Monthly yoga art desktop calendar from Eliza Lynn Tobin.
This July, I started a practice of “morning pages” or in my case, “afternoon pages” and “evening pages” too since doing anything at a specific time or even on a daily basis seems to be a mental block for me. My inner rebel against conformity, maybe? Anyhoo, the idea is to journal 3 pages long hand in the morning everyday. Letting whatever needs to flow onto the pages. House cleaning for your mind and soul. This concept was created by author and creativity guru Julia Cameron in her wildly popular book “The Artists Way”. True to my nature, I have not been consistent with doing this everyday but, I am trying to keep up with it even if I have stretches between entries.
The writing is done as a stream of consciousness and because of this it has helped me work through challenges, calm anxieties, see hidden pockets of gratitude and been a catalyst for “a-ha” moments. One crucial point is that these writings are private. Julia Cameron goes so far as to say if you need to burn the journal afterwards so be it. Having disposed of an entire journal of deep writing once before, I can tell you it’s a liberating experience to let that all go.
Earlier this week my frustration with how I felt and my unhealthy eating habits finally came to a tipping point. I have my morning pages to thank for finally taking a step this week to remove flour/gluten from my diet for the ten thousandth time. After a particularly glutenous weekend I felt awful and after putting down on paper just how awful I felt, I realized how silly I was being. Each time I remove flour/gluten from my diet I feel instantly better. This week was no exception. I went from ranting that I have no energy, my joints ache, my eyes blurred, my mind was foggy and I had a looming feeling of despair to waking up refreshed, energized throughout the day and feeling motivated and positive in a super short period of time. I think it’s one part intention to take care of me and one part actually doing it that has me feeling good again. I have to honor my body and listen to what it is clearly telling me to doesn’t want instead of allowing the instant gratification of a pastry or the ease of making a sandwich cloud my judgment.
Do you have a writing practice? I admit I’m inconsistent but, that aside it is a wonderful way to check in with yourself and see what kinds of feelings and thoughts are swirling around in your head. The idea to just write whatever pops up in the moment has really helped me to tap into those areas that I tend to close off and ignore. I encourage you to give it a try.