Updated: Feb 8, 2021
I can't even tell you how many books I have started over the past few years. I go through phases of listening to audiobooks and reading books. I will listen to one after another for weeks, and then stop until I am ready to hit play again. I don't always listen to each book to the end. And sometimes it takes me years to finish them. While recently working on painting my son's room, I decided to just finish several of the audiobooks that only had a few hours left on each of them. I love multi-tasking and this way, I could check off a handful of books and paint the room. It was a win-win situation.
I was hoping that I would find the motivation I desired to start waking up early once again and have personal study time. I had read the book "The Miracle Morning" back in 2018 and had been excited about waking up an hour or two early every day so that I could spend time meditating, doing yoga, affirmations, visualizations, reading, and writing.
I did it every single day for 90 days in a row. I loved it. I was excited.
And then one day, I just stopped.
I did not want to get out of bed.
Over the next few months, I started mentally beating myself up. I felt an enormous amount of guilt for not waking up in the mornings. Every morning, I would have an internal argument with myself over whether or not I needed the sleep. And usually, the sleep won.
I still found time to meditate and do yoga, and read, and write, and every once in a while I would focus and say my affirmations. But I didn't do them first thing every single morning. And I was angry with myself. The anger, over time, turned to acceptance, and then it turned into numbness. I was just going over the actions to make myself feel like I was still committed. But I knew the difference. I knew I wasn't reaching even close to my potential. I was just floating by.
The Miracle Morning
When I first started the Miracle Morning routine, I was genuinely excited. I woke up that first morning at 4:44 am. I had made a quiet place in my closet where I could sit and study. It was peaceful and calm. And I loved every second of it. After a few days, I started feeling this sense of clarity and direction. I started feeling more connected than I ever had. Connected to others, connected to my self, connected to the universe around me. I found peace within my self, and I yearned for it every day.
By starting my mornings, giving time to focus on my inner growth, I was becoming grounded, centered, and steady. It became so easy to show up as a wife and mother and coach more fully because I no longer held feelings of resentment for not having time for myself. Instead, I felt a genuine sense of peace. Day after day, I had a smile on my face.
I would still have hard days. And on those days, they almost seemed harder than they had felt before, because this time, I had more tools at my disposal. I had more knowledge of how to deal with hardship and pain. And yet, I would feel angry, and frustrated, and sad. It was a cycle. And I did not like how I felt.
Each morning was a reset button. And it brought me back to balance.
One morning, I woke up suddenly to what sounded like the doorbell ringing. It was 3:11 a.m. No one else in the house seemed to have heard it. Not even the dogs. I quietly got out of bed to look out the window but saw nothing there. I was wide awake and a little shaken, so instead of going back to sleep, I decided to go into my quiet closet space and study. I ended up studying for three hours that morning. And I LOVED IT. I was writing, and reading, and breathing deeply and I felt amazing. I was hungry for knowledge. I was learning so much. And no one else in the house was awake. No one else needed me at that time. It was all mine. I did crash later that afternoon for a solid two-hour nap, but during the morning hours, I was genuinely happy and proud of myself.
I decided to start setting my alarm from 3:11 a.m. each morning. That way I would have more time to study and grow. And it became a little obsessive. Although I loved it, I found that I was exhausted and crashing every afternoon. This lasted for several weeks until the day came that when I woke up, I couldn't talk myself into getting out of bed.
Over the next two years, I would still have moments of growth. I would still have little uplifting moments. Just enough to make me feel like I was still heading in the right direction. But, I wasn't feeling as fulfilled as I had been when I was waking up early. I knew that I wanted to feel like that every day, but for some reason, I could not get out of bed early. Something within me was unsettled, while something else within me yearned and pleaded for me to once again start waking up to feed my soul. I felt hollow, and yet I knew how to fill those holes. What was wrong with me?
I started my Inner Garden coaching program during that time, and as I was building it, I included a section on morning routines. I talked about the importance of waking up each day and setting your intention. How it would change lives, one person at a time. Because it had changed mine. It had added so much love and peace and value. I was teaching it, but was I truly living it? How much better could I be living if I just woke up early again. If I just did it. I had heard Mel Robbins' TED talk about the 5 second rule. I had read multiple books. What was I waiting for? I had the answers, I knew what I needed, but that little voice inside always found a reason why I shouldn't get up early.
I needed motivation.
Just What I Needed to Hear
As I got ready to paint my son's bedroom and was looking over my list of unfinished audiobooks, I picked one at a time, hoping it would say what I need. Each of them helped, but I still had a lot of painting to do. And I still felt unsettled within myself. Finally, I decided to finish a book I had started the previous year. It was just what I needed to hear.
Rachel Hollis was amped up about something in her book "Girl Stop Apologizing" and her enthusiasm got through to me, loud and clear. She talked about how to get things done. She said that no one else could be in charge of getting it done for you. If you wanted motivation, you just needed to do it. If you wanted a change in your life, you would have to change something that you were doing every day.
And that was it. Period. I would need to change if I wanted my life to change.
I know. It seems so simple, doesn't it?
I set my alarm for 4:44 am the next morning, and began once again waking up to have my mornings set with intention. I began owning my morning, and my days were once again becoming more smooth.
It set into motion my schedule, and I found that my direction hadn't been lost. It had just been waiting for me to pick up where I left off. Just waiting until I was ready.
I am so glad that I had known what it felt like to be excited to wake up each day. And I am so glad I had known what it felt like to not be excited as well. If I hadn't felt the defeat, would the accomplishment ever have felt as sweet?
I now wake up an hour early in the morning, on most days, and get up quickly before I can talk myself back into more sleep. There are still days that I crash mid-afternoon and need a quick power nap. It is getting better. I know that when I wake up early, some days I will feel good. On some days, I will feel great. On some days, I will feel amazing. And on some, I will struggle through. I am ok with that. I am practicing being gentle with myself. I forgive myself if it doesn't go exactly as planned. That's the biggest difference.
I am forgiving myself, loving myself, and allowing myself room to improve and grow.
I focus. I work. I write. I set goals. I meditate. I breathe. I stretch. I move forward. And I am getting results. I am getting so much done.
One step at a time.
What I have noticed more than anything, is that I feel centered again. I feel balanced.
I have noticed a beautiful difference in how I respond to what is happening in my life. More often than not, I am able to breathe through the situations and focus, rather than react badly. It is getting easier to stay calm. Is it perfect? No. But it is better.
My soul truly yearns for this connection. And I have loved feeling this way again.
I can have reasons. Or I can have results. I can't have both at the same time. I get to choose each day if I want to show up or sleep in. Today, I chose to show up.
And it feels great to hit the final period.
Peace be with you.