314 | Dawn

I love the dawning of a new day. It’s starting to get a little later. Autumn is the time of year when dawn feels more palpable and squeezable.

A couple of months ago I began running regularly again. The early morning jaunts around my neighbourhood are such a helpful way to start the day for me.

In recent weeks the sun has been hanging back. Sleeping in. Waiting a little longer before choosing to join me for in time for my pre-run morning coffee. But I think this has made the exercise even more enjoyable.

The cold, crisp September dawn preludes the moment the sun emerges above the horizon. And the sun bath engulfs me with its warm golden embrace at the bottom of a certain road. I get to step right into it as I turn the corner.


Change is Always Round The Bend

I’m deep into a seasonal shift in my life right now. Things are transitioning and repositioning.

The sun is setting on the previous chapter, and the next one is starting to emerge. It’s exciting and terrifying. But I know it’s time.

I’ve updated the blog (not completely intentionally/expectedly). I got carried away with some changes I’ve been intending for years. It’s had a clear out and a deep clean. I have that post car service feeling, when at the start of the next 10,000 miles, confident that things are fine tuned and refreshed.

Oh and I’ve set a date.

Yep, I’ve decided when I will take my step off the ledge and let go of my job. Trusting that I can make my life of a slow coach valuable to others, sustainable for myself, and longterm. The date has been said out loud, and I’ve written it down. So it’s official. It’s real. It’s coming. I’m accountable.

The dawn reminds us that change is always sitting just around the corner. And there’s nothing we can do to stop it. There are times when this lack of control might feel like a good thing (when life feels rough), and times when it feels like a melancholic thing (when we want things to stay like this forever).

Accepting The Emergence and Shift

The Stoics emphasise the importance of accepting things as they are. And relinquishing our attachment to desire for things to be different. Not in the sense of passively rolling over and losing hope for a better future. But to view things with an objective lens that reminds us that this too shall pass (all things at all times).

The dawn signals the emergence of the sun on the horizon. It is coming whether we wish it to arrive or not. Likewise, a few hours later, the sun will disappear and the dusk will take us into the night. To wish for day during the night and night during the day is to waste our energy and emotion on the unchangeable inevitability.

The Dawning Moment

Throughout our lives we experience a number of small personal dawns. When we start to feel a shift in the atmosphere. We get a sense that things are changing, emerging, dying, and becoming. The dawn changes our ability to see the shapes around us. It is the appearance of things based on the emergence of light that makes those things visible. But it’s the moment before we gain the clarity and direct energy of the sun itself.

It indicates to us that the change is coming.

Do you ever get that feeling that things are shifting, becoming, and emerging? But when you grapple with its meaning, there is not yet enough definition to see the true shape of what’s to come.

The Darkness (Just) Before The Dawn

There is an old expression that says, ‘the night is darkest just before the dawn’. I’ve read a few articles in preparation for this post. There are some amusing arguments around the scientific validity of this. The debates get pretty heated, and seem on the whole to completely miss the point. It’s a figurative phrase, not a literal truth.

It is about the human experience. The darkest hour as a human experience, is so often the prelude to change. It’s the moment that stimulates an awakening and a fresh dawn. This might come through hitting rock bottom, suddenly losing something or someone important, or a health scare. In this sense our darkest hour moments become a catalyst for the personal dawn. And in those situations, of course the night is darkest just before the dawn.

The Darkest Hour is a Precipitator of Dawn (Not a Necessity)

We don’t have to wait for a darkest hour. It’s not a rule for human existence. We can raise our self-awareness about the people, things, and situations we take for granted. To appreciate and accept them (and the fact they won’t last forever). Recognising the areas we are drifting or gradually moving off course on. And we can spend time grappling with parts of our lives into which we would love to invite a spirit of dawn.

The darkest hour moments arrive with a vengeance when we slip into autopilot. When we drift along the path of least resistance. It is underpinned by a ‘wishing mindset’, where we write off our capacity for change with phrases like, ‘if only it was that simple’. So we operate within an external locus of control. We commit to lottery style dreams, placing the wish for a better future into the hands of external objects, forces, and people beyond our direct influence.

I’ve experienced my own darkest hours. I’m sure you have too. We’ll likely experience them again. But that doesn’t mean we have to wait for them before opening our eyes to our next personal dawn.

Right now I feel like this moment is the start of my own dawn. Where the light is scattered and dispersed over the different areas of my life, before the sun rises above the horizon and the new day truly starts. I’m ready, but I’m not ready. It’s going to be exciting, terrifying, and full of unexpected twists and turns.

I hope you’re up for watching the sunrise with me!

Over to You

If this was a dawning moment in your life, what would you start to see as the light brings definition, clarity, and visibility to the next chapter in your story? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

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