When dawn’s light finally filters through the gossamer veil of the wee hours, our worlds stir.
It’s a wonderful time to be awake, alive and aware.
Here are six ways to make your early mornings even more magical:
1) Experience Beauty
It’s 6:00 a.m. as I write this, comfortably ensconced on the back deck at Pinkie Patti’s, in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The air is crisp. The grass is dewy. I look up from my laptop to find two yearlings, 35 feet away and immobile, watching me. Their ears flit back and forth. Their tails flick side to side. Otherwise, they could be statues. I too am motionless, except for my eyes. I shift my gaze to the field beyond: a doe and two speckle-backed fawns flee through the tall grass, their tails white flags at full mast.
I saw them yesterday too, when I got up to photograph in the fog. Ah, “but you live in the country!” you may say. That’s true for the moment. But I know from years of experience there is beauty in early mornings everywhere: suburbs, city, and countryside. We only have to open our eyes to see it.
2) Awaken to Possibility
Like all awakenings, the dawn of a new day has the potential to infuse one’s spirit with hope. (It does mine, whenever I let it.) The slate is clean at sunrise – anything and everything is possible. The day’s promise is revealed minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, but as dark turns to dawn, all remains unknown. Each moment is pregnant with possibility, there’s sweet anticipation in the air. It’s the ideal time to clear your mind of yesterday’s flotsam and jetsam, and open it to the endless sea of possibility this day brings.
3) Maximise Your Time
Are there “never enough hours” in your day? Always “too much to do, and too little time?” Adding an extra bit at the start when fewer people are about and there’s no one to make demands on you is a super strategy to maximize your time. Once accustomed to getting up earlier, arising with the sun is like drinking an energizing tonic that sets your mind, body and soul in motion. Avoid the temptation to use your early morning “extra” for mundane tasks; use it to make the most of you.
4) Sharpen Your Senses
As you enjoy your early morning hour(s), consciously focus fully on each of your five senses in turn. How does the quality of light make things look? What sounds do you hear that you might not during the day? (Perhaps it’s the lack of sound that’s striking.) Are there special smells to savour? (When I lived in Abu Dhabi, I loved walking the city streets in relative solitude and enjoying the aroma of the coffee roasteries and the sea.) How does the early morning dew on a flower, or a parking meter, feel? Cool? Or warm to the touch? And why not start your day with the piquant taste of lemon slices in hot water – it’s a great kick-start cure for the body.
Things look different in the early morning light. So we can’t help but see them differently. And when we see things differently, we gain a new understanding about that upon which we focus – whether it’s something concrete and touchable (a flower, a park bench, a vegetable garden, the birds and the bees), or something nebulous and intangible (our own core, the feelings evoked by what we experience, a passing image in our mind’s eye).
What extraordinary aspects can you see in the early morning versions of the “ordinary” world around you?
6) Rediscover Yourself
I like to start the day with some kind of exercise (a spin on my bike or a brisk walk), during which I reconnect and really feel what’s going on in my body. Stretching is great too! When the mood takes me, I might do a bit of yoga, or spend a half hour in meditation or quiet contemplation. Sometimes I do all of the above. Other mornings I take out my Tarot cards, and shuffle them until two or three fall from the deck – the inner answer to an unspoken question, or my “fortune” for the day.
Unlike the next 18 hours (which tend to be filled with other stuff as well as others’ stuff), this is 100% “me time” to experience, awaken, maximise, sharpen, shift, and rediscover.
For evidence I practice what I preach, see the links below.