My "Secret Garden Time" Morning Ritual

UGH! I throw back my sheets AGAIN and stomp across my bedroom to let the cat out...then back in....then back out. She's got me trained [I blush], to wake up at 4am every morning. She stands on her back legs and paws at the door, sending a banging noise through the house and since she's 'MY CAT' and my roommates are all probably pulling their pillows down over their ears, I'm the one who gets up. At first, I was angry. "God dammit, Cara! I just want to sleep!" Day after day, the sleep deprivation was REAL but I used those early hours of the day to journal, read books I 'never had time to read', walk around the block as morning birds welcomed the day and bake blueberry muffins for my roommates (probably to subconsciously makeup for the annoying cat in the house #myfault). After a couple months, 4:30am is now a normal wake-up time, and the quiet hours that follow are a "sacred buffer", a time for checking in with myself, connecting with nature and staying focused on how I want to live the day ahead. If I sleep in and jump straight to work without my morning rituals, my 'buffer', I almost always have a 'bad day', struggle to focus and life feels like it just flies by out of control. In the book "The Secret Garden', the children discover an abandoned garden and keep it as their secret; a magical land of their own in which they can play and be free. I may not have a secret SPACE but I now have a secret TIME. 4-8am is my 'Secret Garden Time' for my secret magical things that keep me healthy, happy, connected and alive...all thanks to an annoying little cat - a blessing disguised as a furball. // -Cha

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