About a month ago I started writing Morning Pages again. During the Artist's Way Meetup I co-lead each month, I am usually reminded of the benefits of writing Morning Pages. Last month I successfully persuaded myself to get back on the horse, so to speak.
What are Morning Pages? As Julia Cameron writes within the first pages of The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Living, her classic guidebook to living authentically:
The morning pages are three pages of longhand writing. . . . Just write three pages, and stick them into an envelope. Or write three pages in a spiral notebook and don't leaf back through. Just write three pages . . . and write three more pages the next day.
Most weekday mornings, in the 20 minutes between when my older daughter steps out the door and when my younger daughter drags herself out of her cozy bed, I sit in a dimly lit room with my notebook and black inkpen, scribbling as quickly as my hand—and my brain—will allow.
Sometimes I write about the night's hazy dreams slipping away from my consciousness as I awake.
Sometimes I rehash the past day's conversations or actions or behaviors.
Sometimes I begin designing ... my day, a room I want to rearrange, a product I imagine will be awesome, a piece of art I'm inspired to create.
Inevitably, at some point, my Responsible Self begins pestering me: The dog needs to go out. It's time for my younger daughter to get ready for school. I have to do this, that, the other thing and a zillion more tasks today (how will I fit it all in?!). I try to push those thoughts away and focus on what my Essential Self wants to write until I have my three pages (or four because my notebook is a little smaller than standard).
When clarity comes (and it doesn't visit every day), it always appears on the last page. It almost always seems so obvious it's ridiculous. It absolutely always reminds me that this is why I write Morning Pages. This is why I listen to my Essential Self. This. Is. Important.
As I close my notebook, I wonder to myself Why did I quit this practice?
And I express my gratitude that I chose to pick it up again. To listen. To hear. To honor my heart.
How do you listen to your Essential Self? How do you honor your heart? You're invited to share stories about your listening practices in a comment below, in our community Facebook page or via twitter.
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