I naturally wake up any time between 5am – 6am. I really don’t consider myself a morning person, but when I wake up early naturally, it’s as if my brain has suddenly flipped a switch and turned on and I feel quite clear headed. If somehow I trick myself to falling back asleep, I tend (more often than not) to wake up groggy, sluggish and feeling a little ill. I have often wanted to train myself to wake up early every morning so I can take advantage of quietude. My husband Dan woke up, bright as a bulb, every morning at 4:00 am all his working life. I was more apt to groan at that hour, roll on my side and go back to sleep. Yet, there have been many times where I wake up at 4:00am possessing the most alert brain and feeling so awake that it borders on amazing. I will try to force myself back to sleep, though, thinking that I won’t be able to make it through the day and evening unless I sleep at least until 6 am. How many years of magical moments I might have experienced had I just gotten up to meditate or engage in some type of special self-care moment.
In the book “The Way to Self Knowledge”, author Gopi Krishna writes:
The Morning hours before sunrise
While most of us are still asleep
Provide the best time for the wise
To engage in meditation deep
My self-care routine does involve sitting in quiet as soon as I get up. Except I do it with a cup of coffee or tea in my hand. I prepare my brain, mind and body for the day. I simply sit and breathe… AND SIP. I do have hopes that I can rewire my habit. Such as sit first, coffee later. This is my hope in a future retirement. For now I need and crave that little boost in a cup that is as soothing to me as the moments of quiet.
The world has turned into the noisiest place that it’s become unbearable to me. Everywhere I go, the music is blaring at an uncomfortable level and I simply cringe. I was at an early physical therapy appointment recently and I stuck my fingers in my ears when obtrusive music seared the atmosphere. Loud, stimulating music at 8:00 am? Just a trifle early for me. I looked around and no one else seemed affected as I was. People chatted away, and here I was doing an exercise at the wall with fingers stuck in my ears. Or consider the corporate gym Zumba class where the music seemed to reach dangerous decibels. I had to walk out; no extra cardio for me that day.
“How was your visit?” asks a department store survey? Terrible, I reply. I couldn’t hear the sales clerk because the music was so loud.
If someone is deliberately ratcheting up the volumes to mess with us, they are doing a heck of a job. I feel anxiety, discombobulated and simply want to leave a store without buying one thing. I read the other day that physical stores and shopping centers are suffering because more and more people are shopping online. I want to be the person that supports actual stores because I don’t want to live in a virtual world, but something has to change. I guess I will keep my eye out for smaller, quieter stores where it’s a pleasure to visit. But we are losing those right and left, too. We are losing our composure, our quiet; we are losing a sane world because NOISE everywhere cannot be good for our brains or for our children.
My husband gets it because his favorite saying is “silence is golden”! But the first thing he does when he gets up is turn on the TV news, and the first thing I do is head for a quiet corner. When we are both retired together, I may need to find another room. I want to be happy and I want him to be happy. He can tell me what’s going on in the world, and I can tell him how serene I feel inside.
This article http://yogaforhealthyaging.blogspot.com/#!/2017/07/brahma-muhurta-ambrosial-hours.html got me thinking because I do value the early morning hours which are called the ambrosial hours in the Ayurvedic world. That’s a wonderful term for these special early morning hours, but I’ve referred to them as the “witching hours” as well. From time to time, I will get the most lucid, sometimes prophetic dreams in the early morning hours, so perhaps that is why I choose to sleep during 4-6am.
I am a work in progress. I’m not going to do things perfectly every day or achieve my goals in one 24 hour period. All I can do is take small steps in the direction I am aiming for. In considering humility, I understand the world does not revolve around little ol’ me, and I can’t conform the world to my own personal tastes and make all the noise go away. The world is going to be what it is and all I can do is strive to achieve some moments of ambrosia, sanity and quiet in my own creative ways. So it comes down to choice. Next time you see me with fingers in my ear, smile a little smile for me and I will do the same for you.