The Night Owl



I have always been a night owl. I love to stay up late, working, creating, writing, painting, pondering, figuring out my next moves.

Lately though, the owl in me has been somewhat on overdrive. I find myself up at 2, 3 or 4 am, reaching for my journal. It is the quite time. There is a stillness as the street noise outside settles and the air falls soft. I turn my phone to quite mode, so there is no disturbance or even the possibility of disturbance. When the hush descends I feel I can penetrate into the mystery where the silence holds some of the answers, or at least indicates a way.

The darkness is a portal to insight.

Others find this silence and stillness in the early morning, but for me, it has always been at night.

I could resist it, the late night pull but I have learned not to. I’ve had some of my best ideas and made some of my most radical decisions in those liminal hours. The other night, it was almost 2am when an idea which has felt blocked for months suddenly popped and a new wave of understanding entered. I had been looking at it entirely the wrong way round and in an instant it seemed to flip and there is was, a way through and forward illuminated. There was nothing for it but to grab a notebook and write. Pages and pages later I could see the light. It is the kind of light that only the dark of silence can offer; the light of stillness bringing the clarity of in-sight.

The word itself if a clue. Mostly the answers are already within us. We know our own way forward but it just takes some inward reflection and a questioning spirit to find our way to our own insightfulness. 

I have also learned another thing: that when I write in such a way, there and then I need to collect action steps I can take into the very next day to carry the insight into the tangible. Otherwise the dream or idea can remain hidden too, coming out only at night when it feels safe to dream big and hold the ambition of possibility. In the light of day the distractions can creep in, and my fear or uncertainly too- so those tangible steps are critical. It can mean sending an email to get a project started, researching a domain name, registering a trademark, or sounding out the idea with someone you trust (all of which I did this week!).

So each day, after a night of dreams, ask yourself, what is that one little step that can take you closer to the insight, can take you closer to the light, your light…


(PS: Staying up late also means I get up a bit later. I never schedule a meeting or job before 10am, if I can help it. It is just my rhythm and after many years of trying to convince  myself that I could be a morning person, I have given in to the fact that I will never be! The owl in me does some summersaults knowing I grant her permission to do her job without resistance. My mother, of course, has known this all along. I asked her recently want I was like as a child and she said even from when I very little (2 years old) this was my pattern. I refused to eat before 11am, but after which time I would come alive and want to stay up late. I should have listened to her after all!)