Why I Wake Up At 5 a.m. (yep, you read that right.)
The conversation is always the same.
Me: "I wake up at 5 am. Every day of the week."
Them: "On PURPOSE?"
Me: "Yep. I'm thinking of making it 4am."
Cue the deer in headlights stare-down.
A few years ago I realized something about myself: I'm a morning person. Not only in that I can wake up in the morning without issue and have a deep conversation 3 minutes later, but in that I am AMAZING in the morning. My mind is clear, my thoughts are inspired, my energy is the highest of the day, and I feel so much alignment with my source in those hours before my family wakes up. I have come to crave those early hours for the inspiration they provide me, and I am at the point where if I don’t receive this time each day, I am completely derailed.
I am 100% addicted to the 5am hour.
After dozens of conversations asking me "What's your bedtime?" "What do you DO at 5am?" "How do you wake up while it's still dark?" and a thousand other questions, I did a little analyzing to break down why waking up so early is something that is so good for me, and why I've come to crave it.
I'm alone in a quiet house with no obligations.
How often does that happen? Almost never! There are no phone calls at 5am, there's no laundry to do, there's no vacuuming, or dish washing or errands to run. There's just a dark house, an awake mom and coffee. That does not happen when the family is awake.
I can sit with my thoughts, meditate, read that book I want to read, journal, do yoga or just sit in silence and drink that first cup of coffee with all of the attention it deserves. I can just BE. Without expectation. I get to take 2 hours of self care time without guilt. Doesn't that sound amazing?
The mental chatter dissipates.
At 5 am it's awfully hard to get caught up in the drama of your thoughts. I found that in the first 3 months of doing this, I would sit and write out everything that was in my head when I woke up, and after a few months, I really craved the silence. Now, most days when I wake up, there are no thoughts to sort through. There's just me, my coffee and silence. When a stray thought pops into my head, it's usually inspired or an idea that I need to act on. Otherwise, this is known as my intuition coming through loud and clear. That 5am hour allows me to hear my intuition as if someone is sitting next to me saying, "Turn this way. Do this thing."
I learned how to be alone with myself.
It's been 3 years of waking up at 5am, and prior to doing so I couldn't remember when I was really alone with myself. In theory, I have a ton of alone time each day because I work from home, but the alone that I am talking about is so different. It's the alone without the phone, tv, laptop or distraction. It's the alone to really sit there and let the silence overwhelm me into deep reflection. It's the time where I can allow my thoughts to settle and the quiet to be the main focus for a bit.
At 5am, I am addicted to the quiet routine.
I come downstairs, and I light a few candles while my coffee is brewing. Every morning while I'm getting my coffee ready, my dog Lacey makes her way downstairs and patiently waits for me in the same spot on the sofa with the same toy in her mouth. I join her with my cup and we curl up under a blanket together and snuggle. She loves this time as much as I do. She gets the attention she needs, and her soft fur, sweet squeaks and beautiful inner light bring my vibration right up to where I want them to be to start my day. After Lacey drifts off back to sleep, I will find my favorite guided meditation on Insight Timer and spend about 20 minutes in a beautiful meditation. Further nurturing my vibration.
After my meditation, as I sip my coffee I often find myself reflecting on all of the amazing things in my life. The soft feel of my pajamas, our beautiful home, my adoring husband, our incredible daughters, the pretty candle holder, my loving and supportive mother… all of the amazing things in my life multiply when I focus on the amazing things in my life. By spending just a few minutes in gratitude for the gifts around me, I am telling the Universe "More of that, please." and the law requires that the Universe provides me what my vibration requests.
I don't wake up at 5am just for me. I wake up at 5am for them and for our family. I wake up at 5am because the most important thing in the world to me is my connection to my inner being. For me, that connection is easily made at 5am because the thoughts of the day haven't invaded yet. The chaos of the world is quiet and I can hear myself better. My inner being can reach me at 5am, and ultimately reach my family.
Does this mean I am perfect at this? Um.. not a chance. There are days when I come downstairs and the first thing I do is scroll Instagram and the last thing I do is meditate. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. And guess what? That's okay. I'm still alone with my thoughts. I'm still enjoying the stillness. I'm still raising my vibration (providing what I'm looking at on social media is not depressing, upsetting or political). There are days when I have a deadline and by 5:10 I am at my laptop punching it out. That's okay too.
I learned that I can take this time and make it what I need it to be. If I need alignment, this is my best time to find it. If I need to do more work, I am so much more focused and capable in this hour, and that ever present mom-guilt doesn't creep in. Lastly, if I'm keeping it real? If I want to catch up on Grey's, I can do so without interruption.
The point is to give myself the chance to be with myself in whatever way feels good to ME. It's a gift from me to me. I take this gift each day and I enjoy it. I spin and weave it into whatever I need in that moment on that day.
Thinking of giving this a try? A few tips:
Set the intention of waking up at 5am. In the beginning before I fell asleep at night, I would tell myself, "I'm up at 5 am and it's going to be quiet and amazing." I had to find a way to be excited about it and feel the anticipation.
Exit the bedroom. The biggest mistake I made in the beginning was thinking I could just sit up in bed at 5am and meditate, journal and reflect. I had to go downstairs and move to a new space. It was most important for me to just get up and get out of the bed.
5am Journal. The first few weeks of this process came with a lot of mental chatter. I would have so many thoughts that were loud when the world was quiet and I quickly learned that it helped to get it all out. I spent all of my time writing in the beginning. It was very therapeutic and enlightening to see what I wrote before my mind really kicked into gear for the day. So often what was written surprised me when I would read it later.
Gentle can go a long way. More than anything else, I learned that a new routine can be difficult at first, but it didn't take long to find my groove. It was a beautiful lesson in being gentle with myself and focusing on the small positive changes I was seeing each day. It was only a few days when I began to really see the benefits and crave the dark quiet of that 5am hour.