“Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts (worries, jitters, and preoccupations) on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.” - Julia Cameron
If your brain feels foggy in the morning and you are finding it harder and harder to be creative and make good decisions about your work life and parenting, it’s no wonder.
According to researchers at the University of California, the average person consumes 34 gigabytes of content and 100,000 words of information in one, single day.
With all this material rattling around in our brain, we could drown in the grey noise. Instead of starting each day with a clear mind, we move robotically through our daily habits all the while knowing that we are not being our best self.
Now more than ever it seems like a good time to resurrect the concept of “morning pages,” first introduced in 1992 by Julia Cameron, an award-winning poet, playwright and filmmaker who wrote 30 books from a crime novel to collections of children’s prayers.
Cameron introduced “morning pages” in her ground-breaking book, The Artist’s Way, which sold more than four million copies worldwide. Her goal was to help people clear their minds at the start of each day as a means of increasing their creativity throughout the rest of the day.
Morning pages are three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing, ideally done first thing in the morning. You essentially sit down with a journal and just write whatever comes in your mind. It can be a to do list for the day, grumpy morning words, memories of yesterday’s events, or anything else.
There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages. They are not literature. They are just about anything and everything that crosses you mind and they are for your eyes only.
Why do this exercise?
According to Cameron and her millions of followers who still do this exercise religiously, it clears your mind and sends your best self out into the world every day. It clarifies things, comforts you, helps you prioritize what is important that date and synchronizes what you want in life with what you are doing.
It’s like writing down the random thoughts that come up during meditation. By writing your thoughts down you are acknowledging their presence and giving them time to exit your mind.
Sometimes you can even be in the middle of writing your thought when another comes along. There’s no need to finish your initial thought; just go with the flow and write your new one.
Your Morning Pages journal is not there for anyone to read as I mentioned, and you don’t even have to read it again. You don’t have to worry about grammar and spelling and verb tenses…just write!
There are only two rules to Morning Pages:
1. They must be written by hand because writing allows you to have time to process your thoughts better; typing is too speedy.
2. Write no more and no less than three pages. Cameron advises to stick to the three-page rule in order to go beyond the forefront of the mind, and to stop at three pages to prevent “self-involvement.”
She once said that doing Morning Pages is like going around in your consciousness with a vacuum and picking up the dust in the corners and under the furniture, allowing your mind to start with a fresh canvas every day.
Some of the benefits you may experience include:
·Silences the inner critic
·Improved focus and concentration
I’ve tried it and it really works for me. Let me know if you find you can grow calmer in a noisy world from your Morning Pages.
As a professional primary health care practitioner with a holistic approach, Dr. Caroline Méthé consults with patients of all ages at her Toronto clinic. Her approach as a Naturopathic Doctor in Canada treating children, digestive concerns and running a general family practice is to focus on root-caused diagnosis followed by effective, evidence-based treatment plans.