“There is a sunrise and a sunset every day and you can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.”
– Quote from the movie “Wild” based on the novel “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed.
Just last night I was sleepily watching Wild, happily full after my favourite meal at the Thai place, when this quote really spoke to me. There is a sunrise and a sunset every day. There’s nothing more I love than to sit and watch the changing sky. So do I go out of my way to see it? No, like most humans I make excuses. Can’t get up that early, can’t because I’m working, can’t because I have trouble sleeping, can’t because I’m not a morning person. Can’t or won’t?
It was about midnight and I was suddenly filled with adrenaline. I can! I can choose.
Thanks to my dear friend Fibromyalgia (a chronic muscle condition), I can’t remember the last night I woke up feeling refreshed. I have restless sleep, constantly tossing and turning trying to get comfortable, so I tend to sleep around 10 hours a night. It sounds a lot. But any less than that and I wake up exhausted, drained and sick to my stomach. It’s worse than being hungover!
Then I remembered how alive I felt in India, waking up every day at 6:00AM for Sunrise Yoga. Isn’t it funny that we will pay for the privilege of something to get up for and fly across the world for it, but we won’t implement it in our everyday life?
For me, dark gloomy mornings always remind me of those cold winter mornings having to get ready for school, or getting ready for work at the petrol station, all those deliveries, all those customers, or before that, when I came home from night shifts at McDonalds, stinking of grease. I dread mornings. Forcing yourself out of bed. I can barely function until I’ve had a coffee.
But what if mornings didn’t have to be rushing around and getting ready? What if we could make time for ourselves?
That’s why we woke up at 6:00 in India, to make time. There’s nowhere to be but where you are, there are no emails to check or things to do. A moment of stillness and clarity. Absolute bliss. Why do I deny myself those precious moments? We only have a finite amount of mornings. I have 18,980 of them to be precise. I’ve already used up 8,395 of them.
So I showed up for myself.
I chose to be present. I sat still and at peace, then stretched out my body as the sun crept its way above the clouds. We often forget, but simple joys in life are incredibly powerful. Blossom. Giant old oak trees. The way leaves crunch under your feet. The breathtaking nature of mountains. Gazing up at a sky speckled with bright stars. When the sky goes from black to gray to blue and pink and orange and yellow.
They remind us of how much more there is to the world than our own real or imagined problems.
And now the morning doesn’t seem gloomy at all. It feels charged with energy. It feels miraculous and flooded with opportunities. What luck to be alive!
I danced the way home and found a beautiful message waiting for me from The Universe:
“Sarah!!! If I had seams, they’d burst. Limits, they’d shatter. Doubts, they’d vanish. Tears, conquered. Worries, shredded. Because I, your faithful servant and doting guardian, who hears your innermost thoughts, who walks in your shoes, and who lingers in your breath, can hardly contain the joy I feel over who you’ve become.
Of course, you have little idea of what I’m talking about, but you will. And trust me, you’ll be overwhelmed, too.”
I know the email isn’t exactly unique to me, but I can’t help feel lighter, brighter in knowing I’m part of something. That I count.
Are you putting yourself in the way of beauty? What do you do to show up for yourself? Can you take a moment away from rushing and thinking and doing? Where could it lead you?
Where was your favourite sunrise or sunset? I’d love to read your stories!