“Be willing to be a beginner. Good things will happen.” – Julia Cameron
People often say to me, “You’re so laid back, you’re so easy-going,” to which I nod my head and smile. But the truth is – I’m not. Well let me rephrase that. I am those things. But the real truth is, I have to work at it. I have had days and weeks where I become overwhelmed with the things I have to do or think about, have trouble sleeping and become irritable and grumpy and I shut down. Projects I want to do, things I HAVE to do and all of the steps that go in hand with those projects can make me anxious. The mind is a crazy thing that will just run rampant with anything you feed it! I usually try to organize myself very well so I don’t get overwhelmed and that’s been a huge help. But last year, I discovered a tool from Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way to really work with anxious thoughts. That tool is the Morning pages which I talk about in the video below. The morning pages is a daily exercise that allows you to get all of those thoughts out of your head and into paper so they no longer bog down your brain and you are free to STOP THINKING ABOUT THEM. I found for myself that doing this exercise daily (for weeks!) lent me relief and I actually had better days because of it.
How do you begin doing the morning pages yourself? The steps are:
1 – Get a notebook or looseleaf paper.
2 – Write 3 pages every day, in long hand (print is fine). 3 pages = front of a page, back of the same page and front of one other page.
3 – Don’t think. Just write. Anything that comes to mind. No really. Anything.
This is not Shakespeare, this is not a writing sample for your job search, this isn’t even Dear Diary. It’s a literal brain dump. Complain. Curse. Be disgruntled and ugly and as mean as you want to be. If you can’t think of anything write, “I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to write” until something comes to mind. You may be surprised at what you want to gripe about!
This is a tool that I am so glad to have in my bag because when I use it, my day literally has more time in it and I feel clear-headed. Watch the video to learn more about how it helped me learn how to deal with – well, myself! Maybe it will be a help to you too.
Thanks for watching and talk to you soon!
“There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages.” – Julia Cameron
Me laughing at while looking back at an illegible, manic-looking entry.