Since November, I have started every day by recording my morning’s mood–"nothing is too petty to be described." I write three pages, no more and no less–never pausing to erase or reread. I am through one and a half notebooks now and I haven’t even reread the first one! It's in the past!
I truly believe that this freeing practice of "writing just to write," has played a major role in the birth of my new Infrared Phymat Restorative Rest class, my anxiety lowering itself, and many other creative and connective synchronicities that have occurred in my life since I began.
“Unlike conventional meditation, which lulls the practitioner into calm, Morning Pages spark the practitioner into action. Pages bring up risks: some small, some large. The first time they broach a risk, we may think, “I can’t do that.” The next time, we may say, “I don’t think I can do that.” But when the pages persist, we hear ourselves say, “Oh, alright, I’ll try it.”- Julia Cameron
In other words, we break through the resistance.
We tire ourselves out of the constant "I can not's" and we put our energy to better use.
I do recall rambling on in my notebook about the infrared class when it was just a "thought." I had so many concerns and there were so many “blocks” that spilled their way, effortlessly onto the pages. Now, my morning pages are dancing with the light of gratitude as I ramble joyously about how healing these classes actually are becoming. Remarkably and beautifully so, the pages held space for my moods without trying to fix them right away. It’s different than venting to a person. The morning pages are a spiritual experience, and for that I am certain!
They break through perfectionism. I can be messy, free, and unjudged. I spell words wrong all of the time. I miss punctuation. I sound like one of those auctioneers–moving from one value to the next to the next! Sooner or later, I remember my own value in these moody, chaotic pages.
Sooner or later, I realize, “Sh**, I think I kind of love you like this Laura! Free, honest, non-judgmental, and a little all over the place!”
Unblocked from the flow of creation, I am finally listening to how God MADE ME SOUND: what God actually wants me to say instead of tidying it up with a bow in the presence of other human beings. It is true, though, that God did give us this "tidying up" power because we don't need to always dump all of our messiness onto others. God wants our messiness more than anyone else. So in the solitude of morning pages, we become unfiltered. When we become unfiltered, a refraction point occurs, not only can God see us but we can see ourselves; human and scarred, but divine and excellently made.
“As we write out our hopes, dreams, and desires, we trigger the universe to act on our behalf. We are, indeed, as Ueland states “forever talked to by God and his messengers.” Julia Cameron
Noticing this sort of “intrinsic value” is like a single gear that once it begins to operate, cannot help but also turn all of the other gears within the larger system.
This type of writing and this type of intrinsic value cannot just be “thought out.”
You can’t “think it out” before—you just have to dive in and remember what God is here to experience within you.
Right before I was about to jump off this cliff in Maui, I remember trying to “think it out” beforehand. I thought about what I would feel like during it–that drop in my stomach, the unknowingness of whether I should let go of the rope now or in 2 more seconds, the initial cold splash of the water, and the fear that I might drown because “I cannot calculate how deep this water actually is”...
It wasn’t until I dove in that I realized the true experience, thus receiving the true value.
Yes, it was cold. I was right about that. No, I didn’t feel a drop in my stomach. Yeah, I hung on a little too long. I was right to speculate that. I didn’t drown though. I still can’t calculate how deep it was. I felt extremely refreshed. I did not think I would feel that way. The water was clearer than I thought it was. I wanted to go find the next cliff. I was proud of myself. I couldn’t believe I did that. I was more alive than I had been before.
“Inspiration comes to a body in motion.”- Brenda Ueland
Imagine if we only thought about Earth but we never became the egg and sperm set in motion.
Seriously, though. What if Earth was only a thought without regard to an experience of that thought?
What I am getting at here is this: Life is a thought that needs experiencing. Experiencing involves taking risks. Coming to Earth being one of the greatest risks a soul can take. We have to give ourselves a little bit of credit for that every now and again, right? If simply coming to Earth was one of the biggest risks we took then certainly, we can try that Latin dance class. Certainly, we can pick up the paintbrush. Certainly, we can attempt that dissertation.
Does life hold value even when it is not being experienced? You know, I have not reflected upon that deeply enough yet but I am sure I will be enlightened on that topic eventually. Right now, though, I am talking about the experiential value that comes from taking risks over thinking about taking them.
You can “think it out” all you want but until you move with it, put it in your hands, sing it from your voice, put it on the canvas, put the fingers to the keyboard, continuously engage in that yoga class, add more weights to the bar…it will just be a thought, inexperienced. A thought inexperienced cannot really be spoken on. It has no motion.
When we are stuck, we need to get unstuck. But sometimes, we will choose to be stuck in “pretty ways.” We will gracefully walk around the mud; tip-toeing and not wanting to get our boots dirty. The mud never goes away though and more rain pours. And in this process of "tip-toeing" around it, we actually become MORE stuck, metaphorically, than if we were to just STEP IN THE MUDDY MUD AND WALK THE MESSY WALK.
My soul, lately, has been politely screaming, “STEP IN THE MUDDY MUD FOR GOD’S SAKE!”
Have “right” thoughts that later reveal themselves as “wrong” thoughts and vice versa!
Make a shitty painting for no reason at all.
Go workout and be okay with not seeing results right away. Get sore without physical proof.
Stop looking at all of your blog posts that only got six views and start writing the one that will have 100.
Make a move for your business that might not make sense now. Make it make sense by being present with it each step of the way.
Put your absolute worst piece of art up on the wall and worship it.
The list goes on. Let it go on!
Let me also state this: I DO believe that by stepping in the muddy mud, I am in fact doing it ALL for God’s sake, for I truly believe that through my experience, God is also experiencing Himself in another form, and sometimes, that form is first messy. God sent Noah and his people a messy flood. God said, "I will never do that again."
God did not say, "Shame on me."
I like to think that God simply realized, "That was not my best work but I learned a great deal from it."
Writing in the morning pages is like God’s power to shapeshift reality–as the moods evolve from one form to another, we are forever who we were and who we are and who we will become all at once.
Thank you for reading.
But hey, before you go, check out—The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, commit to the morning pages & I swear you will not regret it.
"Nothing is too petty to be described" quote from Write For Life by Julia Cameron.