Why I Wake Early

What a gift it is, to see each new day, the world, and ourselves newly.

Posted Jun 24, 2019

All of my life, I have been a morning person. Not only do I rise early, I do my best creative work at the break of day. And my best personal work too. Mornings for me are a time of rebirth, of quiet. My mind stills and my heart opens. The noise of the world, along with the voices of judgment, perfection, and control that love to lodge in my mind, are rendered mute. And in their space rush in love, stillness, and peace. Humility, gratitude, and a sense of service. 

After having a child six years ago, mornings became dedicated to a different kind of service. Woken not by the sun, but by my son, there was little quiet to be had. In those early years, the triple whammy of abrupt waking, being perpetually tired, and not having time to myself—morning or otherwise—was tough.

While that intense time has passed, we are still a family of early risers. By 6 a.m., the house is buzzing. And so, I have learned to wake an hour prior, in order to have my precious morning time. 

What do these mornings look like? I’ll make a coffee, go for a walk, and watch the sunrise. Some days, like today, after a trip when everyone’s catching up on rest, I get a couple of hours to myself. In which case, after my walk, I’ll make another coffee, read poetry on the bench outside my front door, listen to the birds, and possibly even come into my office and do a bit of writing. Like this morning. 

I often write about commitment and attachment; how the former grants peace and pleasure, while the latter breeds anxiety and frustration. And goodness knows that I’ve often been Attached (capital A) to my morning time. So that when I don’t get it, I feel the opposite of the very things I try and cultivate at the break of day: anxiety, frustration, and overwhelm.

Happily, in a true mark of growth, I feel, I’m now able to generate awe, wonder, and stillness… whenever and however I wake up. For so long, I thought I had to be alone in order to find and fill myself with joy, and love, and peace. I’ve learned now that while solitude is my early morning preference—my time for reverence, prayer and calm; of intention setting and mind stilling—it is not a requirement. Life and love are all and always around me. My job in the morning and throughout the day, is simply to let them in, along with the wonderful, happy, early rising people I’m so, so blessed to have in my life.