I have never been a morning person.
I thrive in darkness like a creature of the night. It’s where my creative energy flourishes.
I used to feel guilty about it, especially when I read articles that talked about how successful early risers are. The early bird gets the worm, sang in my head, leaving me just a little more crumpled up inside.
Something was wrong with me.
I tried my best to change my routine. Going to bed earlier, stretching, counting my breaths, taking melatonin. I even forced myself into rising at dawn. It was like scheduling doctors’ appointments only to arrive later than expected or not at all. When I did manage to get up, I was in a bad mood until about an hour later, or whenever I managed to fill myself with a hot cup of coffee. Not all the time, but most, I was a human grumpy cat.
Nothing worked until I started setting more routines. Now, I’m not your routine kinda gal. A year ago I would have cringed at the idea of doing the same thing over and over, because… boring.
My morning routine is a work in progress. I still don’t get up as early as I “should,” but I no longer get caught up in that. I understand that when I go to bed and wake up is no indication of my success; neither is what I eat for lunch, nor what kind of pet I own.
Why waste so much time identifying ourselves with these things?
We drive ourselves into constant journeys, seeking to validate who we are and who will we be, and it’s all external. Even if I woke up at six a.m. every day, would that make me less grumpy? Or a better person, or more successful?
Who’s to say that the same things an early bird does in the morning, I don’t do as a night owl? It’s all perspective. The meaning we give those things changes how we feel about them.
The vital lesson is to embrace who we are and get out of the perpetual, damaging cycle of who we are expected to be.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t look within and implement changes to allow us to grow. That’s why I made an effort to shift my mornings. I didn’t get up much earlier, but my moods started changing.
These are some habits I’ve developed that help me wake up well:
1. First thing when I open my eyes, I thank the creator, and I send blessings to my spouse and children, my extended family and friends, and everyone I’ll cross paths with that day.
2. I ask the universe to use me for its purpose. When we don’t start our day with an intention, the day uses us—and many times it leads us to chaos.
3. I do a light stretch and meditate for at least seven minutes. I use Insight Timer, which I highly recommend.
4. I write immediately after that, flushing everything out. All my thoughts, doubts, dreams. Whatever is still lingering in my head. No edits—just a continuous flow of words.
5. I pour myself a hot cup of black coffee and drink it while I write my to-do list for the day.
May these suggestions be of benefit to your grumpy mornings!
Author: Jaquí Rodriguez
Apprentice Editor: Paul C. Fenoglio; Editor: Toby Israel