#114 Morning Pages – A Useful Technique For Anyone Interested In Improving Their Lives

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

I first heard about Morning Pages from Julia Cameron, an American teacher, author, artist, poet, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, pigeon fancier, composer, and journalist. Needless to say, she’s a BAD-ASS, a term I grew up with, used to describe someone that is amazing at what they do.

She was also married to Martin Scorsese, who happens to be the director of one of my all-time favorites movies, Goodfellas (RIP Ray Liotta).

Julia Cameron describes morning pages as spiritual windshield wipers. She said morning pages should be spelled mourning pages. It’s a farewell to life as it was, and an introduction to life as it needs to be.

Morning pages is a writing exercise to conduct first thing in the morning.

It’s meant only for you.

It’s a time reserved for you to write whatever you want. For many that have adopted this technique, it’s a time to complain, release petty thoughts, and generally bitch about everything that is causing the mind turbulence.

“The bedrock tool of a creative recovery is a daily practice called Morning Pages. Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*–they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.” — Julia Cameron

My practice, why I do it, and why you should as well

I usually meditate for about 15–20 minutes to start my day.

Meditation serves as a voluntary exercise to discipline the mind. Throughout the day I encounter many distractions, many of which, are self-imposed. This practice has helped me in becoming more intentional with my work, daily tasks, and being present in relationships.

Right after meditation, I start morning pages. It’s not about writing something noteworthy or beautiful, it’s about putting pen to paper and bleeding.

I don’t write three pages. I write until I am done. Some days it’s half a page, other days it may be longer. 

Do what feels best for you. This isn’t intended to be a rigid exercise. It’s to help clean the garbage the mind accumulates.

Why

I complain and release the negativity that has festered the prior day or any thoughts that have lodged themselves during my night’s sleep.

It’s also where I set my intentions of what I want to accomplish, and how I’d like my day to go.

I write freehand on a notepad. It curbs distractions.

I have a responsibility to myself to become a vehicle of kindness, hone in on my creative pursuits, and enjoy the short experience of this gifted life. This is the only way I can shed what’s best in me and pass that on to others.

My parents are the reason I’m constantly trying to improve. 

They gave me a lot of responsibility over my sisters when I was young. Whether it was reviewing grades, parent-teacher conferences, or overseeing afterschool activities, my sisters relied on me. In hindsight, this wasn’t the healthiest way to parent, but in any case, I knew I had two siblings looking up to me, so I had to be mindful of my actions.

They have grown up to be beautiful, strong, and amazing women. I am so proud of them.

I tried my hardest to ensure I leave a good example and this is why various aspects of personal development are important to me.

Like many, I have been given challenging situations throughout my life. It’s through the struggles that I have learned to harness a strong mind.

However, I am still a work in progress and every day is a battle.

I could have easily fallen into depression and addiction, a topic I will be writing about soon, but practices like morning pages have been beneficial in releasing the garbage that oftentimes clogs the mind.

Writing is a form of release.

Why You Should

Morning pages may seem like another grandiose self-help exercise, but it’s not. It’s a time for you to write the useless away, so you can usher in the useful. It’s where you become lighter, and put your sanity first.

It’s also a way to bring more creativity into your life. Whether it’s your career, being a parent, caring for a loved one, etc…, creativity is something that we can bring into any avenue of our life.

It’s improved my writing, the way I interact with others, and most importantly the relationship I have with myself.

The seconds in our life turn into minutes, hours, and so on.

It’s always this moment that is the most opportune, important, and timeless to become the best version of you.

You owe it to yourself.

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With love,
Anand

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