and come you awake. Your body comes to life. You come to life.
Come to life.
You are coming to life. You are waking up to life.
Awakening and waking up.
That may be one of the most profound truths of life I have experienced.
In that way – If you want to experience a miracle, just wake up in the morning.
Set yesterday aside
Whatever happened yesterday, it’s done with now. And even if the events of yesterday linger, and have in some way changed your world, changed your reality, Yesterday does not have to trap you, though we often continue to stay there as a voluntary prisoner. You see, you can still choose to live differently today.
And that is the gift of the day. The gift of life.
Think – No matter what has happened to me yesterday and in my past, I am a joyful human being.
Think – No matter what may happen to me today, I will be a joyful human being.
So always start your day with a smile!
Oversleeping to avoid life
Why do we find sleep so pleasurable? What exactly is pleasurable about being unconscious? We are not even conscious to experience and enjoy it. This is something I have often contemplated- why do I want to be unconscious for such a big part of my day, of my life? Why does my body come to life, my eyes open, they look and see the sun leaking through my bedroom window, and then why do I decide to close my eyes and slip into unconsciousness again? Why do I choose that repeatedly? Why do I choose to avoid and ignore life?
I believe that when we live our days in a meaningful way, in a way that empowers us, and inspires us to really live – then the idea of sleeping and missing out on it – seems wrong.
What is the normal way to feel when you wake up?
I guess normal is what we are used to doing most of the time.
Is your normal to roll out of bed and think “Oh god, another day. So much to do, so little time. I am still tired. I wish today was over already. I just don’t want to deal with today.”
Is your normal to wake up numb, like a machine? Is it normal to not feel anything about life?
Or is it normal for you to wake up with gratitude in your heart for another day of life, and excitement in your heart for the adventures that lie ahead.
Maybe if you have rarely experienced this way of waking up in your life, you may cringe reading this and think “ugh, do people REALLY feel that way, yeah right, come ON!”
But it’s true! You can wake up this way. I know this because of my own journey from the former to the latter. It is possible. It can be your normal. But it will take some work. It will take the dedication and commitment of making your life into what you want it to be about.
When I wake up in the morning, I want to be awake. I want to create a beautiful day. I want to create. I want to be. I want to live. Those desires overpower any sleepiness I have.
Night owl to early bird
I was always a self-proclaimed night owl. During my high-school years I loved to stay up as late as possible and wake up as late as possible. I felt I was most creative at night. I loved sleeping in.
On the days I would wake up early, I felt so grumpy and tired all day. I would fantasize about the sleep I was going to have later. And the funny thing is, by the time night time rolled around, I found it difficult to fall asleep.
Fast forward to today.
I rise early with my husband every day. Does it come naturally? I would say 60% yes, and 40% no, it takes effort.
A lot of that depends on the quality of sleep I have had the night before.
Sometimes I wake up feeling bright and full of life. Sometimes the first 10 minutes are difficult, but after that time passes, I am ready for the day.
Sometimes around afternoon time, I would like to take a nap, but I don’t because one of the best things about waking up at 5 is how well I know I will sleep at night.
So after doing this for a while, I got used to how I feel during the day at this level of rest. I decided to do an experiment on myself, and sleep in like I used to. I woke up at 11am for a few days, and left my husband to fend for himself in the morning :(.
So, I woke up at 11am, and the old me would have thought I was “well rested.” And it’s true, I didn’t feel sleepy during the afternoon, I didn’t feel like I needed to take a nap.
But what I did notice is that I felt dull all day. All my senses felt blunted. I felt less inspired and less energetic. Even though I was “well rested” I still felt so lethargic and slow. I felt lazy, I didn’t feel inspired to create anything. At night I tossed at turned in my bed, waiting for sleep to come, and it sure took its sweet time.
It was weird. And I also realized that that feeling was actually familiar to me. It was what I considered “normal.” It was how I used to feel every day. It was how I thought you were supposed to feel every day.
So, while I love the “benefits” of early rising, such as having more time and increased productivity, and being just a couple of blinks away from effortless deep sleep every night, what I love the most is how rising early has added more vibrancy and energy to my way of being. I love the way it makes me feel, and I didn’t realize it until I tried going back the other way.
Do I have days when I want to sleep in?
Yes, of course! There are days when my body craves more rest, for example, when I am unwell, and I gladly oblige.
Are there days when I will sleep in just because?
Yes, of course! I love to sleep in with my husband some times, and it sets a completely different tone to our day.
See, what I am not advocating is that I create a rule that I vow to always do something. I want to do what makes sense and what works for me. I want to know different options and I want to know how these options feel to me. And I want to be able to choose. I want to choose how I live my life, and not run on the autopilot of my karma.
Every part of our day is sacred in their own way, but mornings tend to be missed, because either we are sleeping, or we are rushing to get to another part of our day.
So what can you do with all this extra time? I made a list of ideas and some things I like to do in the morning.
- Make yourself a delicious breakfast
- Write (a blog, your diary, a book, a poem)
- Go for a walk or run
- Pack lunch
- Review your To-Do list
- Prepare your vegetables for dinner
- Have a pleasant conversation
- Work on a passion project
- Play your instrument
- Drink water
- Water your plants
- Kriya /Surya Kryia and meditation
- Get ready to music
- Re-organize part of your home
- Surya Namaskar (Sun salutations)
- Get some of your small tasks done (responding to e-mails etc)
- Get started on your biggest tasks of the day
If reading this post resonates with you, I encourage you to try it.
If you can’t imagine yourself as a morning person, I also encourage you to try it, to see how it feels, and decide how you want to live your life for yourself.
This is something you need to try to experience the magic of it. If you have had an entire lifetime of sleeping in, you will need more than a couple of days of rising early to feel the magic of it.
I don’t believe we should live a certain way just because our compulsions, comforts and habits. I believe we should stretch ourselves and try different things, try things we don’t “like” and see for ourselves what we are all about.
Please enjoy this creepy collection I have of my sleeping brothers. Lol.
What a great blog post! Thank you so much for this. I definitely resonate with the idea of waking up early. I used to be an early riser, and really know the benefits of it – but have fallen into he bad habit of oversleeping. Thanks for this push to get back into the habit of early rising. 😉
I’m so glad this post resonates with you! It’s so easy to fall into over sleeping and undo all the hard work we’ve done. Oversleeping is not necessarily a bad thing to do, as long as you have control over it and what you want to do, and how you want to live your life. I hope you do make the changes you want! Let me know how it goes.