Creative activity: Morning pages

writing in Norway,  sometime in 2011

writing in Norway, sometime in 2011

Most people know one of the longest and my most favourite rituals is Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages. I recommend them to all my clients. If you’re not already familiar with The Artists’ Way, i’d really recommend investing some time to sniff out a copy. It’s been something that has been a regular part of my life since 2004 when my friend Wes told me about the Pages.

I realised i’d kind of always done a little bit of Morning Page writing since i was really small. My goal was to become “an author” as a child, and i’d carry a pad with me so that at any opportunity i could write down stories and my thoughts and feelings.

Not a lot has changed.

But committing to a bigger practice of the Morning Pages really changed my life.

.... I know that statement can sometimes be overused, but i truly believe it.

I’ve become more disciplined, clearer and also learned how to take care of myself better. See, the Pages are a kind of listening to the deep inner voice within. They create the conditions to get clear, really clear, be that chucking all the messy, unhelpful chatter that’s filling up the brain (and holding space up that could be filled with more useful and hopefully luscious stuff).

Sometimes Morning Pages are referred to as being a “dumping ground/ brain drain / dump” or a “stream of consciousness” writing exercise, and all of these things are true. Call them what you want (and they certainly don’t have to be done in the morning, i can vouch for that!).

I always notice when i haven’t done my Pages. I’m a little foggier. Also a bit irritable. Because the Pages give me sacred time to find my flow and sense where i’m at that day. They ground me. And somehow rebalance my brain. And most importantly, they give me the space to feel what i’m feelings but also move forward when i feel ready.

They are hand written, which really does something inside i think. The physical act of “creation” or making something with your hands is a powerful one. And seeing your Pages - the physicality of them, once completed, and also during the process, never fails to offer me hope: creating something out of nothing.

It’s really important for me to state that the Pages do not need to make any sense whatsoever. Nor do they need to be articulate. Policed. Or ever seen again (Julia recommends you do not return to the pages once they are “out”). Often this is because it’s a great space to dump all those limiting beliefs or nagging voices that hinder you on your path. Leaving space for the good stuff you would like to bring in.

You do not need to plan for Pages. You simply sit and let them come through you. Literally, that’s it!

Put pen to paper and write whatever comes into your mind. If you’re a practitioner of meditation, this is probably familiar to you, simply watching the thoughts come and go (i say simply, but of course it’s a practice and some days, it’s not so simple but that’s ok).

If the thought in your head is “i do not know what to write…” then write that. You might write that 50 times. Or more!
But i bet that something else comes out once you start.
That’s the nature of flow.
Something else will appear.
And before you know it, you’ll get to the end of your Pages and realise you made it!
You filled the paper!
You made it happen!

I really recommend setting aside some time in your day to try your pages. Perhaps it’s sleeping with your pad by your bed (i did this for a while in the beginning as it was useful), or perhaps carrying your pad with you in case you find some time in your day.  

What do you think? Do you do Pages? If not, can you commit to trying the Morning pages this week? Or even for a full month? Let me know how you go eh?

You can also find a PDF version of this info about morning pages here.

Bookshelf: Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way

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