Along with being the most quiet time of day, whether in your neighbourhood, city or town, mornings are usually the most sonically peaceful pocket of time out of our general waking hours.
You know it’s early in the morning, when the sky starts to transition from the dimness of dusk to the soft pastel watercolours of sunrise…(and in the tropics or during spring/summer) when the birds are chirping intermittently and their trills echo in the atmosphere…when most of the neighbours’ windows are still shut…when it’s chillier than it is when you’re accustomed waking up, and when you might be considering resting your head back on the pillow to get some more sleep.
But when you take a deep breath, and decide to stand by the decision you made (or may be on the way to making) to wake up early to enjoy the morning, you’ll find that the benefits start rolling in:
I already mentioned the beautiful sunrise moments you’ll encounter with early rising, so let’s highlight a few other points.
Pace ~ even if you wake up early for a set reason (paper to finish, wanna get in some reading time before the family wakes up, starting a new exercise regime etc.), the tempo of the actual day is set on slow, due to the fact that many vessels of energy (people and vehicles) are asleep or moving at a minimum. Ever realize how Sundays are typically more quiet or laid back than a Friday night for example? Same goes for early mornings. Less people, less traffic = less noise. This quiet pocket can invite productivity and greater clarity in thinking.
Multiplication of time ~ clearly this isn’t literal, but you do get a headstart on your day, even if it means you’ll need to take an afternoon siesta to recharge. Remember you’re not doing this as a race – after all, as one of my mentors always reminds, “everything in its time, and nothing before its time” – still, very often so many say they “don’t have enough time,” or “can’t find the time.” Our lives have different components – maybe you work the night shift or have a large family or loud roommates.
However you can, try assigning the time and aligning it with whatever goal you’re seeking to achieve, regardless of the contents of your day. For me, that precious quiet time in the morning (especially) is for giving God thanks before other thoughts and things on the to-do list start flooding in or piling up.
You’ll actually get to see and briefly meet some like-minded neighbours ~ without being or feeling forced to engage in super-long interview-type questions, simply because it’s so early and most people tend to be less verbal at that time.
Whether you’re on a walk n’ jog circuit around the neighbourhood (like I am…literally posting this and heading out the door), doing some light gardening or sitting on your patio, verandah, gallery or some other name to describe the spot just outside your front door, the neighbours you wouldn’t otherwise see or meet during the day because they’re out at work or tucked inside, will be doing one of the same activities and you may find yourself smiling a polite “good morning,’ or jogging past with a brief “hey.’
Either way, early mornings are a light time to get to know the faces of the people you live around, and the community you live in, without feeling pressed to be super social or prompted to deliver a whole life monologue.
One of my roommates from tour-times used to ask how I was “such a morning person,” and able to wake up bright-eyed and in a light mood – even after 5 shows a night. Well, at the time I had insomnia (didn’t realize at the time that’s what it was; thought I was just ‘driven.’) I’d much rather wake up refreshed than groggy and miserable.
You take the lead on your mood and attitude first thing in the day ~ If you live with family members, roommates, or if you have any means of being contacted, it’s best to do your best to set the tone of how you start and greet the day. Even if, or when something un-cool happens during the day, the imprint from a refreshed and light morning can resonate beyond that moment, and you may just very well find yourself looking forward – hoping for the gift of a new day to put your morning regimen into action again. I find it can also prompts me to be more grateful for the joyful moments which helps me to breathe beyond the tough ones and out them in perspective.
It isn’t always easy, and life in everybody’s house has a different tempo, so please don’t be tough on yourself if early mornings are difficult for you to have. When staying with relatives last year, in an environment where vicious words, violent ways and key-locked doors were the “norm,” waking up before everyone else was a big part of how I managed to breathe, pray and find a morsel of the day to give thanks for. This wasn’t just due to waking up early in and of itself, but more to waking up by grace, early on purpose, to let The Word wash through my mind so I was refreshed to face whatever was on the daily menu of events.
Whatever you assign your early morning time to, do it on and with purpose.
On that note, it’s time to put on my joggin’ shoes and go for a walk n’ jog. I usually wake up between 5:30 and 6am, and as a former creative insomniac who even then loved early mornings, I can tell ya it’s sooo refreshing to witness the quiet yet magnificent beauty of an early morning. The sun is already at “slow-bake” so gonna wrap up this post to make the most of the day. Speaking of early exercise, have you read this guest post by Carlie Pipe on “running with courage?”
Please remember, waking up early isn’t a competition. If you’re a night guard, it simply isn’t practical for you. If you’ve got a newborn, you get the rest you need in the time you can best assign. Some seasons of life can be tough as leather but if you’re in a position to audition how waking up early can work for you, give it you very best shot…it’ll be way worth it.
Even if it’s rising 10-20 minutes earlier than your standard wake-up time, it can make for a calm, quiet, refreshing start to a new and more-energized day.
Do you already wake up early in the morning, and if yes, what’s the best thing about it to you? Feel free to share in the comment section. Your insight may shine some light to encourage someone else who reads this post.