A few weeks ago I started getting up at 4 a.m. I tried this a few years ago, but felt like I couldn’t sustain the insanely early hours, so it didn’t stick. This time around, I feel completely different about it.
I have gone back and forth about what to do with this time. The two hours before I have to start my job is just about enough time to get in 20 minutes of yoga, 20 minutes of meditation, and about 40 minutes of walking.
How early is too early?
I also would like to have a good hour or two in the mornings for my writing. I attempted to get up at 3 a.m. one Monday a few weeks ago. I was very excited about the idea of getting in three extra morning hours to work on my dreams.
Getting up at 3 a.m. didn’t seem to work as well as 4 a.m. has, at least for me at this time in my life. I know there are people out there who do it, so who knows? Maybe someday. I found that I had a hard time sleeping because I was so preoccupied with waking up on time, and then later in the day my whole body felt off and very tired. So for now, 4 a.m. it is.
I haven’t run into the same issues with getting up at 4 a.m. In fact, I have been pleasantly surprised to find that I have more energy all day after getting up at 4 a.m., even if I got to bed late the night before, than if I got out of bed with hardly any “me time” to spare during the weekday mornings.
Turning Early Morning Hours Into an Ongoing Sabbatical
Have I mentioned my obsession with the idea of a sabbatical? If I could do anything in life that I wanted, I would go to Europe for one year to write my first book, à la Emily Giffin. As it is, I have other things that call my attention away from writing, and taking a year for my writing is not exactly in my foreseeable future at the moment.
This has been something that has occasionally made me feel depressed over the past couple of years. I worry that I will never find the time I need to write, and therefore will never write the books I feel called to write.
I was very fortunate to wake up to a really good rain storm yesterday. Waking up to a rain storm (or falling asleep to one) is pretty much the best way to start and/or end a day, if you ask me. Knowing that I would not be spending the second hour of my day walking, I started to think about Wayne Dyer, and how he gets up at 3 or 3:30 a.m. to write.
I recently watched his movie The Shift, which is about finding meaning and purpose in our lives. The movie starts out with him getting up around 3:15 a.m. to write. He mentions at one point during the movie that we are closest to our Source during the early morning hours before everyone else is awake, making this the ideal time to pursue our dreams.
Whatever it is we think we don’t have time for, perhaps that time exists in these early morning hours before everyone else is awake. Yesterday morning I thought about just starting to write and claiming the entire two hours for writing, but I have tried that in the past and I know I do so much better after a little bit of yoga and 20 minutes of meditation. Otherwise, I feel sluggish and sleepy not only all morning, but the rest of the day.
I did about five minutes of my own basic yoga stretches, then meditated for 20 glorious minutes while it rained. As much as I also love walking, the writing sabbatical in the mornings feels more significant to me at this time. Days off, holidays, and weekend mornings will be better for walking for me.
Claim Your Sabbatical Now!
A sabbatical doesn’t have to wait until never just because it is an unrealistic option (and who knows, maybe it will happen someday!). This time of solitude to pursue our dreams might be available in an untapped time of day that has been there all along.
Most long-term projects are accomplished through consistent, small actions on a daily basis. From what I have heard form authors (except Emily Giffin and her year in London to write her first novel), books are written in small pieces. Mine will be written, at least in part, between the magical hours of 4 and 6 a.m., and hopefully any other 20 minute to 1 hour increments I might find along the way.
Over a year ago, I was desperate to go on a week long yoga retreat. I thought getting away from the stress in my life in a yoga studio in Mexico was the only realistic answer to feeling the inner peace I was after. But I also knew that all the stress and unfinished tasks would still be waiting for me when I returned, which made me even more depressed.
Fortunately, I found a way to reduce the stress in my everyday life, and now I know that I don’t necessarily have to escape my life to get away from the stress, but adding in an hour or two of personal me time each day is a great alternative.
What project have you felt there isn’t time for? Have you found the early mornings or another sanctuary of time throughout the day to work on your dreams? Let us know below. Namaste!