I love waking up before everyone else. It’s just me and the sun, which I get to watch slowly peek above the trees for its A.M. debut. This fall, I’ve made myself a new routine. For a long time, my habits fell somewhere between a morning person and night-owl status. Always going to bed a little too late and usually sleeping in just far enough past my alarm to make mornings stressful. No matter how many times I’d vow to get up just a little earlier, I never could seem to get it together. Waking up earlier meant turning in earlier, too, and that’s easier said than done.
But, if there’s any season to welcome change into your life, it’s autumn. In these transitional days before the equinox the earth is making its own adjustments, inviting us to rise with the light that arrives a few minutes earlier every day. So I’ve chosen to embrace it and allow myself to listen to the earth’s cues, and the ones inside my home.
Of course, it’s not as simple as just waking up earlier, I’ve had to make adjustments to the rest of my day to account for this change. To signal to my body that the time for sleep is near, I try to shut down all electronics an hour before I go to bed, and that hour has to come a bit earlier now.
Technically, I have two alarms: one, which is set on my phone, and one who, like clockwork, gives a gentle tap tap to my face promptly at 5:45 A.M. every day. Can you guess who it might be? Rather than roll over and ignore him, I’ve decided to give in and enjoy the early morning ritual of feeding the cat and drinking my coffee alongside him as we watch the sun rise across the street.
Dawn is a different kind of dark, one full of possibility at the cusp of day, a time when it’s easy to appreciate the quiet world around you. Through waking up earlier, I’ve learned to embrace these hours and keep them just for myself. Usually I’ll sit for a bit and quietly watch the world wake up, neighbors walk their dogs and school buses rumble down the quiet streets. I’ll grab my journal and write a few lines to welcome the day ahead.
Do some yoga, drink your coffee, write a few lines about thankfulness. Give the cat a scratch. These extra hours are like gold to me. Our lives are so hectic in one form or another, any time that we can set aside to just be is so valuable and rare. Make time to allow yourself to simply exist, to breathe in a new day and sit quietly. Try being a morning person and your perspective of the day ahead could change dramatically.
Do you have a morning ritual? Please share!