GOOD MORNING WORLD
Scribble down those waking thoughts on paper. By Denise Leicester
In 1994, I spent three months in India studying art and healing, exploring numerous ways of accessing and expressing my inner creative energy through yoga, dance, Kalari and yogic healing. On my way to India I had come across a book by Julia Cameron called The Artist’s Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self and took it along, half-heartedly thinking it may be useful.
While I was on the course, I was horrified to discover how much negativity and resistance arose within me, and turned to the book for guidance. Written as a spiritual path to higher creativity, it teaches techniques and exercises to help gain confidence in harnessing creative talents, as well as seeing the connection between them and a higher force.
One of the techniques that I found most transformative back then (and still use today) is called ‘morning pages’. Morning pages are three pages of stream-of-consciousness longhand written immediately upon waking. There is no ‘wrong’ way to do morning pages – it involves scribbling down whatever crosses your mind in those first few moments of waking: dreams, thoughts, worries, shopping lists – anything that comes in. You don’t have to read them back or show anyone else, just make sure you do the same again the following day.
To me, morning pages help clear my mind of the low energy nonsense that would otherwise float around and cloud my day. Through morning pages I began noticing many repetitive patterns of emotions and thoughts. I realised my mind is primarily negative in its nature and looks to find problems. I began to identify patterns of worry when they surfaced in all sorts of forms.
Before morning pages I would not have identified these patterns, yet through the practice of writing them down I learned that I can also let them go, which lead me discover another part of myself that existed beyond the mental chatter. This part of me is calm yet like a bubbling brook of joy and creativity, expansion and expression. I like to think of it as my true self – the authenticity that resides within each and every one of us.
Morning pages have to be written as close to the point of wakefulness as possible. There’s something very special about buying a beautiful journal and pen specifically for the purpose. Keep the journal and pen by your bed, ready to reach for in those first few moments of consciousness. Write freely and without planning until the thoughts slow, then get out of bed and begin your day, feeling increasingly lighter and brighter with every day that passes.
Denise Leicester is the founder of ila-spa.com