the Benedict Project 1: Getting up in the morning

This morning I got up at 7:00 a.m. It felt great because:

  • I am more productive
  • I have more tranquility in the morning: save myself from hurry and indecision.
  • I have time for a morning devotional time
  • I feel better about myself, and don’t feel so sluggish.

It’s high time for me to make this a habit.

“Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.”

Shaquille O’Neal

I found some motivation to make this a habit in Benedict’s Rule.

‘Let us therefore now at length rise up as the Scripture incites us when it says: “Now is the hour for us to arise from sleep.” And with our eyes open to the divine light, let us with astonished ears listen to the admonition of God’s voice daily crying out (…)Run while ye have the light of life, that the shades of death envelop you not.’

The Benedictine monks have a strict daily routine, started off daily with getting up early. When I was on a Benedictine retreat, I got to experience some of the benefits these monks have of:
a) rising early
b) rising the same time everyday
c) rising with a purpose

I felt so empowered, focused and proactive.
But why is it to hard for me to get up then everyday?

There’ve been times when my life wasn’t so happy and peaceful as it was right now in my 30s. As a kid, I used to have stomach aches in the morning, because I didn’t want to go to school. That’s where I learned that to snooze under the warm cozy fluffy covers was the safe thing to do.
Not anymore! I’m not in fear of anything or anyone anymore in the morning. I am able to live now! Nowadays, I have so much to look forward to:

  • My Chihuahua dog greeting me heartily, like I’ve been away for two months.
  • Writing with passion.
  • Experiencing another start of the day: with new possibility, new strength and a clean slate.
  • Connecting with God and receiving guidance.
  • An awesome breakfast with a nearly perfect cappuccino or caffe latte, from my espresso machine with electric milk heater/foamer.

There is absolutely no reason to stay in the safety of my bed anymore, my life is better than it ever has been and I want to honor that life, and the Creator who gave it to me, by getting up without complaining, full of gratitude.

You snooze you lose. Live now, procrastinate later.-

Karen Salmansohn

I love quotes, they inspire me and motivate me.

My goal is to get up this week six days out of seven at 7:00. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Tips and tricks I’m gonna use:

  • setting my alarm in the evening to go to bed on time
  • setting my alarm clock in the morning at 7:00 (outside of my bedroom!)
  • Cold-turkey rising: no snoozin’! get going immediately
  • Sharing with others about it, to hold myself accountable.
  • Choosing one indulgence to do for 15 minutes as a reward when I get up (for example: playing with Pinterest or Listography) as an immediate reward. Yes folks, that’s the way my brain works: instant gratification!

Please take a minute to leave a comment below, I’d really appreciate it!

And if you’d like to follow my blog, go ahead and sign up for the e-mail list or via rss. Thanks for supporting me that way!

love and peace,

Ester

You can also find me on: Facebook or Twitter.

2 more inspirational getting-up-in-the-morning quotes:

‘In he morning when thou risest unwillingly, let this thought be present- I am rising to the work of a human being. Why then am I dissatisfied if I am going to do the things for which I exist and for which I was brought into the world?’ –

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Meditations

”Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others (…)” –

the Dalai Lama

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15 thoughts on “the Benedict Project 1: Getting up in the morning

  1. Thinking about expectations you may have for the Benedict Project 1; are you satisfied about your own progress untill now? The things you wrote about the Benedict rule have inspired me. During my “La Palma retreat” I’ve read on the beach 😉 a wonderful book: “Klarheit, Ordnung, Stille” by Anselm Grun / Petra Altmann (ISBN 978 90 5877 937 3). Right now I’m reading: “Hunkeren naar rust” – pelgrimeren naar de regel van Benedictus – by Rick Timmerman, 2011, Ten Have (ISBN 978 90 259 6151 0) It’s about Benedictine spirituality for every day, with theme’s like: time, silence, prayer and peace. Next week my new silent room will be ready for use. I’m looking forward to it ……

    1. hi there!

      I got off the bandwagon a bit because of a holiday and applying for a job.
      Thanks for commenting and thus nudging me to write again. I am writing part 2 now (after finishing this comment), about going to bed on time.

      stay tuned….:-)

  2. Sunday, my day of rest. After this week of trying to get up early, I learned two things:

    1) that I am powerless over snoozing and getting up late in general and that I can only ask God to take it away from me if He wants to.
    2) that it helps if I go to bed 9 hours before I have to get up
    3) that it is progress, not perfection (it does not help to beat myself up over it)

    So, on to my next post today, about going to bed on time in the evening / creating an evening ritual.

