Every morning, between the ungodly hours of 4:30 – 5:30am, I get up. I put the coffee on (two parts coffee, one part chicory), step out into the dark morning with my pup for a few breaths of crisp mountain air, and then crawl back into bed to meditate.
Don’t misunderstand me: I love sleep, and place it high on my list of self-care priorities. But sometimes losing sleep is the result of saying Yes to something in your life that’s higher on the list for you, at least for the moment.
This morning routine is a good routine, mostly because it’s a routine; something I’ve found hard to create for myself in the past, but feel so good about when I execute it.
This is something I’ve said Yes to for myself, because I can’t fathom how every other person has the same amount of time I have (though I am assured by scientists this is true). For me, creating intentional time in the morning to connect to the Motherland that is Spirit, and commit to a creative practice, is life-saving.
I’m not being dramatic. This time keeps me from feeling like I’m stuck on a treadmill of doom when the monotony of life (paying bills, somehow remembering that I need to go to the dentist and that the dog needs a walk), as it does every day.
But last night was different.
After thrashing around manically in bed for what felt like 27 hours straight, I looked at the clock: 12:47am. I’d been attempting sleep for not even two hours. It pained me, but I turned on the light.
These middle of the night wakings have been happening more often for me, and again: one of the things I’ve said Yes to for myself, is to follow their rhythms. (While also muttering multiple fucks under my breath.)
Meditation seemed like a laughable response to my anguished state, so I grabbed my journal, my old friend. I wrote and cried a little, then worked a little, and finally at almost 3am, attempted sleep again. And here I am, with the sole purpose of helping shepherd you into your morning.
When you’re committed to living authentically, you’re willing to be uncomfortable for a time, because you recognize that it’s more uncomfortable to be living a life that doesn’t fit.
What are you avoiding feeling because it’s bound to be uncomfortable?
Don’t answer right away. Sit with it. Get honest with yourself, and give yourself permission to not be the dang Buddha with this one, unattached to your emotions and set free by the impermanence in all things blah blah blah.
This will seem like a simple question (and it is). But answered honestly, it can give you some much-needed insight into where you might be stuffing yourself into a too-small space, which, actually, is keeping you from feeling — and therefore living — authentically.
Your feeling function is linked to your intuitive center, which is the main way you will feel your essential self saying NO to something not right for it. No is the first point on a map that inches you closer to a life that feels joyous to live. It’s only by fully feeling the complete shittiness of your No that you can understand the way it’s impacting your YES — which often gets buried in a pile of have-to’s and shoulds and duties of all kinds that are very real and need your attention… sometimes.
We have to know what No feels like all the way down to our guts before our Yes feels urgent enough to follow. And it is urgent; it is the MOST urgent. It’s probably going to be uncomfortable, and you will likely learn some unsavory things about yourself, but this isn’t cause to run and hide; it’s a sign that your soul-self is peeking through, ready to guide you.
I’d really love to hear from you. The uncomfortable feeling that something in our lives is saying No — but we’re not sure what or what to do about it — is one of the most common symptoms of living a life that’s not yours.
What’s your No?