how brilliant and bright are the wings of morning?

Coming down the rain in the road in the drizzly July rain, Dave was coming the opposite way with his brother. He capered around in front of me, gleefully informing me that they were off to town to buy rose petals. Nothing else. Skipped off.

I don’t recall ever capering or skipping. Certainly not in July rain.

Which set me to thinking about natural levels of energy.

I would love to have an increase in natural energy across the board. To feel pepped up in the morning and afternoon, curling down towards sleep in the evening. I reckon it could all be lifted about 15% without any detrimental effects.

But I think I can safely say that that isn’t going to happen. My natural energy levels are about where they are now – a few percent above sluggish. I know that because I went almost 6 years without any stimulants – no crash-and-burn caffeine, no booze, no sugary snacks – and it made no difference. Pretty much the same as now.

Unless waves of positive sparkling are more mental than bodily. I definitely feel cheerier now than I did 6 years ago. I sometimes wander if childhood and genes makes us “sleepers” or “doers”: people who incline to the blankness and rest of sleep and shy away from active engagement in the world (a category that I firmly belong to) or those who hate sleeping and would happily stay up all night doing stuff – sometimes to a frantic level. Too much snoozing or wired to the point of burnout. Those would be the poles. I suppose we’re all somewhere in between.


  1. Courtney

    July 18, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    I’m with you the “sleepers” and “doers” categories. There
    are some people I know that make me tired just watching

    Those with naturally high energy as opposed to the rest of
    us, are mind-boggling to think about. The rest of us need
    some sort of stimulant (IE caffeine) to get through the day
    while those with high energy may only need caffeine to
    maintain the energy needed to continue on.

    I agree about the two poles and that the majority of us are
    somewhere in between. If we weren’t, life would be very
    different and interesting. How things were to be done would
    be interesting to see.

  2. ST

    July 19, 2008 at 3:27 am

    I was a little surprised that you lean towards the sleeper,
    because one thing I always look at is when you post your
    essays. I would see some of them posted at 2 or 3 am in
    the morning and I would think to myself when does that guy
    I have friends that are on both sides and I find those that
    are sleepers are happier and you enjoy being around. For
    myself I always feel more engerized when I get enough sleep,
    I feel happier and willing to go with the flow and not take
    life so serious.

  3. Susan

    July 19, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Alistair, I’m really surprised that you say your energy levels are just above sluggish. You always seem to have a sparkle in your eye and a spring in your step! You also look very youthful and enviably handsome. Perhaps you would like to enlighten the rest of us on how to look this good when you feel a bit sluggish!

  4. Kelly

    July 22, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    I can honestly say I am both!

    I gave up work last year to go back to Uni.
    I have now finished my final year, and am unemployed for
    the first time ever(I am hoping work is just around the corner)
    anyways, I have found since becoming umemployed, I could
    run a marathon at night, and happily sleep all day.

    Before I gave up work, I was skipping around my kitchen
    at 6am in the morn….I think I need to utilise my brain
    more during the day!

  5. Brent

    August 18, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Hi Alistair – You may want to try waking up at 4am. There’s
    something about not fighting the body’s circadian rhythm
    that naturally leads to more energy and a calmer outlook.
    Of course, it means going to bed earlier, but it’s worth
    it. I’ve been doing it for a while now and notice a huge
    difference in my energy levels. Also, you get to watch
    the sun rise every day, and that never ceases to be
    amazing. Good luck!

  6. Jason Brookes

    August 18, 2008 at 12:08 pm


    I’m no yogi but a very experienced yoga teacher
    in San Francisco told me that the best natural energy
    booster he knew of was something called the ‘Five Tibetan
    Rites’ which you may have heard of. Deepak Chopra’s a
    long-time practitioner apparently.

    I tried these five simple exercises for a few months
    and I had loads more energy during that time – really
    shifted my lethargy. They work on the chakra / kundalini
    system. Unfortunately I kind of fell off the wagon after
    a while and now I have trouble getting moving in the
    mornings again. Ho hum. Two steps forward… one step
    You can find the exercises online but also in the book
    ‘Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth Book 2 by Peter

    I also wanted to let you know that I attended the first
    Amazon Convergence gathering in Peru – a really interesting
    ayahuasca conference / retreat with some of the leading
    lights in that world. Would love to ask you about your
    process these days as your aya blogs were very much a
    catalyst for me to pursue this path. I thought they were
    beautiful and personal reflections – thanks so much for

    best wishes,


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