The Art of Waking Up: How To Rise And Shine Like The Sun

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It is miraculous how the sun seems to rise effortlessly into the sky each morning and brighten up the world below it- spreading rays that fuel plants, illuminate the sparkling sea, and inspire snow-crested mountains to shimmer invitingly. I typically find myself dipping into a reduced experience of all that nature tempts me with: I’ll eat lettuce in my chipotle, surf the chaos of my Professor’s sea of doubtful stares, and challenge myself to run at a higher pace on the treadmill. However, there are too many greater opportunities out there for this lifestyle to continue. We are as much a part of nature as mountains, seashores, and plants, so nothing should stop us from shining with the sun's strength. Every morning gives us an opportunity to rise, jolted by the sun’s scintillating energy, and to expand ourselves throughout the day.

Here are three tricks to inspire a joyful waking-up-process:

  1. Schedule time for your REM cycle. Sleep with the sun’s natural cycle! REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is the stage of sleeping in which your mind addresses issues in dreams and your body repairs itself by regenerating tissues, building bones and muscles, as well as strengthening your immune system. Interestingly, REM only occupies about 20-25 percent of total sleep in most adults and often occurs just before morning. It can feel very disorienting to wakeup if you are in the midst of a REM cycle. However, sticking to a habitual sleep schedule and trying to get 7-9 hours of rest each night makes it easier to complete the awesomeness that is your REM and to go on to have bright waking moments.
  2. Meditate. One fabulous way to calmly ease out of REM is by following a morning meditation. The “Good Morning Sunshine Meditation” on Spotify has captured my own soul. The speaker invites a peaceful transition from the sleeping world to the waking one because she subtly enlivens your mind through a series of instructions while soothing you with her commanding voice, captivating message, and some magically lulling background music. However, any form of meditation is fantastic because waking up with a conscious awareness of your goals is an uplifting way to spring into action. Mankind can accomplish extraordinary feats within just a day- and experience significant joy simply from the ordinary feats (think about all the beautiful nature that exists to be seen and struggling people waiting to share happiness with you).
  3. You are what you eat. Lastly, having a big breakfast is a delicious reason to jump out of bed. If you are used to pressing snooze then try letting your      stomach be your alarm clock and I guarantee you won’t ignore the noise of your belly gurgling. Once again, let the sun inspire you as you focus on feeding from the Earth because locally grown and unprocessed foods are significantly healthier than anything else. Remember it is tiring to eat too much, but nutritionists do recommend having your largest meal in the morning since you will have all day to work it off. Steel cut oats, fresh fruit and yogurt, eggwhite omelets, and kale/pineapple/almond milk smoothies are tasty ways to healhily start the day. A healthy meal is fuel for the body, which also activates the mind. In turn, when you convert these calories into a workout routine you will find yourself feeling especially energized.

So go ahead and envision yourself shining because we are as much a part of the Earth as anything else. Tapping into the cycles dictated by the sun and present in all of nature shall thus enable us to have total energy that lets us feel great and accomplish effortless success!

Senior > English > University of Maryland

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