As I mentioned in my last post, I am now (finally!) writing daily because I am waking up really early (as in, the birds are still asleep) and carving out time to create. I’m not gonna lie, these hours feel a little bit magical. And it turns out that they may just actually BE magical. The two hours prior to the rising of the sun are referred to by yogis and mystics as the Ambrosial Hours, a time of the day considered prime time for meditation because the infrared rays of the sun are attuned to the wavelengths experienced by the brain while meditating. Or something like that. Physics was never my strong suit and despite many attempts at meditation I just can’t get it right, so maybe you shouldn’t take my word on this subject. But you can Google it and read to your heart’s content.
I first heard the term “Ambrosial Hours” while listening to an interview with Guru Singh on the amazingly inspirational Beautiful Writers Podcast, and it resonated with me especially because I have always loved this time of day. And then it clicked – I had been sleeping through my favorite time of day since we moved. I justified it as catching up on five years of sleep deprivation (young children and a job that requires you to show up by 5:30am will lead to a truly impressive sleep deficit), but I think it may be critical to my being that I am awake during this incredibly peaceful time of the day.
It is my suspicion that many of you reading may also be struggling with finding the time to create, so might I very gently suggest that you try setting your alarm for around 4 am (OK, 4:30 if you just had a minor heart attack even considering a 4 am wakeup call), make yourself get out of bed, do some stretching and maybe a little meditation (for those of you skilled enough to do so), and see how you feel? My bet is that you will wake up with an idea of some sort, so just go with that.
Ambrosia, of course, is the food of the gods. But after experiencing this mystical time of day for some years now, I wonder if maybe we have gotten that definition a little bit wrong for a long time now. Like, maybe it was kind of lost in translation sometime in the past 4,000 years or so. Our understanding today is that ambrosia is a literal food or drink of the gods which confers longevity or even immortality upon those who consume it. But I’m starting to wonder if perhaps ambrosia isn’t food FROM the gods. It’s not a literal substance to be ingested but rather an ethereal energy to be harvested in the wee hours of the morning, not so much a literal form of sustenance from the gods but more a brief communion with them. Maybe these few, precious, quiet hours of the day are prime time for the guiding force of the Universe to reach out to us mere mortals ever so briefly to offer a bit of guidance.
But what do I know? I’m a veterinarian, not a yogi or a theologian. I can only offer anecdotal evidence for the surprisingly increased productivity that I have experienced since fully tapping into this time of day, and can only encourage you to try it out for yourself. Oh, and the inspiration doesn’t stop at sunup. Since I have been waking up and seizing this time to create, I have had several near-miss traffic accidents as I search my console for pen and paper to jot down a new idea that seems so fleeting I might miss it if I don’t capture it, like, right now. (To any Colorado State Troopers who may be reading, I have since placed the aforementioned pen and paper at the ready, thus hopefully posing less of a risk for a moving violation.) Sleep is a precious commodity, I know. And most of us could certainly use more of it, not less. But perhaps, in the few months before the new season of Game of Thrones seizes all of humanity once again, you could go to bed a little earlier, rise before the sun, and see what the gods have in store for you.