Morning Pages

by Sheila on August 3, 2011

I have always wanted to be that person who writes in their journal. I have seen people who have over 50 filled journals.  It has always intrigued me and a few things get in my way.

First, let me say, I have over 10 journals in my home that have limited amount of writing in them. I buy a new one when it looks pretty or motivating or whatever with the hopes I’ll actually pick it up and write in it. My most recent one (about a year ago) cost $50!!! It really is beautiful…soft leather, a little tie, big and inviting… Except it hasn’t really “invited” me much.

When I was in a 10-month leadership program that included 4 1-week retreats, we had specific morning practices and they ended with journaling. We would sit quietly in the room together with our journals. They were writing. I was watching them write and wondering..”What the heck is he writing so furiously about!!”??

Here’s what I was writing:

“I wonder what we will have for lunch today. Look at Henry. I need a different color pen. Shit, the ink is leaking. I wonder what Amy is thinking now. I want to get her attention; I bet I can. I just need to amuse myself and I will laugh and she will notice. Ok, won’t do that. They say keep the hand moving. Ok, I am. Look at this handwriting! No wonder I don’t like doing this. Shit. Is the time up yet? Back to lunch…etc”

This was my journaling. Not being a fan at this point. I kept at it during the retreats.

One day something happened. While spewing my inane stuff, a question just came up through my hand. It asked about someone from my past. I was like, “What the…”?  And the hand was not moving (breaking the rules) and just “felt” what was asked. Wow, I thought.

I have to say that I was moved in some way. I thought maybe there’s something to this. Maybe I just needed time to get accustumed. Maybe it’s like meditation, which I can and do do. The writing with my hand is the block in some ways, I think. Just always felt my handwriting is ugly and I don’t even want to look at it. Perhaps a first place to start in the reflection?

As a coach and more specifically an “integral” coach, I offer writing practices for my clients and have been asked to do them also during my coaching work with my integral coach.

Am I not walking my talk? Or, is it that my own struggles provide a lens for what I might imagine my clients might experience?

I have done much self-exploration and can speak to it verbally. When speaking, I’m in touch with my heart and have an easy time relaying…or at least most of the time. I can’t seem to do it in the same way writing.

In the Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron, provides an easy way to begin journaling. She calls it the “Morning Pages.” Just write 3 pages every morning – no more no less.

Many have experienced profound changes in their lives from this very simple practice.

Here are some examples:

A 2-week experiment – Pretty cool what she discovers!

An  overview

Read these perspectives. Try them. Let me know what you think.


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