As part of the wonderful course I am on to become a health coach, I discovered the concept of ‘Morning Pages’. Morning what? I hear you say..! The concept comes from a wonderful book by Julia Cameron called “The Artist’s Way” (which I have yet to read but I’ve heard great things!)
The concept of morning pages is to write 3 pages of longhand writing (not on your phone or computer! get yourself a nice notebook ((who doesn’t like an excuse to get a new notebook…?!)) go old school!) as soon as you wake up. Write about anything! What you’d like to eat for breakfast, how cute your dog is, what your dream life is, what your pinky toe looks like.. literally ANYTHING, and let your mind take you on a journey from there.
It is important to do this first thing in the morning when supposedly your ego and your mind is at it’s quietest. Wake up, grab your notebook (I don’t even get out of bed!) and start writing your stream of consciousness.
No one, and I mean NO one is allowed to read this but you. This is very important, you must keep it locked and safe from any eyes, because if you don’t, and you worry that someone might read it you will filter yourself, and this defeats the point. (I wouldn’t even recommend reading back on yourself either, you can if you want to but it’s not the point of the exercise!)
Start writing for exactly 3 letter size pages (I use an A5 notebook with small lines) and then stop, and go about your morning. It’s as simple as that. Don’t focus on grammar or how pretty your handwriting is, just scribble down however you’d like that feels comfortable, don’t slow your mind down because you’re hesitating on your spelling.. this is not the point!
What is it all about?
Morning pages are in my opinion a magical tool to calm your mind and anxiety, to come up with brilliant ideas, to unlock parts of your brain you didn’t even know were there, to get in touch with your intuition, to focus on what’s important in life, what you are grateful for, and to work through issues that you’ve been dealing with for a long time.
By writing down 3 pages of your stream of consciousness, you become aware of where your mind takes you. You become aware of certain patterns, thoughts, ideas that keep coming back. You’re able to analyse and break down these thoughts and patterns. Writing really centres you, it appeases your anxiety.
I have also found that it allows you to clear through the noise, to let it all out, almost like emptying your mind trash to start the day with a clean slate! I have truly found that the days when I don’t write it takes me longer to get into the swing of things when it’s time to get to work, when I do write though, it brings me a lot of clarity.
It’s something I have been experimenting with, and I think I will stick with as much as possible. The beauty of it comes with practice and time I believe, the first few weeks I was quite critical of my writing and where my mind was going (a little bit like meditation!) and it took a few weeks of practice to find ease and let my mind go wherever it wanted, and be accepting of that journey.
Once you let go of that ego, you will fall into this beautiful space where you keep on writing and you don’t really know what or how but your hand is moving and it feels good and you can’t stop.
I have found it is a wonderful practice to combine with a morning meditation, I have found that starting first thing with a big glass of water and my morning pages, followed by a 10min or so of meditation was a great combo because you’ve already gone through the motion and let you mind wander before slowing things down and meditating, working on your breath. You’ve emptied the mind trash, and you can focus on the present moment, being and breathing.
Let me know if you try it out, or if you’re already a keen morning pages writer?! I have to say I kind of drifted away from it in the past few weeks, my routine has been derailed a bit and the morning pages were the first thing that got taken out, but I did feel the difference and will be incorporating it back into my routine this week.
It normally takes me just under 30min to write 3 pages if I don’t rush anything and just let my mind go - but you might find that you go faster, or slower, try it out and see! Oh and I also think that as much as it is powerful to do it as the very first thing you do in the morning, don’t disregard the practice because you can’t fit it in at that time, even if it’s the last thing you do in your morning, or if you do it later in the day, I still think it can have a lot of power.
Now, let’s go WRITE and unleash your inner creativity that we all have. Find CLARITY and PEACE.