Whenever I get up early in the morning, I am always struck by the utter quiet of the world around. If you are not the sort who gets up at 5 AM or even earlier, then you probably wouldn’t know what I am talking about.
But here’s what I love about the early mornings. Just as you get up, there is a vacant noise that swirls around in your head. You fight sleep. You fight the memories and the dust of the dreams of the night. You turn around and wish that you could go back to sleep. Don’t do that. Not just yet. Cuddling under the quilt is comfortable, but I have realized that the comfort brings me no meaning to my life. I would have just got up early so that I can be ahead of Time’s ceaseless march, and I still wouldn’t have achieved anything because I have just gone into half-slumber. It’s not sleep that your body can refresh itself with. It’s just plain laziness. And there are some things to be said about laziness, yes. But not this time.
This time, kick yourself out of bed. Brush the cobwebs of the past off your face. Yes, you may not know it, but you have successfully ventured into another day. The relentless pursuit of another day. But you see, the past has been dealt an inglorious death. You are here. So, let’s move, zombie-like maybe, but still movement. Go outside your bedroom and to a place by a window. If not a window, by the door. I don’t care. Just go outside your sleeping zone. Cross your legs. Or just sit upright. And listen. Just listen. Listen to the sound your breath makes as it comes in and goes out of your nose. Listen to the early morning cawing of the crow. Listen to the wide sounds of the Universe as it hustles by. Listen. Be aware. Listen to the chaos of the mind as it turns over a hundred thoughts. Slowly, find yourself smiling into the chaos. Because then you have reached stillness.
Stillness is not the absence of movement. It’s the awareness of it. Stillness is the breath of the mind as it brushes past each moment of life. Meditation is not the absence of thoughts, but the intense awareness of those thoughts. Sit with yourself as you rarely do. Sit and be still because even though the day has hardly begun, you have given the biggest present of the day to yourself already.
From this moment on, for the rest of the day, whenever the day seems wild, hopeless, confusing, sad, depressing, chaotic, vulnerable, acidic – keep that moment of stillness in your mind, and in your heart where it lies, and let your soul smile.