The early hours are my magic time. I am bathed by ocean breezes as I run through my breathwork. My practice starts in darkness, then gradually my surroundings come into focus. While I see the passing of time visually with the sunrise, time does feel slow.
I feel the most myself in the mornings. Before life comes at me. The darkness is a cocoon – shielding me from my doubt, shame, embarrassment, second-guessing – where I can stretch and be comfortable in every inch of my skin.
Breathwork and meditation keep that barrier securely around me. My psyche is the pilot: she travels throughout my brain and body during these quiet moments. Most mornings she pulls a theme or memory out on her own for me to think about. Kind of in the same way Joy accesses memories in Inside Out.
This morning she is thinking about my morning bravery. How open I feel to sharing in this protected morning hour. Something afternoon Carrinicole struggles with.
Afternoon Carrinicole doubts herself: do people even find what she’s sharing interesting, do they think it’s boring, repetitive, is she narcissistic to think anyone is interested.
Morning Carrinicole gives zero fucks. Thoughts and memories jump and squirm in her mind waiting for their turn, like a snaking, impatient line for the women’s restroom. She has to get the thoughts out to relieve them.
And she doesn’t care what anyone thinks, because they’re true for her. They’re interesting to her. They keep her motivated, focused, and on the path of being brave for more hours of the day.
She doesn’t see, read or hear it around her, so she’s going to keep talking and keep writing, so maybe it helps someone else.
Finding your “magic hour” is a crucial first step to taking back your life.
I realize not everyone is a morning person – but I want to stress how important reclaiming your mornings are. Mornings are the clean slate of the day. You can get up early with nothing on your plate. Time just for you, while the house is quiet. How early you need to get up depends on when your household gets up – your magic hour is one hour before that time.
I don’t think I could have this freedom of thought and expression at night where I’m still wearing the baggage of the day. There are many variables to nighttime: you had a bad day, household duties can pile up, you’re mentally / physically exhausted, kids aren’t going to bed, you fall into the TV trap. All of these could compromise your uncompromisable “magic hour.”
What are you giving up to get up earlier? Late nights watching TV or endless scrolling on your phone? I used to be addicted to Bravo TV, I loved the housewives. During the week I counted down the hours until I got to go home and sit in front of the TV watching other women’s’ lives. All I had to do is give up an hour of that to go to bed an hour earlier.
It was really hard in the beginning. I didn’t look forward to it every morning, but I did it. Then the most fascinating thing happened. As I gradually cultivated my time, prioritizing free time doing things that creatively fulfilled me, I needed Bravo less and less. If you would have told me last year that I stopped watching Bravo in 2020, I wouldn’t believe you. I still watch TV, but it doesn’t get to control my time anymore.
The first step to taking back your life is to just “do” it. DO things for you. You are the pilot, not the passenger of your life. And to start doing new things requires time. Making the time means discipline to truly carve out moments for you, and to do something with those moments.