"Who owns our mornings?
When we wake up.. how much time do we allow ourselves before letting our minds wander like stray ponies?
Do we rush off into our day..? or do we linger a moment in place that belongs entirely to our soul - an embrace with our breath, with our being here, with our own skin, our own eyes, our own hands and voice.
Often times, I am too distracted to give myself this gift.. to spend a few moments remembering my condition; my impermanence, my dying, my undeserved still here." // andrew tipton, for the love of motion
i once read a quote somewhere: "runners wake up before the sun rises."
part of the beauty of running, for me, is the waking up before the sun rises. is seeing the world from a different perspective, watching sunlight creep through treetops and in between buildings and illuminate the road you're on. is rounding a bend and coming across a sunrise in full blaze framed by the twin towers, or watching an eagle spread its magnificent wings above you. is passing joggers on their morning routes and that moment of recognising - ah, here's another fellow traveler - when your eyes meet, and you smile or nod - or maybe if you're the type, run over to give a high five. ;) the beauty of waking up early is hearing the things you never would hear, stuck in a car in a traffic jam - birds chirping, leaves rustling... even hearing yourself breathe brings you back to how frail we all are and to the startling impermanence of life. you don't need to travel to discover the sudden moments that take your breath away... they come, often, when you're not looking for them. i've encountered moments of astounding clarity, double rainbows, and powerful life lessons quite unexpectedly, on the road.
it is so easy to get caught up in the rush and bustle of the daily 9 - 6 grind that we forget there is stillness and quiet and little miracles waiting to unfold in every single day. it is so easy to get so caught up in productivity and achievement that we forget how fragile we are, how fleeting this life is. to me, owning my mornings - whether it's waking up before the sun rises to run, or waking up before the morning traffic builds up to spend some quiet time alone in the office - is the lifeblood of living intentionally. owning my mornings and determining the pace at which i will begin - and continue - my day is a rebellion against the noise and distraction that tells me i should do more, push harder, or slow down, take it easy... anything that would threaten to pull me away from the pace i know is right for me.
i picked up a book recently that talked about the importance of flow. too few challenges and we end up bored, apathetic, and unstimulated. too many challenges, and we drive ourselves towards burnout and running on empty. flow is the delicate balance between both extremes. finding that balance involves both discipline and acceptance. discipline to push through challenges - when you know you can. acceptance of your limits - when you know you've reached them. it's trusting the stiller, quieter, deeper, inner voice instead of what's going on all around you. flow is when you wake up in the morning - ready for the day ahead; and when you close your eyes at night - having made peace with everything that has taken place in that day, and in anticipation for the next day.
this morning's listening:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” -Matthew 11:28-30