Morning routines are routinely bigged up in the world of personal growth.
Getting up an hour early and carving your first sixty minutes before the world wakes up is heralded as a powerful tool to kickstart your life, happiness and success.
I’ve played with many early morning routines over the last few years. During 2016 I got up at the crack of dawn and climbed Bitch Hill with my dear friend Clare.
My bottom became hard, my thighs became strong and I wore the tired look of a woman who needs an extra few hours of kip.
Other times I’ve engaged in Gorgeousness Energetic Programmes in which I’ve snuk into quiet morning places and meditated, performed Yoga asanas and made long, juicy lists of gratitude.
More recently I have set my alarm to get up early for a run, but if the truth is told, have then turned off the alarm again and fallen back to sleep.
Early this year, I had the pleasure of going on a retreat, in which all responsibilities, children, needs and demands were removed and a gentle routine up awakening, meditation and visualisation was overlaid on my days.
After breakfast we’d gather for a workshop and Qoya. By the third day of this blissful me-time and sense of flow that emerges when a person has space to really sit, reflect and go within, I’d begun to wonder how I could bring these practices back into my daily routine at home.
That night at dinner, a conversation started around the idea of a morning routine.
I listened to various people talking about what they tried to do in the morning, how overwhelming multiple practices can be and how – actually – by trying to fix in a certain practice it can become rigid and another excuse to beat yourself up (on top of the unused gym memberships, unread books and unpainted pictures).
Then, a lady called Cassy Ede (who is a poet, a dancer and a creatrix) said something that I loved.
“My practice is simply to set my alarm clock an hour earlier and then I get up. To give myself an hour of space is my only practice and then I can choose what I do within this time.”
I bloody loved this idea.
I loved the concept of simplifying the morning practice to just giving myself one hour. Whatever I then choose to slot into that hour is down to me. I can go running, do Yoga, journal, practice Qoya … anything.
Blinking heck, I could even go back to sleep if I so chose.
This little bit of wisdom has since transformed my morning practice. I now set my alarm clock to get up an hour earlier, with no guilt, no groan, no rigid routine that presses my rebellion buttons … just a gentle awakening followed by choosing something that will support me in growing my life of gorgeousness.
And more often than not, that is quite simply, Going Back To Sleep.