    Ester

    1. Home again. It’s late, but I like to send a reply. You wrote: I learned two things, but I think you’ve learned more.
      1) Don’t give up! If you like, I will pray
      2) Think you’r right …..
      3) Seems like progress indeed; not perfection (and yes, this kind of reaction does not help, I think).
      What kind of evening ritual do you have in mind? I want to try this week: having a walk for 20-30 minutes, and a cup of decaffinated tea before I go to sleep. And no more snacks or cookies in the evening 😉 I have noticed any progress last week in waking up early, the same time, everyday. This week I also want to wake up with a purpose ……
      Wish you a wonderful week!

  3. Wow little victory!
    I got up at 8.15 (and went to bed at 23.00 h).
    So, 9 solid hours of sleep, only 15 min snoozing. That sets a good tone for the day!

    1. Congrats and respect! Have a wonderful day! For me it was to late yesterday, but it was good to talk with friends. Result: 10 minutes snooze 😉 I’m satisfied. Enjoy every step in progress; hold on! Wish you a awesome white weekend, Ester!

      1. Yes it is progress not perfection!
        Zen dog says:
        It’s not the destination, it’s the glory of the ride 🙂

        wonderful white weekend too!

  4. Today I realize – and felt – it’s better to accept my restless feelings (yesterday mostly sorrow, today anger) More devotional time this week. Mindfulness. Notice a bit progress; more peace of mind. Your right; this is important:
    a) rising early
    b) rising the same time everyday
    c) rising with a purpose
    So: thank you to remind me Ester! 😉
    Friends invited me for dinner this evening. Looking forward for ice skating this weekend with my daughter, wich I haven’t seen for a long time. Count my blessings ….
    How are you doing today?

    1. hi!

      Last night went to bed at 22.30 again. Got up at 8.30 a.m. after snoozing for 1,5 hours! 🙂
      Wow this is hard! But I need to be kind to myself and see progress: already closer to my go to sleep goal of 22 h to be able to get 9 hours sleep and make it easier to get up at 7.00 h.
      Indeed: count my blessings!!
      My dog had a dental procedure today – fully ‘asleep’ and she woke up great without complications!!! Blessing!!!

      I am grateful and hand my getting up plans over to the care of God, He knows best.

      Have a lovely week/weekend. Enjoy!!

  5. I am trying to set my alarm now to go to bed on time, because yesterday was : 00:00 am again to bed and 8:45 am up.
    I am going to close my laptop. NOW
    😉
    Estr

    1. Don’t give up! Late again? For me too. Realize it was a bad idea this morning 😉 At work right on time; 09.00 with a lot of ernergy. Tired again this afternoon (14.00) like every day the past three months. Now it’s time for a decaffinated cup of tea. Want to go to bed at 22.00. Wake up – without snooze – at 07.30. Want to close my computer at 20.30; starting tomorrow. Want a lot these days …….. 😉

  6. Awesome stuff!!
    I had a hard time getting up today because I rescued a hurt rabbit yesterday and went to bed at 00.00 h. I know I need between 8 and 9 hours sleep so 7h am didn’t work out. Now I have my alarm set for 8.30 pm for preparing for bed. (takes a looooong time 🙂
    God is indead near.

  7. It could be me: “I stay up late every night, and realize it’s a bad idea every morning”. Next week I like to join. A challenge for me; cold Turkey rising 😉 Can you give me an advice? I think about having a retrait in a Benedict monastry in The Netherlands in spring – or summertime. Any suggestions for learning the Benedict rules (Dutch translation) ?

    God bless, Jaap

    1. hi Jaap

      thanks for showing your support by commenting!
      I’ve got some awesome resources for you: just click the links below.

      http://www.let.ru.nl/v.hunink/benedictus.htm
      Rule of Benedict in Dutch

      http://www.bewogenheid.nl/activiteiten/gastenverblijven.asp
      Monasteries in Holland

      http://www.abdijvanegmond.nl/gastenhuis/
      I think this is the ‘best’ place to go for a Benedictine retreat in Holland.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_Saint_Benedict
      Wikipedia on the Rule of Benedict

      http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=2202&Itemid=27
      Awesome resource! reading the Rule of Benedict free of charge online in English

      Let’s share our progress (not perfection, remember?) on http://www.facebook.com/pages/Simple-Inspired-living-blog/197935136939348 my Simple&Inspired Facebook page daily.

      And spread the word!

      Have an awesome week,

      regards

      Ester

      1. Thanks for the links Ester! And: wake up without snooze today 😉 A mindfull start too. Encouraged by a daily devotional from Henry Nouwen’s “Bread for the Yourney”. About a choice between joy and despair. The freedom to choose is part of being human. Today I’m focussed on ‘joy’ and ‘hope’ (Romans 8, vs. 24, 25). God is near….

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