What do I do with that when I’m awake at 3 or 4 or 5am and not going back to sleep?
My insight this morning? I stop arguing with reality. I stop telling myself I should be sleeping.
Instead, I honor my creative self. I listen to her; I get up and write down her ideas to act on later. For years I’ve known that I get great ideas early in the morning. I’ve seen how journaling when I wake up at 3 a.m. creates more clarity and ease in my life.
But still I resist my early morning insights because I want more sleep. I resist getting up and writing them down because I don’t want to turn on the lights and wake myself up. Yet I’m often awake for an hour (or three) in the wee small hours of the morning. And some of the best ideas I ever have happen at that time of day.
I often tell myself I’ll remember it later and sometimes I do but not with the clarity I have at that quiet time of the day. One of my ongoing challenges is with distraction. My children need me, chores need to be done, I want to connect with friends and work in my business. But at 3am, none of that needs to be done. None of that is calling to me. At 3 a.m. the “practical” side of my self is asleep. I can tune in with greater clarity to the quieter voice of intuition and heart calling.
Like seeing the stars on a clear night away from the lights of the city. The stars are there all the time, but when the sun is out I can’t see them. Light pollution at night or cloud cover also obscure the light of the stars. They are there just the same, yet I can’t see them clearly. When the sun goes down, the clouds blow away, and I step away from the lights of the city, then the stars burn strong and inspiring.
It’s the same thing with my intuition and creativity. It’s there all the time. But during the day it’s easy for it to get obscured by kids, work, cleaning, chores, friends, and busy-ness. The very early morning has long been known across cultures as a time for greater connection to insight. Maybe I can stop arguing with what seems to be a fact of human nature and surrender to the wisdom of the still, small voice within me that wants to be heard. I can listen to my intuition like I watch the stars. I can accept that the time to listen to my insights and creativity might be the time when everything else in my world is quiet.
Sleep is still important. I’ll still be looking at how to get those 7-9 hours a day. Listening to my body and resting when I am tired is so countercultural that I’ll write more about it on another day. I think there is rich territory to explore in the idea of resting when I’m tired rather than pushing harder and trying to get more done.
My gift to myself this morning? Sitting up, turning on my computer, and getting a week’s worth of insights mapped out in less than an hour. My second gift? Doing it without critical self-talk telling me I should be sleeping. Maybe I should be doing exactly what I’m doing. And for now, that means turning off my computer and heading back under the covers for another hour of shut eye.