My morning routine became such a part of my life I feared sliding back to my “old” self, or worse — back into depression.
Last week I announced I was writing a new book about waking up early, yet the past few months I’ve struggled to maintain enthusiasm for my own morning routine. The routine I started and have been pursuing for over a year now has seen its highs and lows. It became such a part of my life that the idea of sleeping in felt like I was sliding back into the “old” me. And my biggest fear, sliding back into depression.
When I announced my new book, I had high hopes of getting up early and writing. But no sooner I make the announcement, my body decides to revolt and all it wants to do is sleep in. I would get up in the morning and do a few things and before you know it, I was asleep on the couch with a book by my side that’s only two pages further than the last time.
I felt bad.
Shameless Self Promo!
I felt like a lazy bum.
I told “the world” I was going to write this book on creating the ultimate morning routine that will “CHANGE YOUR LIFE!” And here I am, chief slacker extraordinaire. I woke up early every day, but I didn’t want to do my routine. I just wanted go back to bed. My scumbag brain was telling me I was never going to amount to anything. That all the spiritual and personal development that I have done will be wasted. That my book won’t write itself and I have to just work through the resistance. That if I skip out on meditation today, it will be twice as likely I’ll skip out again.
I have been told that habits rely on consistency. And which muscle will I exercise? My willpower and self discipline or my giving in to doing what’s comfortable? I couldn’t give in to my craving for sleep, because that’s what’s comfortable.
Only losers give in to what’s comfortable, right? No pain, no gain. You’ve heard it all.
I must. Push. Through.
I sat there staring at the book The War of Art on my coffee table. It’s all about “showing up for work” and treating your dreams like a job. Show up, don’t sleep in. Just lace up your shoes and get to work. I didn’t want to disappoint Steven Pressfield now.
But I didn’t care one bit. I didn’t care about anything but sleep. That sleepytime apathy was taking over.
Then I felt guilty. Yep, pile on more self-sabotaging, useless emotions.
Wait. Who’s in charge here?
It occurred to me that I’m the one causing my own grief. I’m telling myself I’m bad for resisting what my ego wants to do because it’s convinced it’s for my own good.
But I thought my higher self wants me to write this book? I thought my higher self NEEDS me to show up every morning to meditate, exercise, and read more! I thought my higher self would be mad at me for letting him down.
Right then, I decided I’m in charge. My ego likes to pretend its my higher self.
I can give myself permission to sleep in. I can tell this critical voice in my head to shut up and let me do what I want. I don’t always give myself credit. Sometimes I forget how much I have accomplished.
In the past year I’ve consumed an insane amount of spiritual and personal development material via books, podcasts, YouTube videos, blogs, documentaries, interviews, you name it. I’m well versed in meditation and mindfulness. I’ve journaled every day for 15 months straight. I’ve awakened. I really have.
All of this was led by an insatiable curiosity. Not an urge to keep up or be better.
I need to remember I’m good enough as I am.
Let me repeat that. I’m good enough as I am. You are good enough AS YOU ARE. You are worthy of being loved just as you are.
We perpetually feel like happiness or love is just around the corner. But it can only be found now.
Yet here I am feeling like I’m going to fall behind if I “give up” my morning routine.
Scumbag brain. Silly ego.
These days I wake up and I’m at a loss on what to do. I’m bored. I feel like the well is dry and I’ve reached the end of the Internet.
My curiosity ran out.
When curiosity runs out and I’m forcing myself to be inspired, that’s when it’s time for a change. When I’m ragging on myself because I’m bored and uninspired, it’s ok to do something different. Just let go of the routine. Shake it up. Leave it behind. Turn left instead of right.
Sleep is good!
When I decided to give myself permission to sleep in the other day, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I thought, “Really? Was it that easy?” I gleefully set my alarm for 2 hours later than usual and didn’t give a damn about not waking up before the sun.
I decided that SLEEP itself is what I need RIGHT NOW. Yes I know sleep is important, but I’ve lived on five or six hours for most of my adult life.
I’m actually getting a full 8 hours of sleep now. Imagine that.
It feels good. It feels right.
There will be a time when waking up early to “steal” some extra hours to do something I’m excited about will feel more refreshing than sleeping in. Until then, I’m going to cozy up in my blankets and take advantage of the extra REM cycle.
See you in the astral plane!