The 4 a.m. Morning Routine
Updated: Apr 16, 2020
I'm not going to lie, it was especially hard to get up at 4:30 am this morning. I just felt like I wanted to sleep...like I needed to sleep. The only thing that drove me to wake up is this week's 7-day experiment, but I'm thankful that it did. There is something powerful about beginning your work while the rest of the world sleeps.
This powerful feeling, for me at least, goes beyond the thought that I may be getting ahead of everyone else by beginning to work early. There is a peacefulness that comes with the silence of the morning. This feeling is amplified by avoiding any phone notifications for the first 2 hours that I am awake. Somedays you have to push through the uncomfortable feeling of wanting to go back to sleep by understanding that if you can hold your position, you will soon be rewarded with the feeling of inspiration and fulfillment. Today it took me about an hour to get to this good feeling state, but the trek to the top of the mountain was worth it.
I don't think I would have made it this morning if it wasn't for a few helpful habits that helped me get through the toughest parts. Here they are in the order that I do them from the time I wake up:
Get up to Pee
Stretch in child's pose position for about 10 seconds
Tabletop Yoga position body circles while facing the floor (3 circles for each side)
10 Air Squats
Make breakfast (5 eggs with hot sauce within 30 minutes of waking up)
Brewing Yerba Mate tea
Listening to an audiobook while I make and eat breakfast
Sitting down to begin to write one shitty page. Here I allow myself to write anything. I just need to begin to write. This morning I began with a prompt titled,"On Being Sleepy".
Pushing a little bit further through writing, before allowing myself to have the tea. This push is like the last rep of a good set at the gym.
Walking outside to see if the sun has woken up yet.
Going back inside to write a blog post and wait for the sun to come out
Probably by the middle of this routine is where Steven Pressfield would say that my muse meets me. My muse comes in the form of the feeling of inspiration. This feeling begins kind of like a slow drum beat that is far off in the distance and that gets louder, and louder, as it gets closer to me. Almost as if to come cheer me on in my trek to the top of the mountain. The mountain, which is the discomfort of being up so early. By the time I go outside, I've made it to the top.
However, at that point, it is still a bit too early before the morning celebration of the sunrise begins. Then I must find something to do as I let the Sun catch up to me at the top.
Finally, when he reaches us, we can go outside once again and take a moment to appreciate the journey we just went through.