Why the 5am start is bullshit

CakeThu 29th August 2019

There are SO many articles that tell us to do the meditation, exercise, creative work early by getting up at 5am or even earlier. I am here to say: bullshit. Not that this is intrinsically a bad idea but what too many of these pieces are doing is subtly, and not so subtly, reinforcing the idea that everything about the way the world currently works is fine. That the reason you are miserable isn’t because of the massive inequalities built into the very structures of our social, political and cultural environment but because you are not getting up early to get your personal needs met.

The idea that we can spend an hour or two a day on ourselves and that that makes us “well” is both an appealing and a deeply problematic one. What does “well” even mean? Well as in able to cheerfully navigate a system that is racist, sexist, colonialist, ableist, sizeist and growth obsessed? That does not sound well to me.

There have been other writings on wellness and the co-opting of meditation and yoga and other self-reflective traditions by commercial business – read this piece on McMindfulness by the coiner of the phrase, Ronald Purser. And, as someone who gets up at 5:30 every day to get their children to a school that better suits their needs for creative work and play as well as non-competitive games and community, what I want to say is that no social change can happen without personal change and without us all, when and how we can, beginning to speak up against these structures rather than contorting ourselves to cope with them.

We need to be challenging the capitalist structures that limit our creative and meditative time – not exhausting ourselves by getting up at 5am to “do it all” before breakfast

The changes in our climate and the pressures on and in our own personal lives all point towards a need for a drastic shift. A shift towards values based living and loving. Of living and loving based on the values of HONESTY, AUTHENTICITY, RESPECT and KINDNESS. This is a manifesto (of sorts) for a community and a platform (Alethya) that supports you in developing extraordinary conscious relationships because we believe that living and loving based on these values really can help change the world in a way that getting up at 5am never can.


Anita Cassidy