How can you really implement this lovely positive stuff into your daily life? How can you remember to remember? Which practice is best & how often should you do it? All these questions shall be answered in this set of posts about Daily Practices!
Daily Practice #2: Morning Pages
Morning Pages are a name given to a habit of journaling when you first wake up. I first learned about ‘Morning Pages’ during a course I attended in 2009 called The Artist’s Way, facilitated by Samantha Avery. Here’s what the author of The Artist’s Way, Julie Cameron, says about Morning Pages:
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages– they are not high art. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Occasionally colorful, more often than not Morning Pages are negative, fragmented, repetitive or bland. Good! Worrying about your job, the laundry, the weird look your friend gave you – all that stuff distracts you from your creativity. It eddies through your subconsciousness and muddies your day. Get it on the page first thing in the morning and move on with your day with a freer spirit.
Why write morning pages?
Morning Pages are by no means just for creative types (although I believe that if you’re human, then you’re a creator). Morning Pages are for anyone who carries around thoughts that don’t serve them throughout the day. Writing Morning Pages clears these cyclical thoughts from your mind so you can get them out of your head and move on with your day.
How long/how much should I write?
Julia Cameron suggests that you write three pages every morning. I intuit this isn’t essential, but always try to write at least one page otherwise your ego could very easily make some excuses and cop out of the process. Presumably this is why Julia states 3 pages – perhaps my ego has got a hold of me here! But everything in balance and it’s better to attempt 1 page per day than none at all.
What should I write about?
Anything. Literally. Morning pages aren’t meant to be written well, with correct grammar. Morning pages are an expression of your inner thoughts, moving them out of your head and onto paper, so you don’t have to worry about them and can move on with your day. They’re a fabulous tool to stay in touch with your true feelings, and if you find yourself writing about a particular issue over and over, this is a signal that it’s time to deal with this particular challenge. My Morning Pages sometimes branch off into automatic writing, a to do list, a swearing rant or a gratitude list, depending on how I’m feeling.
How to start:
1. A dedicated journal
I suggest buying a new journal, specifically dedicated to your morning pages. Make it a little sacred – this is now one of your tools to develop spiritually and personally. Decorate it if you like, or choose a journal with a nice cover and quality paper inside. You’re going to be writing in it almost every day, so make sure it’s something you love the feel and quality of. Keep your journal in a nice safe place. This is your journal, not to be shared with anyone. Keep it personal so you don’t have to hold anything back, with the fear that someone might read it.
2. Set your alarm
Fitting a new practice into your morning routine will take a bit of energy at first, but soon it will be natural. Set your alarm for 15 mins earlier than usual. This will give you time to sit up in bed, with the nice squishy covers tucked in around you, reach for your journal and have a solid 10 mins of letting it out. An alarm is an authoritative sound that will act as your higher self tapping you on the shoulder, telling you it’s time to clear your mind for the day ahead.
3. Write your mind out
Splurge. Speak your mind. Write about how you feel about every area of your life. If you’re having a particularly dispassionate day, write a shopping list, a weather report, write about anything. If you’re passionate about something, let it rip!
Do you already write morning pages? What has been your experience of them? Do you write them daily, or just when you’re feeling stressed/passionate? Share below!