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!

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

 

Meditating Animal Hoop Art featured in Seattle’s Child Magazine!

Good news for Catshy Crafts! I am so happy to share that my meditating animal hoop art got its second piece of major press. My embroidered felt wall art was featured in the October 2016 issue of Seattle’s Child magazine.

My intention with these sweet pieces was to instill a sense of peace and calmness among the littlest ones, so I am so glad that people are loving this line.

seattle-child-october-2016-catshy-crafts

If you live in the Seattle area, you can see these hoop art in person at The Handmade Showroom. I even have a super-sized version of the meditating deer in a street-level display window on 6th Street!

My super-sized embroidery hoop in-progress. Sewing on the balcony a few short weeks ago.

NEW COLLECTION COMING SOON!

As a follow-up to this line, I am about to release a second collection that will coordinate perfectly with the original designs. If you follow me on Instagram (@catshycrafts), you’ve probably seen a few sneak peeks :)

Stay tuned for the Serenity Collection to be released later this month!

 

Do you want to keep up-to-date on all things Catshy Crafts?

Join the She Felt Loved Club! It’s free and I never SPAM. I send out a newsletter about all my newest collections and fun updates.

Click here to subscribe.

 

Thanks for stopping by, lovely!

 

4 Tips to Beat the Fall and Winter Blues

4-tips

September days are here. Sweater weather. Back to school. Warm mugs of Earl Grey tea (with a dash of cream and sprinkle of sugar) sipped slowly. And my favorite: turning leaves from verdant greens to golds, oranges and yellows. The first “tokens” of autumn’s arrival are nudges to slow down after the flurry of summer activity.

From Helen Hunt Jackson's poem "September"

From Helen Hunt Jackson’s poem “September”

Out here in the Pacific Northwest, fall also comes with a dramatic shortening of days and lengthening of nights. And of course, a return to overcast and rainy weather. This trifecta can be a recipe for darkened moods and even seasonal affect disorder (SAD).

Today, I am sharing my top 4 personal tips to keep the light shining when Mother Nature is not. (And please, please, please consult with your doctor if you think you have seasonal affect disorder.)

1. Shine your own light.

When I first moved to the Seattle area from ever-sunny Los Angeles, more than a few people recommended getting a light therapy box for my first fall/winter. Being prone to depression, I knew my body would be craving the light come September. At first, it might be strange to bathe your face in blue light, but your body and mind will thank you! Need tips on which light box to get? Check out this article on the Mayo Clinic site. And of course, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor to see if a light box would work for you.

 

2. Go outside and play.

Take a walk around the block. Hike your favorite trail with a friend. Even it’s overcast, not only will you be getting more light than if you remain indoors, you will be moving your body and getting some exercise. Spend at least 30 minutes per day outdoors to reap the benefits. If you can, go outside at noon, when the sun is at its highest. Is it raining? Put on your favorite pair of rain boots, grab an umbrella and slosh through the rain. After a quick trek in the rain, returning to your warm home or apartment will feel even better!

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3. Celebrate a fall tradition.

My favorite thing about fall are the changing leaves. The colors. The shedding of leaves. Even raking leaves is something I look forward too. Another added bonus? I take some of my best photographs during fall! My daughters loves throwing the leaves and jumping in piles of leaves. That’s when I get joyful and natural photos – no stiff smiles or poses. What is one thing you LOVE about fall? Is it planning your Halloween costume? Your favorite drink returning to your favorite cafe? Cozying up to a warm fire? Focus on the joy of the season. Don’t really love anything about fall? Well, now’s a good time to discover one!

 

 

4. Be still.

Meditation and mindfulness practices are wonderful to do anytime of the year. And the benefits are awesome! Reduced stress and anxiety, increased sense of inner peace and improved overall health are some of the proven rewards of being still. From Transcendental Meditation (which is what I practice) to guided meditation to mindfulness to yoga, slowing down and getting centered is a great way to reconnect with your body and mind. And fall is a great time to pick up the practice.

meditating-deer-catshy

Bringing some serenity to your home.