The Artist’s Way: Morning Pages

This blog post is part of my series on The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. If you missed my earlier posts, start here.

In order to retrieve your creativity, you need to find it.

One of the two basic tools of The Artist’s Way, — a 12-week program created by Julia Cameron for recovering creatives — are morning pages.

What are morning pages?

Basically, morning pages are three pages of stream-of-consciousness longhand writing.  Just write what comes to mind but do it with a pen and paper. No computers allowed. As a dedicated journaler back in my teenage years, I found the idea of morning pages to be familiar and a bit nostalgic. But morning pages are a lot different than the writings of an angst-ridden teen.

The Artist's Way Morning Pages

Morning page notebooks. Putting my daughter’s unused notebooks to good use.

What do I write in morning pages?

To me, morning pages serve a couple of different purposes.

  • Diary. I acknowledge any significant events that may have happened the day before.
  • To-Do List. I clear my mind of any bothersome thoughts or niggling to-do tasks.
  • Gratitude Journal.  I jot down things in my life that I am grateful for. Things that are going well for me as a way to invite more of the good into my life.
  • Affirmation. When I ran of things to say, I write down my favorite affirmations and mantras that I am currently trying to drill down into my consciousness. Repeating these statements in my morning pages really helps them to sink into my brain and begin accepting them as true.

Just three pages

I love that the three-page requirement limits your writing and lets you get on with your day. No need to think about when to stop. Fill 3 pages and you’re done.

Some days I have to dig deep to fill the three pages. Other days, I fill them with ease – my hand-writing even gets smaller if I know I want to get a lot of my chest. Either way, when the three pages are done, I feel a sense of accomplishment. It requires you to be accountable to yourself. No one will check your work or give you a gold star for effort. In fact, Cameron forbids you to share your pages with anyone else. It is meant to be a purge of ideas and thoughts on the surface in order to tap into your inner wisdom.

Already more than a month into daily morning pages, I have only missed one or two days. And sometimes I do them later in the day. I have come to rely on them like a confidante. I love morning pages!

Examples of morning pages

Before I committed to the morning pages, I did a little online research about other people’s process. Of course, as Cameron says in The Artist’s Way, there is no wrong way to do morning pages (as long as you write 3 pages). Every person will have their own way to do them.

Here are a few more examples of morning pages that may give you more clarity on what they are and how they may help you.

Next Time

I will talk about artist dates!

The Artist’s Way: A (re) introduction

Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy. (Basic Principle #1 of The Artist’s Way)

I don’t remember when I first heard about The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. But I know it was definitely back when I didn’t consider myself an artist.

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

But I tucked it away in my brain. The way you do when something piques your interest and you know it might do you some good, but you don’t take any action. Like hot yoga. Or juicing.

Liz Made Me Do It

Fast-forward to two months ago. I am taking an online “light writing” class taught by the wonderful and brilliant author, transformational life coach, and Oprah columnist, Martha Beck. (An experience worthy of its own blog post or twelve.) During the last class of the course, Martha has soul-bursting conversation with Elizabeth Gilbert (who wrote Eat, Pray, Love and most recently Big Magic) about writing, life and story-telling. When Liz mentions that she couldn’t have written Eat, Pray, Love without The Artist’s Way, I knew I had to dive into this seemingly magical book.

12 Weeks to Creativity

In case you’re not familiar with The Artist’s Way, it is a 12-week program for recovering creatives. Through exercises and activities, it helps writers, artists, painters and makers replace their blocks, fears, procrastination with confidence and productivity. Sound heavenly right?

Heavenly, yes. The Artist’s Way definitely has a spiritual perspective on creativity. Something I shied away from when I first heard about the book and actually leafed through the pages. But having embarked on a spiritual awakening in the past few years myself, it was divine timing that I was able to pick up the book again and read it with a fresh eyes.

Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity. (Basic Principle #10)

My Way

As I work my way through The Artist’s Way, I would love to share my experiences with you on the blog. A log of my creative journey. A way to keep accountable and perhaps inspire you to find out more about this program. I will also share snapshots on my Instagram feed.

Are you doing The Artist’s Way? Leave me a comment and let me know how it’s going!

