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How to get out of bed in the morning

Your alarm goes off, but the sun is still down. Most of us struggle to get up and get going as the darkest, shortest winter days draw near.

We tend to resist the fatigue with every fiber of our being. We have work to do, holiday gifts to buy, families to feed, hobbies to throw ourselves into, and more.

But what if we’re tired because we need rest, or need a break? Of course life requires that we must do what we must. And I want to welcome you to examine what is essential and what is not.

Do you need to be up late watching TV? Do you need to be the one to head your PTA, or professional organization, or organize that food drive?

A large part of you may be screaming, “yes, it has to be me! If I don’t do it, who will?!”

A gentle suggestion - that’s not your problem. Your problem is to be healthy. Do what you need to do to be well enough to do the things you love, and the things you must. If you struggle to get up and going, that’s a good sign that something needs to give.

In order to take action and do things, we use a precious resource called “Yang.” Yang is active, loud, bright, and energy. So, if you want more “get up and go,” you need to cultivate more Yang.

Here’s the catch: Yang comes from another precious resource called “Yin,” which is the substance of who we are and is a necessary counterweight to activity and action. Yin is quiet, stillness, darkness, and substance.

To be in health, these two resources must be evenly balanced within us. You’ve probably heard of these ideas before (see my blog post: Education Series: Yin and Yang), and you’ve probably seen the symbol known as the “Tai Ji.” This Daoist symbol shows that these two forces are mutually productive and consuming. When one is robust, the other becomes weak. To generate one, the other must be consumed. So, the more Yang you want to be, the more Yin you need to cultivate.

So, what can you do to cultivate Yin?

1) Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the act of observation. A good place to start with mindfulness is to be quiet and still in the body while breathing. Take a breath in and notice what parts of you move? What sensation do you feel in your nostrils, throat, and mouth? You can