Notes from the unconscious – and what to do about them…
Read on, or watch the video!
In her book The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron says it’s okay for morning pages to be repetitive and self-indulgent. I’ve noticed that I do tend to write the same things down over and over again.
Things are going on in life, and they’re what’s on our mind. So inevitably they’re going to crop up in morning pages.
I’ll bet you do this too. And it could be that you’re sending yourself a message.
Morning pages is a very specific discipline devoted to your mental well-being. Writing morning pages clears the mind. Gives us space to process emotion, unleash our creativity and tap into new ideas.
In an earlier video I told you how I highlight some of the things that appear in my morning pages. The jottings that stand out like memos from another plane.
I often see that these are things I already know. So even though it can be repetitive, this writing helps us learn about ourselves. And when you learn to really let go with this writing, it doesn’t lie.
It can bring things into sharp focus. And that’s when it’s possible to see the relationships between things you’re writing about.
Transferring our thoughts on to the page through the written word makes them real.
There’s a YouTuber, artist and author called Struthless. He’s the author of an excellent book called Your Head is a Houseboat. He said something really striking in his video The Journaling Techniques that Changed My Life. What he said was this:
Once I saw the words in front of me, they didn’t look as scary.Struthless
And that’s a really important thing to note. It’s this separation from the rest of the cruft in our head that gives us the opportunity to gain perspective.
The act of writing can show the weaknesses, the gaps, the points at which our thinking is unsound. The areas in which we need answers.
If you’re not sure about something, ask these pages a question. And sometimes the answer will materialise magically before your eyes.
Very often we already know the answers, we just have to give ourselves access to them.
The author of 4000 Weeks Oliver Burkeman recently wrote about morning pages in his newsletter, in a post called Three Pages a Day. He said:
there’s something transformative about achieving a third-person perspective on the contents of your mind by externalising them on paper.Oliver Burkeman
So there you have it.
Fill those three pages no matter what. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation, don’t edit this writing, and don’t show these pages to anyone.
If you want to make it real, write it down.
Because if it’s not written down it doesn’t exist.
And as Struthless said, when it is written down it’s usually not as scary as you might think.
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