I talk a lot about sleep and sleep preparation…
All the ways to insure that when you hit the hay— for a nap or for the night— that your eyes close easily, and you rest in your hay like a baby donkey. (Aw)
I realized recently that I’ve never talked about what happens once the sleep bridge has been crossed. I’ve never talked about waking up.
Waking up is a pretty big deal.
So, Im gonna share some of my best practices for waking up.
I’m not grumpy in the morning, but I wouldn’t call myself a “morning person” either.
Many of you know my lifelong history of sleep challenges. I have these challenges to thank. They’re the reason I gained this sleep expertise in the first place.
You can probably guess that insomnia often stands between me and the proverbial “bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed” morning.
Yet, I wake up with a decent, if not good attitude every morning.
Even a cloudy morning can be a bright, fertile time.
I seem to wake up fueled by possibility, no matter how I slept.
My feet don’t necessarily hit the floor running and dash out the door. In fact, I don’t like to feel rushed, though I’m capable of moving quickly.
There’s a difference, think about it.
Moving fast while fueled by stress, what’s that like?
Then, moving fast while relaxed and unthreatened, what’s that like?
If you don’t know or can’t remember what it’s like to move fast while relaxed, you’re not alone.
But why not let this be your wake up call to begin waking up in a more skillful, meaningful way?
Yes, waking up is a skill. And moving fast while relaxed is kind of my jam.
I get kind of high from it.
A high kinda like a Superhero who gets to live the dream out loud while helping the world be a better place.
How many mornings do you feel as relaxed and grounded as the tortoise, but as bouncy and focused as the hare?
If you’re rolling your eyes thinking about mornings like this, well, my friend, move on to the next email in your inbox.
Still here? Okay, onward into my secret morning garden….
Once you’re in the garden, please close the gate behind you.
Why? Boundaries are important always– but especially in the a.m.
Keep your special practices sacred, personal, under-wraps, maybe even entirely secret.
I truly believe that life around the shadowy edges of sleep is very, very important to well-being.
Morning is a very sensitive time. The person you are in your subconscious is still present— at least a little. And this subconscious person is very tender, and absorbs whatever you shower it with.
Consider keeping your morning practices, whatever they are, more on the down-low– even if you wake up next to someone else, like I do.
Yes, it’s possible to be so discreet that you can live in a tiny space with another person and not have them be all that aware of your practices.
(I’m sharing mine with you now, because I love you + it’s my job, but notice I’m only saying so much.)
- So, I usually begin waking up INVOLUNTARILY around sunrise. Each time I wake, instead of cursing my lack of sleep, I do a short, simple Yoga Nidra practice, repeating it until I drop back into sleep. (I’ll share this in The Yoga Nidra Virtual Experience, which begins this Sunday the 25th, and yes, there’s still time to register. See below.)
- A few minutes before I’m ready to get up, I do a very simple meditation. Usually, I’m still laying down, and am just watching my breath and refreshing my attention.
- My #1 priority in the morning is to get a meditation in. If not before getting up, then while waiting for the coffee or tea water to boil, or some time before I’m out the door and into the streets.
- I gave up the expectation long ago that these meditations should be perfect. Often, they’re not even all that serene. The main point of these meditations: REALITY CHECK. If I’m not serene, I want to know it, to look that anti-serene being right in the eyes and accept them— even if I know something needs to change.
- Speaking of looking beings in the eyes, here’s another meditation I often do, even if only for a few seconds— mirror gazing. Yep, eyes softly focused on my whole reflection, mind/heart open, aware. The Seer and the Seen are one. Try it, I dare you.
- When time allows, I do a formal sitting practice with a timer. Sitting for longer durations is ideal, but mornings that require a more “on the fly” practice aren’t at all “lesser than”. Practice on the fly strengthens a different set of meditative muscles and seamlessly threads my practice through my life.
Okay, other meaningful morning things:
- especially if I’m moving fast, I listen to my self-talk for negative seed planting, and just pluck those self-sabotaging seeds right out of my soil so they don’t bear fruit during the day
- continue reality checking– false positivity and denial will get me nowhere fast, and when I lie to myself I destroy myself, and potentially those who love me
- reflecting on my desires, what I want, yes, but more importantly how I want to feel, which usually leads me right back to what I want
- at some point, I gotta MOVE— at home, or a walk through my hood, or the beach, and usually at least a little yoga, which I often do while still in bed
- and of course I eat, or, actually, I drink— usually something green
That’s pretty much it. A peek at my secret morning mojo.
You might say, “well, a lot of these things, such as listening for negative self-talk should be done all day, not just the morning…..”
My answer: “True. But I believe that the morning is the most crucial time to GET IT RIGHT.”
Have the guts to Get It Right, right from the start. Be kind to your subconscious self.
….Now. As usual, I’m wondering about you.
Any similarities to between your ways and mine?
Anything in this post that pricks up your ears or that you’d like to know more about?