I would like to say it’s a solid practice, a habit, a ritual. But the facts say otherwise.
When the determination has built to a strong enough force and exhaustion the days before absent, I greet the day at 04:00 the way I would like to do for the rest of days I’m lucky enough to exist within.
The benefits of rising early cannot be overstated.
It’s like being aided by a cheat code that grants you more hours than normally exists in a day.
Enjoyable, caring and loving time for one’s own journey and growth.
An effect that only is accessible when performing actions that move you forward towards a greater goal, vision or dream. Be it health, awareness, professional or any other endeavor truly worth its effect in the currency that is time.
I don’t yet consider myself an early riser, but have been periodically through the years. During each period, I wondered why I haven’t managed to make it a lasting ritual.
I then remind myself that circumstance, people, life, all things change and we need to adjust thereafter.
Being a parent was the prompt that started my early four o’clock mornings as it was the only option available for me to… keep being me.
Back then running was my main escape, my only medicine, and not knowing it at the time, my relief and savior.
Running alone distressed me to the point where life became much more clear, or to be completely honest, visible.
It made me realize that I was imprisoned by my own shackled will and of socially constructed norms which had me in a zombied daze of unintentional, and unhealthy, routines and expectations deeply engrained from who knows when.
I first noticed it’s calming effects during the endless crosstown traffic jams to and from work. I realized wasn’t stressing to occupy the momentary gap left by another car as it found its way into a new lane when a more favorable gap became available to it.
The positive effects continued to demonstrate itself at my workplace. My priorities, large and small, became easier and with crystal clear purpose.
I learned to say no, I don’t have the time or the resources to take on more tasks.
Informing my manager she needed to redirect my focus of attention according to hers and the priorities of the business.
Up to that point, I had been working at the company five years and never once thought I could say no to my boss. To sometimes put me and my health first. To not make it to work, or work at all when I was sick. I was now capable of recognizing my limits so I could prepare to break through them and grow.
I have had many cycles since then rising early, 04:00-04:30, to spend some effective and enjoyable “me-time” before time is demanded of me from my kids and others.
Today I have an intentional routine that I’m working into a habit, again. It includes all aspects of the things I care to focus on in my personal, spiritual and professional life.
The pillar of my mornings consists of a one-hour vipassana meditation, I’m working towards ending the day with a second one-hour session.
I don’t always manage to nail the perfect morning, so a compromise is in place. I still get up at 04:00 to meditate then back to bed for a couple more hours of rest, forfeiting a bit of work and postponing workouts if any are scheduled that day.
Unfortunately, my success rate diminishes as the hours of the days passes along.
A lot of the above is currently happening as summer is here, I’m entertaining the kids and the fact that after sundown is my absolute favorite time of day, It’s when I resonate best with life, and I just simply cannot get to bed before midnight.
For all intended purposes, I am an early riser. But I do still have a good ways to go before I am satisfied with my routines, personal growth, fitness and professional endeavors, throughout the day, every day. The trick lies in failing at times and being totally fine about it anyway.
Are you an early riser? How do you stay on point and what benefits have you reaped?