by justine

For 15 weeks straight, I’ve written morning pages.

For 11 weeks I’ve follow the Artist’s Way.

For 10 weeks I’ve been without therapy.

Each morning, whether my eyes drift lazily or snap open, I wake up. Sounds swirl – car horns, the dog stretching, showers running, and microwaves chirping. I stretch out my legs and then turn over, curling up on the side that I neglect because I share a bed. Like Byron Katie suggests, I try not to think too much about being in bed or, more importantly, how I “need” to get up. I’ll get up when I sit up, and I usually do, right on time.

My journal rests in a corner of the headboard. Maybe I use the bathroom before I begin. I smooth the sheets out and pile pillows behind my back. The dog stares at me most mornings with excitement, he’s ready for breakfast, but I leave him in his crate, asking him to “Rest your head & be quiet. Good boy”.

This was an important shift that had to happen before I could really give 100% to my morning pages. They needed to happen FIRST. Before anything else, besides maybe a quick pee / hand wash / sip of water, I need to start writing. No dog walks, no breakfast, and certainly no stupid technology. I leave my phone OFF. I have the luxury of usually being home alone, but if not, I don’t speak unless spoken to.

This is my morning ritual. This is how I greet the day. With therapy on hiatus, I am dependent on this 40min segment to hold my worries, rearrange my fears, give me perspective and light my hope.

“We have this idea that we need to be in the mood to write (create). We don’t.” AW

More importantly, we think that sitting still, doing a small action, and meditating are things that, on one hand we can somehow do “incorrectly” and yet, on the other, are “pointless” (aka I have “better” things to do with my time).

My MPs are neither pointless nor perfect. I do just what they say – I write 3 pages, long hand. And then I start my day.

It’s my practice. It’s not something I fret over or improve, not something I judge or critique. It’s just something I do that somehow allows me to feel heard. I write down my dreams, my complaints, my moods. It’s suggested that it could be seen as prayer or meditation. At first I found this too “woo-woo” for my liking, but now I really do feel it’s something deeper than just blurting thoughts onto a page, even though that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Just in the way yoga is more than holding down-dog for 5 breaths, morning pages are an asana for my mind and my spirit. And I’m not entirely sure how to explain it yet, but I think it’s opening up a space for me and God.