Write about your morning ritual. You wake up… then what usually happens? Write about how your body feels, what you think about, what you like to do, to eat or drink the first thing in the morning. It does not have to be about you. Write about your character if you prefer – what is their morning routine?
I’ve had so many different morning routines over the years. There were periods in my life when I would set an alarm clock one hour earlier than I needed to have time to prepare for school, and go jogging and wake up with the birds – real birds and people kinds of “early birds”… There were times when I would wake myself up by taking a cold shower… There were long periods when I depended on others' schedule, and had to wake up early to take care of my little daughter, to teach classes, to go to work, to go to college, and so on, and so on. I feel like I did not sleep enough for most of my life and woke up by someone else’s clock. So when I started living a creative life and not having to rush to take care of anyone, my sleep schedule changed, and my morning routine changed as well. No more jogging or cold showers for me please. I prefer to wake up slowly and naturally, whenever my body feels it’s time. Usually when I wake up after enough hours of sleep, I don’t need coffee to help my mind catch up, and coffee became only a ritual really, one of my favorite morning rituals. Sometimes, I even catch myself missing morning in the evening – to only have that first cup of coffee… I can’t allow myself to stay in bed for too long after I open my eyes, even though it’s such a sweet state to just laying there, stretching my body… Alas, the nature call takes me out of bed quickly – that happened after my daughter was born and physiology changed. Cats are usually fed at this point and come to me to just say hello, rubbing their tail on my legs. Sometimes, I return to bed and try to catch more sleep – if my body still feels groggy and I just did not have enough hours of sleep. In such mornings, I try to not even open my eyes fully, so it’s easier to go back to sleep. Now, I told you all my secrets. Wouldn’t it be better to simply write about a fictional character? Well, I am not fictional, and my mornings are not fictional, and that’s just how it goes. Other times, I feel like I had enough sleep (not in terms of “must be enough”, but naturally enough – I feel rested), and I don’t come back to bed, still warm and soft. But I feel fine and feel like fresh air, and usually if the weather is mild (and it usually is mild where we live), I sit down in the living room, in my favorite spot where I spend many hours reading or writing, or just being, from where I see Puget Sound, the most amazing view to wake up to. I make myself that first cup of coffee, open the door to catch the breeze and hear birds, and sit there for a while, until my mind and body wake up fully. I had periods when I used to write so called “morning pages” in these first quiet minutes of my day – they say it helps. I can’t say though they brought some revelations to my soul, because I have enough time to be quiet, and not just enough time, I am accustomed to be quiet, to just be, to go within, to spend time – no, not with my thoughts, with my core. Someone needs meditation or reading books about so called “living in the moment” – and that’s fine, but I don’t. Aren’t those books another distraction to what those people want to achieve anyway? Instead of actually being, they think, talk, read and write about being… I do live in the moment, and in a sort of a meditative state for hours, day after day. It did not start in my 40s, not even in my 30s… I lived this way as a child. I thought we all lived this way… I don’t need anyone to teach me to be “in touch with myself” – I am in touch with myself. I always feel this deep connection – no, not with my thoughts, with my whole self, and I don’t use meditation techniques to get me into that state. I get there easily and naturally, by just being quiet. My thoughts don’t dictate to me what to do, what to talk about, what to write about. Thoughts are useful for science. For living, thoughts are just that – thoughts, busy little bees, buzzing around… Life wisdom comes from within, from intuition. I cannot check with a wise author every single time I make a life decision. I have to have a connection to myself, to my most deep feelings, to know what is right and what is wrong for me. No author, no spiritual guru will hold my hand in life decisions. I need to learn to hold my own hand, to be my own spiritual guru, to really trust what my guts tell me. And for that, I need to spend time being quiet – just being.
I wake up slowly, I give my body, my mind lots of time to fully wake up, I don’t like to talk to anyone, to read anything, I just want to be by myself. Sometimes I write, and other times I just sit here and don’t do anything. And those are precious minutes, sometimes up to a couple of hours, of my life. Breakfast comes later – my breakfast often looks more like lunch, I can eat just about anything, any left overs I have from the previous day. Now, there are different mornings, when my husband and my daughter are also here, usually on weekends and holidays – then my routine changes a little. He makes coffee (he makes the best in the world), we sip it and chat. Then I make us a breakfast, and we start our day. I love those mornings too. But they are the topic for another time and another sketch.