 

NEXT TIME: I will talk about the two basic tools of The Artist’s Way

  1. Morning Pages
  2. Artist Dates

Shine Bright, Little Unicorn!

Unicorns are rare and magical creatures.

What better animal to put on your little girl’s wall.

 

These magical unicorns with flowing locks (in three gorgeous colors: lilac, pink and glittery turquoise) remind your little one to let her inner light sparkle! The horn has a metallic finish and hand-stitched details. The rose is hand-cut and hand-stitched, adding extra beauty to Miss Unicorn.

Unicorn_Glitter_Turquoise and Pink

5 Tips to Add Affirmations to Your Life

Hello. My name is Cathy and I am a quote addict.

She Believed She Could So She Did - Inspirational Wall Art

One of my Hoop Art with one of my fave mantras. Available in my shop.

I collect quotes and mantras and affirmations. My heart skips a beat when I read a passage in a book that truly speaks to me. My eyes widen with awe when I see an inspiring meme as I scroll past photos on my Instagram feed. My soul vibrates in recognition when a powerful truth is uttered on a podcast or video or lecture.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. – Wayne Dyer

I am a firm believer in the power of words. I am a firm believer that what you tell yourself every day becomes your reality.

 

rumitank

One of my favorite tanks  by fellow yoga lover and maker, NeenaCreates has my favorite Rumi quotes on it!

Words can break you out of a funky mood or guide you to happier place. (They can also bring you down, if you let them.) As Mike Dooley, best-selling author of Leveraging the Universe says:

Thoughts become things….so choose the good ones!

In a world where we are assailed with messages coming from almost every angle – from media and culture to our circle of friends and family to the voices of doubt and criticism in our own heads, it can be hard to stay focused on the feel-good messages.  Something said only once may have touched you so deeply that you now carry it around with you every day of your life. You can choose to let go of the thoughts that don’t hold true anymore. Or the thoughts that deflate you. You can replace them with positive mantras that eventually become your own truth.

Say nice things to yourself – you’re the only one listening. Tell yourself, I am doing the best I can. – Gabrielle Bernstein

Here are my 5 tips for staying grounded in the words that inspire you:

  1. Write yourself a love note. Take those post-its out of the office and jot down a favorite phrase or quotation that you know for sure will lighten your mood when you see it again. Then stick them to your bathroom mirror or your laptop or your fridge.
  2. Keep a journal that is filled only with quotes and inspiring words. Then when you are in need of a pick-me-up you can thumb through your journal. Be on the look out from books to Instagram to ads.
  3. Download a digital wallpaper for your computer or smartphone so that whenever you log on, the words will greet you. (Keep reading to the end of this post for surprise giftie created by me!)
  4. Buy art or home accessories or fashion with inspiring quotes. From prints to pillows to t-shirts to wall art, it won’t be hard to find something happy-making. For example, I have a number of inspiring embroidery hoop art in my shop with my own favorite mantras. Better yet, commission your favorite artist to create something just for you! I happily take custom orders.
  5. Search online sites and start collecting your own quotes you love.  My fave go-to sources  for inspiration:
    • Tiny Buddha
    • Good Reads
    • anything by Rumi, Louise Hay, Martha Beck, Wayne Dyer, Gabrielle Bernstein or Eckhart Tolle. Their books are full of inspiration!

I hope these tips serve you. I know for me, words help me reach for a higher vibe, move to my happy place or just a give me a temporary respite from a bad day. With each new high-vibe thought I hold onto, I can let go of those low-vibe ones that no longer serve me.

 

GIFT FOR YOU!

To get you started on your love affair with quotes, I have created a free desktop wall paper of one of my favorite quotes. Enjoy!

Rumi-CatshyCrafts-DesktopWallpaper800x600

 

Happy Galentine’s Day Giveaway

GalentinesDayGiveaway

 

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! A special day to show your loved ones how much you love them. But today is Galentine’s Day! A special day to to show your gal pals some love.

So in honor of you and your lovely besties, I am hosting a Galentine’s Day Giveaway*.

The prize package includes:

  • “You Are Loved” hoop art
  • Felt Hair Clip
  • $15 Starbuck card.

Head over to my Instagram feed to enter or click on the photo below.