Rising Up Early?

Excerpt From A Coaching Letter Written By David Wolf

My experience with myself and many others is that rising early is a fairly common challenge- a battle with the senses, the physical urge to want to sleep, that many, if not most, encounter. Just like the senses want to eat more than required, or watch mindless tv, or so many other things that, without conscious restraint, will distract us from meaningful life purpose. An analogy that comes to mind is that of the chariot. It is pulled by five horses, representing the five senses. The self is the passenger, the intelligence is the driver, and the reins are the mind. So, balance is the key. If we let the horses run wild, then obviously that will create a precarious situation, that might land us in a ditch, or off a cliff. Similarly, if we pull the reins too tight (analogously, exerting undue willpower to control the senses- maybe fasting too much, or sleep deprivation, or simply a lack of healthy recreation), then horses buck, and again we’re not controlling the chariot of the body with spiritual strength and intelligence. So, at each phase of life, with each of the senses, it’s an art and science to know how much rein to give.

I think it important here for you to have empathy and compassion for all parts of yourself, including the part that wants to sleep in, and the part that is frustrated, disappointed, that you’re wasting time in that way. I know that you know that if you had full, genuine, sincere clear intention to do so, you’d make those changes. I’m not saying that for you to be harsh with yourself, but rather for you to simply notice what you’re actually committed to, and what you’re not. With such awareness you get to consider what further changes you’re actually ready to put into effect. For whatever you’re not willing to do, you also get to look at how satisfied you are with that choice, and to what extent it may be driven by denial. Whatever denial may be there could very possibly be sapping energy, draining inspiration, with a practical result such as turning off the alarm in the morning for that extra half hour, or two hours, instead of being commitment-driven and tolerating the short-term pain of getting up, with the mid- and long-term benefit of a more productive day, maybe feeling better about yourself, etc. By examining whatever denial might be there, and what it’s made of, you come to a higher level of personal responsibility for your situation, including your motivation level.

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