There’s something pretty powerful about saying the unsaid. I’ve never been one to write in a diary religiously but in my teenage years I certainly recorded moments that seemed at the time to be monumental. Things like “Oh my god, I kissed Harry!” or “Matt said he liked me and then touched my hand!”. Yes things like that that when you read back 10 years later, you just have to laugh at! But these days, my journalling is more of a page vomit. Yes, nice analogy don’t you think? But that really is the best way to describe it as I do something called the Morning Pages.
Morning Pages is a tool I learnt from the author of “The Artist’s Way – A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self”, Julia Cameron. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is only for creative types as I believe it can help everyone whether they are an investment banker or a rodeo. If you’ve got stuff swimming around your head that keeps swimming that leaves you feeling frustrated, sick, stuck in a rut and tired, then I recommend you give Morning Pages a go.
What are Morning Pages?
“There’s a time every morning when we are half awake, half asleep and not quite fully conscious. At those moments, we have access to our unconscious mind and our inner workings. But like dew on the morning grass, it will soon be gone without a trace. Listening to these tender morning wisps allows us to reach into our inner world, the deeper part of ourselves that helps guide us on our path of transformation.”
Writing Morning Pages is simply allowing a stream of consciousness to pour out onto the page with no judgment, no criticism, no re-reading. Literally just vomiting all those nasty, whiney, moany, mean things we think about ourselves and others onto the page. Nothing is too much. No-one is going read it and it is SO much better out, than in. Any negative stuff that is kept in your body does not serve you and only keeps you from being your best self.
Cameron suggests writing 3 pages of A4 first thing in the morning. Many people ask me if they can do it at night after work and the answer is, you can but it kind of defeats the object as it sets you up for a clearer more peaceful day by offloading what needs to be said. I often find that by page 3 I have the answer to a question I’ve been mulling over. Sometimes it might take a few days to get there but it doesn’t take long for them to cut through the crap and get to the heart of what’s bothering you. It merely helps in “brain-draining”, which Cameron strongly recommends in order to feel lighter and brighter and release the blocks that are preventing you from being your authentic self.
Proof Journalling Is Good For You!
Journalling has been scientifically proven by Dr James W Pennebaker, psychologist at the University of Texas, not only to be good for our emotional health but also our physical health. His book Opening Up is filled with information on why suppressing inner problems takes a devastating toll on health, how long-buried trauma affects the immune system and how writing about your problems can improve your health. If you are holding onto powerful emotions without really expressing them, journaling about them can be a great way of releasing this internal stress. And you don’t need to have any regard for the usual rules of writing such as spelling, grammar or logical sequence as it’s for your eyes only!
Do you like to journal? Have you read The Artist’s Way?