I just read one of my blog feeds about how the author starts his day (Zen Habits) and it got me thinking since I too have just changed my morning routine. I liked what the author suggested about sitting, reading, and then writing, and I may try it, but for the moment, my morning routine has changed to something which is also gentler than what I used to do, but more random. For more years than I can remember, I simply dreaded getting up in the morning and I had a large span of time where just the fact that I was awake was a source of depression. However, I've changed and so has my life, so that my days are for the most part full of wonderful adventures. Still, the getting out of bed part was the last demon to be conquered. I used to wait until the last possible moment and then I'd end up rushing and hurrying and feeling really stressed. I also had pets to deal with--lovely pets, but first thing in the morning having Poosa's paw in my face and Thackeray meowing and demanding attention, and Laoise's gentler insistence on her right to petting all just made me crazy. So now, I'm actually setting an alarm (a lovely Zen alarm that just emits a single gong), and I've moved the time back (up?) to 5:45AM, so it is still dark (but then before we know it, it will be dark at 8AM so I'll just be used to it!). Poosa no longer sleeps on my bed, which is a plus in a variety of ways as her 37lbs of Cocker body was always across the middle of the bed leaving very little room for me! For whatever reason, she also does not like dinging sounds, gongs included, so when the alarm goes off, she just scampers off to the living room (she doesn't like the timer on my steamer either, etc). Thackeray is still there and Laoise as well, but they are smaller and easier to attend to, and I have two hands so I can pet two, but the third was the challenge. Lest you worry about Poosa, she gets lots of loving once I'm vertical.
Anyway, I find that I'm more willing to get up this way, especially knowing that even on days where I have a 9AM appointment, I still have a couple hours of my own to putter around, read blog feeds, read my e-mail, write a blog post if I choose, have my tea (Exquisite Oolong this morning), and watch the sun rise. At my own rhythm, I then do my meditation (15 min.) and my yoga (10-15 min) before heading out to my shower (where I do shower yoga). I have plenty of time then (usually) for my "body butter yoga" and dressing for the day. It seems, for me, at least, that it is all about choice and not having to rush. If I am willing to get up earlier, and that does, surprisingly seem to be working for me, I can have enough space to choose my activities, to take my time doing what I want and still allow enough time for me to do what I need to do (tending the pets for instance) without raising my stress levels. Gentleness and going with the flow are extremely powerful, I've found. And with that thought, I shall end this post so that I can continue gently through my day and not end up rushing because I dawdled for too long (that also happens, of course!). Namaste!