Many years ago, I came across Julia Cameron’s powerful book The Artist’s Way. I worked with some of her concepts, and even coached someone through the book, as it’s a call back to our own creativity, a healing enabling us to reclaim our own creative voice.
A powerful tool from Cameron’s book is something called the “Morning Pages.” It’s a very simple practice, best done writing with paper and pen (vs onto the computer). Each morning, you sit and let your pen and your mind move through the page – for 3 pages. There is nowhere to go, nothing to DO really – other than to keep your hand and your mind moving. It’s an in-the-moment mindfulness practice.
I have done this practice in the past, but today, I have started again. I have committed to a 7-day practice – and, deliciously, a friend is doing the same. Over these 7 days, I will watch what emerges – what is beneath the surface of my mind and my heart. What whispers want to be heard? What insights are waiting to glisten? What parts of me will find peace?
This morning, I was already exhilarated, carried forward, amazed. It feels so good to sit and listen to oneself in a deep way. Thank you Julia Cameron for this practice.
If you are tempted to try your own 7-day experiment, here is an inspiring excerpt I found that helped me re-ignite my practice, from this blog.
“There might be days that you don’t feel like writing. Write anyway. You might forget to do it in the morning. Do it in the afternoon instead, or right before bed.
You might start writing and feel like you can’t fill out three pages, it’s too hard. But fill all three anyway. The magic comes from pushing yourself to fill all three. It doesn’t matter what you write, either. You could write down what dreams you had the night before, what you are currently worrying about, the cat’s litter box habits, the chores you don’t want to do, the way your coffee tastes, a grocery list, a to do list, affirmations… Write whatever you want to write about and just don’t stop…. Write, and the truth will fall out out of your pen….
Because slowly, without your realizing it, the Morning Pages are healing you. Whatever injury you suffered, whether that be a blow to your confidence, a lack of certainty, or a sudden devastating change in your life, the Morning Pages act as a rock you can rely on and a pillow you can cry into. You can bounce ideas off the page, revel in accomplishments, rant about how your kids are driving you nuts, or vent your emotions in any way you want….
You need to let go of the fear of judgment and write what’s on your mind, no matter how petty, silly, stupid, or crazy. Have you been considering leaving your significant other, or thinking about a wild career change, or contemplating moving to another country? You need to be able to spill all of your dark desires onto paper. And the funny thing is, the Pages won’t let you lie. Somehow the act of writing a lie, even if you are lying to yourself, makes it laughably obvious that it’s fake and you have to face it. This is something that makes the Pages a little bit scary, because if you have been living in an unhappy situation and you have been lying to yourself about how happy you are, the Pages will make you look at your life with honest eyes and you will need to do one of two things:
- Do something about it
- Continue living in the crappy situation knowing full well that you could get out.”
Would love to hear if you have a writing practice and how it has helped you!