A number of years ago I heard a famous celebrity talk about a book called, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The author wrote the book with the intention of helping people recover their creative tendencies by following a spiritual path leading ultimately to greater self awareness and self confidence. One of the main exercises in the work featured something called Morning Pages. Morning Pages are to be written in a journal first thing in the morning endeavoring to fill three pages with whatever is on your mind. The idea being to unlock things that have been going on in your mind and gain greater clarity concerning your purpose and whatever it is you have to offer the world. Enter Morning Pages.
After reading the book, I began my own journey writing my pages every morning. At first my pages were literally filled with whatever was on my mind, but after some time I began to adapt my process to something I found more beneficial for me. My early pages were usually filled with complaints and negative scenarios, fears, worries and whatever it was that I was angry about at the time. As time passed I began to notice that my thoughts were very similar day by day and that I did not enjoy whatever it was I had written on the previous day. To some extent I was writing the same old stuff with different content and context. I noticed I had developed some patterns of thought that were not healthy. I began to gain clarity about where I was at the time. As the clarity continued, I began to recognize that my Morning Pages had a spiritual component to them. It was as if God was working with me to overcome my challenges. The more I wrote and the more honest I was about what I wrote, the more light I received to help me navigate through my challenges and overcome them. Eventually my Morning Pages evolved into direct conversations with God as that was what appeared to be happening anyway. Instead of whining away about everything like a victim, I began to inquire with God directly concerning my difficulties and negative patterns. I asked lots of questions to my ‘Papa,’ as I like to call Him, and the more I asked the more He answered me. Sometimes things would just suddenly become crystal clear. Other times I found myself on a journey of discovery. Often Papa would bring His Word to my mind which always led to some personal study ideas after I had finished writing. Eventually I looked forward to my precious morning time with Papa and the opportunities I had for learning new things. Enter clarity.
I think one of the most beneficial things people could profit from in their lives is greater clarity. It is so easy, as you’re living your life, to get entangled in a giant spaghetti bowl of confusing and distracting thoughts. Sometimes you are anxious and you have no idea why. Other times you begin to see recurring patterns. At times you might recognize that you aren’t being honest with yourself and other people and vow to do otherwise. We humans are complex beings and we need a little time to sort things out. Ignoring issues and problems only leads to more difficulties. We live busy lives and there is always a demand for our time. Yet we can become so discombobulated that we start missing out on life and experiences. Instead of being clear in our minds we walk around half distracted and half afraid. There always seems to be something that demands our concern and it begins to unravel us. Morning Pages is the time we need to unravel the messes. It’s a time to talk about how our lives are going with Someone who not only cares about us, but has the specifics we need to get back to being blessed. Instead of rushing into the day harried and upset, we can embrace the day with focused eyes and a clear, unafraid heart. There is just no substitute for that. As I began to grow, I realized that my Morning Pages could be whatever it was I needed them to be. Some days I needed a page and other days I needed four. Incredibly, similar to the Psalms, I may have began negative and distraught but I always ended up recovered and at peace, confident in God’s ability to care for me. Enter answers.
I found that the more I sought help, the more help I received. All I had to do was ask. Nothing was off the table as far as my life was concerned. If it was bothering me, I concluded it was bothering Him also and together we could work out the solution. That’s when the light shined the brightest. I began to understand things I had not been able to understand for years. Some errors of logic fell away like melted ice cream while other things took a little more time. At times I perceived that I was being led little by little, piece by piece until I understood. During the day I noticed things that confirmed what I began to learn earlier in the day. Holy smokes I thought, God is right here. All I had ever needed to do was to ask Him for His help. It wasn’t that I was getting better at something, but instead it was that I was developing more humility. I was willing to admit that maybe I didn’t already know. Then, almost instinctively, I began to inquire about things I really was sure I already knew. I started some days in confusion and quickly found my peace again. I think I have learned more in the past six months than I have in my entire life previously. And it has been sublime. How grateful I became for my time in the mornings writing my Morning Pages. How grateful I became for Papa’s willingness to teach me and to guide me. Indeed how exceedingly grateful! Enter the more than abundant life.
I write this today not so much to encourage you to write your own Morning Pages, but rather to encourage you to take the time each day to get things straight. Make the time you need before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. If weird things happened to you yesterday, use that time in the morning to get it straight. I often say quietly within myself near the end of a day, “we can talk about this in the morning Papa.” No matter how busy you are it is worth your investment. And if you really want to find your way and soar in this life, have that talk with God. There is nothing you can say that He doesn’t already know anyway and there is nothing you can say that will shock Him. He invented people and He is quite clear on how they function best. He isn’t judging you for your sins because He sees everything behind whatever it is you got into. If you want illumination you have to seek the light. Buy yourself a journal and give it a try. Morning Pages can be life changing in the very best way.
Just some good thoughts…
4 thoughts on “Morning Pages”
Love, Love, Love this Tony.
Understanding how to carve out time for yourself is one of the most challenging and concise thing we all need to learn. Once you pick up your phone, turn on the television, read an email, your day begins. I’ve learned to spend 15 to 20 minutes each day to be in my own thoughts and gain a sense of clarity to reflect on what was and what will be.
At 50, I will embark on a year of writing daily thoughts, affirmations, reflections and goals to remind myself the journey it took to get here and acknowledge the adventure that awaits in the year of 50!
Love this Tony…you’ve inspired me to try this…thanks 🙂