I wanted to kill it.

5 AM. My wife is waking up to the clock/radio. She stumbles into the bathroom and closes the door. I want to sleep some more, but she leaves the radio playing so she can hear the weather, which she never does because she is in the bathroom with the door shut. I don’t hear the weather either. Instead I lie in bed with the pillow over my head, trying to block out the sound of radio advertisements blasting from the radio. Years later, after a gig as the General Manager for a radio station, I learn why the same commercials play at the same time every day: they are scheduled for periodic rotation by computers. But this morning I don’t know that, and the ads are torturing me as I lie in agony under my pillow, waiting for them to be over and the day to start.

McDonalds. Patrick Kia. The Room Store. And the ad I hated the most…The Dump furniture store. “To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump.” Agony. Torture. The alarm clock. I wanted to kill it, every day. That was my wake-up experience…for years. There has to be a better way to wake up, I said to myself. And when I could not find one, I invented one: the Arise Inspirational Waking System.

First of all, Arise is not an alarm. According to the dictionary, the word “alarm” means “a sudden fear or distressing suspense caused by an anxious awareness of danger.” An anxious awareness of danger? Is this any way to wake up? I didn’t think so. Not much better was waking to radio and the aforementioned ads. Clocks offering a variety of nature sounds were an improvement, but they were still lacking in substance. The experience of waking up was ripe for a transformation, and I was going to provide it.

The first step was to design a waking “experience” — a process designed to gently and progressively migrate the user from one state (sleep) to another (wakefulness) in a way that promoted mental, spiritual, and physical health. This would not be an abrupt, singular event lasting as long as it takes to smash the snooze button with your fist. Rather, I wanted the experience to take time, to start small, build over a few minutes, and end big.

This was also not a process for young people, who if they are like my kids, need something akin to a nuclear blast to get them out of bed. Rather the experience was desiged for folks like me who are already stirring around wake time. I just need a gentle nudge to let me know: it’s time. If by chance the nudge didn’t do the job (hey, even I need a shove now and again), then the process would end big, as in: now it’s REALLY time.

But I wanted more. I wanted to “wake up on the right side of the bed,” as the old saying goes. Years ago I learned a trick from motivational guru Zig Ziglar, suggesting I rise triumphantly every day by clapping my hands together while saying, “Today is going to be a GREAT day.” I liked the idea if not the practice, and so my design included a middle part: the inspirational message. The small start, the inspirational middle, and the big finish became known as our “Spirit Friendly Sound Profile,” and it is used in every Arise product.

Inspiration comes from a variety of sources and can include poetry, Bible verses, statements of affirmation, Buddhist contemplations, motivational quotes, and all sorts of things. The Arise Inspirational Waking System accommodates all of these so that you can pick the Arise product that inspires you. Whatever your flavor of choice, we carefully and prayerfully select inspirational messages that are designed to keep our mission: to transform our customer’s wake-up experience into a distinctly inspiring event. It is our hope that a positive start helps our customers lead inspired, victorious, and abundant lives.

I wake up to the Arise product of my choice every day. Gone are the days of grating buzzers, loud alarms, and obnoxious radio commercials. Now I wake to a delightful medley of singing birds, a melodic country creek, wind chimes, and beautiful music accompanied by an inspirational reading. My experience closes big, with either cathedral bells against a chorus of international good mornings, or the sound of children laughing at the seashore. It is going to be a great day indeed, thanks to the Arise Inspirational Waking System.

Inspire your morning, influence your day, transform your life. Arise.

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