I have been living in a small village in the north of Thailand for more than six years now. The people who live here are connected to nature and move in with it.
One of the experiences, which I am now used to, is that the day starts here at six in the morning. The monks walk their daily morning Tak Bat rounds (begging for food / alms offering to monks) everywhere in this country, so in our village as well, at around half past seven. The villagers must be ready and prepared for that. Getting up around half past six therefore is quite normal (just like going to sleep at around ten o'clock in the evening). For me now a total accepted and used, energetic and great change of life and lifestyle. Almost daily the conscious experience of sunrise and sunset when it is not cloudy and ... enough hours rest.
Every person has his own pattern of getting up and going to bed. And if you are honest with yourself, the time after about ten o'clock in the evening means that you watch television, check the Internet and your social media and maybe play a game. Often a form of 'hanging around not really knowing what to do but not ready yet to go to bed'. You call it relaxation to make it even more acceptable for yourself but in fact it is no more than an established part of your lifestyle. A habit because you have taught yourself that you cannot go to sleep.
In the past, I even caught myself trying to use that time to prepare for my busy schedule for the next day and to read documents for the meetings. My daughter would say, "Did you feel a bit crazy in your head?" And now I say she was right.
If people who want to join a health program here and hear that we start at six o'clock they feel it as a huge offer to bring and sometimes it raises deep questions. In practice it always works out in a positive way and actually used to be very simple. It has no more and no less to do with how you adjust yourself to the time difference (time zone) compared to your 'homeland'. Adjusting is simply a given thing if you travel to a country that has a different time zone. And most of the time does not cause any problems or maybe only for a couple of days and then you are used to it. So immediately start that rhythm to wake up at six in the morning is a simple trick. Maybe it is not even a trick but just that adjustment to change your schedule immediately to that time.
Have you ever wondered why there are time zones in the world? Didn’t that have to do with how nature adjusts to the sun and the moon because the globe is in an ongoing turning round process? My sister sometimes reminds me when she sends a message late in the evening and says she knows that I already woke up that moment.
We are absolutely not aware of what nature offers us of (free of charge) energy and often live our lives opposite. Complaining we do not feel totally healthy... Buddhism teaches that, in a natural circle, the day is connected with 'Gold' (the sun, energy and action, to the right side of the meditating Buddha) and the night with 'Silver', (the moon, recharging/recovering and supporting the raise of inner wisdom through only rest, left side of the meditating Buddha). And those two have to be in balance for optimal health, for optimal gaining wisdom and yes indeed for 'wealth'.
Especially in the West, we cause damage to this movement, and with it to ourselves. In the early morning we stay asleep and in the evening we continue to wake up even longer.
In the same West, we calculate almost everything in our lives. What it can bring us personally for our lives, for our health and so on. We often skip to calculate in relation to our lifestyle and behavior. Not even realizing that we decline a free offer.
Be honest, a 'morning person' or an 'evening person' has only to do with a pattern you have learned and with that with a grown lifestyle habit. Sometimes not being willing (because yes you are able) to wake up early is even seen as inner laziness.
Mind you, there is nothing wrong with 'debus', but with structural getting up late you literally leave and do not make use of a lot of energy, opportunities, creativity and possibilities.
What the 'gain' can be? Only a few examples:
# First you move along with the day and night rhythm (and the energy) of nature. You benefit from that free of charge energy. From the natural offer to support you in action and recovery.
# Your mind is fresh, can do more, in the early morning, good to think deeper about things (or to meditate) and be sure you are more creative.
# You have time for yoga or physical fitness, a much better alternative than doing things in the evening giving you even an energy boost before going to bed.
# You have the opportunity to prepare your day better. Much easier, if you would like, to prepare your agenda for the day. To really introduce a new habit instead of using the time you actually need to calm the mind down reading stuff for the next day as I did for many years.
# Because most people do not follow your (new) behavior, you have private time. Time you are not disturbed by social media, colleagues, work or your children. So you create time for yourself.
# Your effectiveness and productivity during the day is better and the profits of this (also in money) will benefit you.
And so I can go on and on to share more benefits.
You will never succeed in changing your habit? Of course you can! Who is in charge of your life and lifestyle? Who is the ‘boss’? Stop with your general excuses to fool yourself.
How do you adjust your rhythm?
It is said that it can be done slowly, step by step and yes, that is a possibility, but just like stopping smoking it is a question of really willing to do and therefore simply (no not always easy) by straightaway stopping. That can be hard but it’s most of the times the best option. And so it is with adjusting your day and night rhythm or balance.
If you want to experience the gain and benefits of getting up early, you are standing up from one day to the next ... early. Know that your body does not really appreciate it. And here comes that 'boss' around the corner again, that manager of your life. If you are really the manager of your life and you want it then just do it. Change your behavior from one moment to the next. And yes, that is a bit uncomfortable for a few days / nights because your learned habit protests against your new desired habit. Actually it is exactly the same as adjusting to a different time zone if you go for a holiday to a different continent.
You go to bed same time as was 'normal' before. Midnight or maybe at one o'clock or half past one and you get up at half past six in the morning. Really? Yes really!
Your body will be protesting for a few days but YOU and only YOU are going to rule your life and your body quickly adapts to that deeper will and that deeper consciousness. You will find that you quickly, because your body want to give itself recovery time, long for going to sleep around ten o'clock. No months required.
Who knows ..., not just worth a try but just a decision to change your lifestyle that, as my father already lived and showed makes, healthier, wealthier and wiser.