When the alarm clock goes off at 3:50am every morning, I am not exactly jumping out of bed. But, I am pretty close. Thanks to The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, and a few early morning clients over the last 9 months, I’ve been able to get in the habit of early mornings. My spirit has been so much more at peace this way. Formally a night owl, this was not a smooth transition. It takes a lot of work training your brain to shut down at 7 or 8pm, instead of 1 or 2 am.
It’s not just the fact that I am waking earlier though. I’ve implemented a morning routine that encompasses things that make me feel good. I’ve got water intake, physical activity, meditation, writing, mind training, and other inspirational activities included. All in all, my morning routine takes about 2 hours to complete. So, my 6:00am, I’ve done the most important part of my day. If i choose to sneak back into bed for a nap, I can do so, guilt-free. But usually, I am so energized, I just hop right into my day where it’s time to “slay the dragon.”
This morning’s hike was through Papago Park, located on the Phoenix/Scottsdale border. As a child, I remember going here a lot. The Phoenix Zoo is right here, and my Mom loved taking us there. Next door, is the Desert Botanical Garden. And, the Papago mountains themselves are very unique to the area, as you can see for yourselves below.
The sunrise was mesmerizing today, and as I walked along the trail with my friend, I was consumed with gratitude and inspiration. Had I slept in, I would have missed it. And that got me thinking about resistance. Even though I work every day on building healthy habits that will help me achieve my dreams, I struggle with the inner demons of fear and resistance. Even though I KNOW that I am touched, moved, and inspired by early mornings, writing, and sunrises, I still resist these activities regularly. I know that physical exercise is not only important for health, but it makes me feel good when I do it right. Yet, I haven’t been to my gym since March. Even the 7 minute workout app seems to much to overcome, sometimes. I enjoy hanging out with my friends, yet I rarely call anyone, and I hardly ever “hang out.”
So, why is it that we resist things that we enjoy? For me, I have very clear self-sabotage habits that stem from a dual fear of both failure, AND a fear of success. It’s a complex dichotomy that leads to a lot of strife in my life. You should hear some of the conversations in my head. I range from “Go, go, go, Yay Success and drive!” to “Hmmm, maybe a Golden Girls marathon today…and a pint of ice cream,” more often than I would like to admit. It’s when I take consistent action in either direction of those thoughts that I have experienced both my greatest joy, and my greatest despair. We truly are the sum total of our thoughts, actions, and feelings.
Resistance is going to happen. It’s usually the symptom of fear, in one way or the other, and the only way to get through it, is to get through it. Face your fear by facing your resistance. One of my great teachers, George Addair, said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” I used to think about that all the time. Shoot, I still do! But, how do you do that? The best answer I’ve found is: Daily action, no matter how small it is. Have you been trying to work out for years, but just can’t get into it? Try rolling out of bed and doing ONE single push-up. Do that for a week, do it for a month, or do it for a year-whatever you need. Then, start doing better than that with TWO push ups. Trying to go all or nothing doesn’t work. Trust me, I speak from experience. I was always the type that said if I can’t go the gym for an hour, why bother? If I can’t write the book in a month, why bother? If I can’t see results in a week, why bother? Everything takes time and process/effort. The time is going to pass anyway. You might as well be moving toward your goal.