And avoid these 3 awful things
I was having sleepless nights, when the jackals circled me, tore and ripped at me through the long, dark hours. When dawn came, I pulled the blankets over my head and lay petrified beneath them. I went on like that for months.
Among other things, Marcus Aurelius helped me. At the beginning of Book 5 in his Meditations, he gives great guidance, I used it as a model to write a piece for me and tacked it to my bedside locker. Reading it each morning, helped me get up and try to be. It says something like this –
At dawn, when the last thing that you want to do is get up. Say this aloud — I am getting up to be a human being, to do, what I was brought into the world to do. For, I was not made to wrap myself in blankets to keep warm. Yes, it is pleasant to lie here but I was not born for pleasure. Watch the plants, birds, ants, spiders and bees all doing their work, each helping in their own way to bring order to the world. Do not go against your nature. Do the work of a human being. Love your own nature and its purpose for you. Put your feet on the floor. You will feel better. This will make you feel better. Go to what you enjoy, to what your meant to do first.
Doing so, will help you avoid these three awful things –
- Having something else — your partner, your child, your postman, your pet, your timetable — start the day for you. No! Start the day on your own terms. Wake up before the chaos.
- Looking at your phone first thing. No! Do not start your day with what that robot expects you to do. Avoid it for half an hour. For that half an hour do what people did for millennia — start your day, prepare yourself for the day ahead, without the radio, without the TV, without the phone, without the internet, without social media. Do not start your day with the face of Donald Trump or the face of Boris Johnson or the face of Pewdiepie, or the face of your boss, or the face of your virtual friends, or the face of what YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the rest of the robots think that you need to see.
- Allow the part of you that does not want to get up, that wants to wallow, to lie in pleasure, control you. No! Do not allow that part of you to beat the part of you that wants to get up, that wants to meet the day on its own terms.
Try it. Do it every morning. Tell yourself every morning, I will get up before the chaos, I can lie in tomorrow, but today, I will fulfill the pact that I made with the better part of myself before I slept.