I am not a morning person;
These were words I constantly repeated for the first 3 decades of my life. I had a very strong belief that I was not made to experience mornings. Even the Snoopy Poster on my wall confirmed it.
It took me many years to realise that things could be different, that I could change the habit of a lifetime, and create a morning routine if I wanted to .
Rising Before My Bull
If this isn’t your first visit to my website, you’ve probably heard my bull story. About how I was inspired by a Zulu chief who rose before dawn every morning. Before his people, his animals and even his prize bull. His habit of rising early was what ensured he stayed in control, respected by everyone for many years.
The story inspired me to get up early but it didn’t give me the how. I had no understanding of how I could turn around my many years of not being a morning person. I had tried every method written about and failed time and time again. After a number of years of persistent trying I did finally master the habit. But it was retrospectively I realised that rising before my bull was how I actually mastered it.
I realised I too had a bull, my bull kept telling me to stay under the duvet, that it was too early, that I didn’t get enough sleep, that half an hour more wasn’t going to make a difference. My bull was taking away my power and ruining my life. When I finally stopped listening to this bull I took back the control of my life.
Back in the Drivers Seat
I started to realise that my bull didn’t just show up first thing in the morning, he was lurking all day waiting for the opportunity to hijack my good intentions and sabotage my well made plans. When I named him he lost a little power, when I stopped listening to him, he lost more.
Recognising my bull was the first step, becoming aware of the negative chatter in my head, the old beliefs, the conditioning and the negative thoughts that didn’t contribute positively to my life in any way. Effectively I started to wake up.
Waking up is a process of becoming conscious, more conscious of our thoughts and our beliefs, more conscious of not letting our past dictate our future. Understanding why our good intentions go astray and how and why we give in to old patterns that don’t have a place in our current reality.
It is possible to change, to create a new life, a better future but you have to wake up. When you wake up you realise that change is within your own control. Little by little you can start to take back your power, start to take control of your thoughts and of your actions. You start to understand that your limitations are self set. That you are capable of so much more that you realised. And that when you master your mornings you are starting to see the untapped potential and possibility that lies ahead.
Making Space for Meditation
The reason I first wanted to get up early, apart from the fact that all the successful people I admired were early risers, was to make space for good habits that I didn’t seem to have time for in my busy life. I wanted to exercise and meditate but could never seem to find the time. By rising early in the morning, I created the time and space for meditation.
The habit of meditation has helped me to control my monkey mind, it has helped me to recognise where my attention is. It has showed me I can choose to refocus my attention at any moment. Meditation has helped me be more present in all areas of my life. helping me to focus more intently on the task I am working on and more importantly give my relationships the undivided attention they deserve. More active meditations have helped me to release my fears and negative emotions and I’m not able to help others do the same. My morning routine and daily meditation have helped me to start my day with the right mindset, feeling calm, present and grateful.
Finding Time for Exercise
Once I mastered the habit of meditation I found it easier to exercise in the morning. After meditating I was more awake, energised and feeling more positive and in control of my negative voice. Whether I do a full workout or 10 minutes of yoga, I move my body and feel ready for the day.
Adding a touch of Ice
Last year my sister bought me Wim Hoff’s book. Initially I wasn’t too excited about reading it. This guy promotes cold water exposure and breathing. I hate the cold and I find breathing techniques difficult. I started to read the book, I took a cold shower the next day and I have only missed one day since. The cold water energises me, wakes me up no matter what state I am in.
I have also found it to be a very mindful practise. I have learnt to be fully present while I take my warm shower and then I switch to cold and congratulate myself for my bravery. I stay in the cold shower and wait until the cold is just a sensation it’s not good or bad, just a sensation that wakes up my body, brightens my day and strengthens my mind.
My morning routine has given me an internal power, a realisation that if I can overcome my mind to rise early and stand in an icy cold shower for 2 minutes what else is possible?
If you want my help to create any of these habits or any other positive habit, come join me and a thriving community in the Habit Mastery Academy.