The conversation is always the same.
Me: “I wake up at 5 am. Every day of the week.”
Them: “On PURPOSE?”
Me: “Yep. Even on the weekend.”
Them: deer in headlights.
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 be deep in 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’m sharing all of the reasons why waking up so early has become something I crave.
I’m alone in a quiet house with no obligations.
There are no phone calls at 5am, there’s no laundry for me to do, no vacuuming, dish washing or errands to run. There’s simply a quiet, dark house, a steaming cup of coffee and me. That does not happen when my 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 delicious attention it deserves. I can just BE. Without expectation. I get to take 2 hours of self care time without guilt.
The mental chatter dissipates.
At 5 am it’s awfully hard to get caught up in the drama of thinking. 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 weeks, I really craved the silence. Now, most days when I wake up, there are no thoughts to sort through. It’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. 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.
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.
The whole point of waking up at 5am isn’t to spend more time alone without my kids. It’s to spend more time finding my own inner alignment so that I am the best possible mother for my kids.
I want them to walk down the stairs to a mother who is peaceful and aligned and compassionate and ready to take the speedbumps of the day in stride and without the anxiety. I want them to feel my energy of this beautiful alignment so that they carry that with them through their day.
The 5am hour gives my kids a mother who is able to show up as the best possible version of herself, and it’s the most priceless gift.
Does this mean I am perfect at this and every morning is meditative and serene? 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. 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 have 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 Anatomy, 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.
Some tips to get started:
Set the intention of waking up at 5am. In the beginning before I fell asleep at night, I would tell myself, “I’m waking 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 returned to read it later.
Be Gentle With Yourself. 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.