As I’ve written here before one of my practices to seek inner guidance is from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. In her book she recommends several practices; the key one I’ve adopted is to write 3 pages of “stuff” long-hand, every morning; these are called “morning pages.” I’ve actually been following this practice for many years; I have stacks of notebooks filled with my scrawl! And, no, I don’t get to this practice every single day. And there are stretches of time when I lapse and don’t write for days, even weeks. But I do very much benefit from the practice when I am disciplined in doing it.
I don’t always get to my practice first thing in the morning either; today it was 3:00 pm! But I do know that the day goes much better after I write so I do most days get to my writing position after yoga, qigong and tea in the AM.
I make a ritual of this practice and embed it in other rituals. Rituals are like good habits; they are both comforting and support the discipline. I light a candle on my alter (see my post last week) and I light incense to clear me, the alter, the space and the writing (including my decks of cards for divination). Then I sit cross-legged with a pillow to support the notebook. I also use a nice fountain pen; this is obviously not a requirement but I like fine tools!
I sit and write the three pages straight through. The content is not always noteworthy; in fact it rarely is! This is not the point; Cameron’s point in doing this practice is to clear the mind, clear the clutter from sleep, dreams, any junky thoughts, unprocessed emotions, mental cobwebs that might otherwise get in the way of clearer, more creative writing. Most often my pages begin with a dump of this kind of mind-trash. But I’m finding with the years of practice this often only takes a page or even some days just a few lines. Then I can get down to more meaningful inquiry.
So, I do use these pages to go inside, to meditate through the use of words, to let my mind go and my writing to follow the thoughts as they come. While Rosemary is a clairaudient and a clairvoyant my information comes through word flow; I don’t hear the words or see them, they just seem to form almost of themselves when I am in that clear space of receiving. I wish I could say this happens for me every day! But it does happen often enough to be extremely rewarding.
After I write out my three pages I then draw two cards from two decks of cards, as I’ve written here before. I write a half-page of notes about each card, what I think it means for me and the energies of the day. This fills my fourth page of writing for the day and these paragraphs are always meaningful (I’ve cleared the clutter with the pages). I use a separate, slightly nicer journal to record these divinations; and I use a better pen (more of the ritual).
And some days I am motivated, inspired to write a poem – a third writing practice I use. And on Mondays I’ve begun sharing some of my poems here on the blog.
I’d love to hear from you about your writing practices. What works for you? Have you tried “morning pages”? Please comment!