Well I think that people are often ungrounded and at a loss as to exactly what their position is in life. I find that if people work with morning pages, where they get up every morning and write 3 pages of long hand writing, telling the universe or, whatever you care to call it, exactly where they are and how they feel, they begin to become more centered.
I think it’s an interesting thing, morning pages work for lawyers and judges and housewives and people who have not previously declared themselves to be artists, and they also work for artists. They are very powerful centering technique.
I just had someone say to me, “Julia I’m blocked on writing a new book”, and I said to her, start morning pages, those are the grease slide to creativity and I believe that’s true.
What happens is that as we become more in touch with ourselves, we become more deeply in touch with our intuitive guidance, and we find that there is a pathway, and that as we proceed a step at a time, we are led. So I think that what I’m teaching people is essentially a spiritual radio kit. With the morning pages they are sending. They are saying, this is what I like, this is what I don’t like, this is what I wish I had more of. And something, whatever you care to call that something, is definitely listening.
I probably should explain to you a little bit about what morning pages are and what they aren’t. They are not high art. You do not need to be a writer to do morning pages, and in fact sometimes it’s a little bit harder for writers because they feel morning pages should be quite real writing. But what they are, are 3 pages of long hand early morning, stream of consciousness about absolutely anything. So it might be I forgot to buy kitty litter yesterday, I didn’t call my sister back, I didn’t like the way Jeff spoke to me at the staff meeting, I wonder if I should paint my kitchen yellow. So they jump around. I often tell people when you do morning pages its as if you have ADD because you go from topic to topic to topic to topic.
Another way to think of these, it’s a meditation technique for westerners. We sometimes have a hard time sitting and doing nothing for 20 min, so I say why don’t you sit there and do something. What happens is, in meditation we have what we all cloud thoughts which are thoughts that sort of just drift across your consciousness. In morning pages, you write your cloud thoughts down.
So often morning pages may feel petty. You feel like you are being bugged by little teeny things. They may feel like you’re griping. I have an ex-husband who says that I always make them sound so negative, and that actually sometimes they are sometimes delightful. So I should say, and yes, sometimes they are delightful. You don’t necessarily very often get a direct line between morning pages and creativity. It’s a little bit more zen. You do morning pages and behind your back you start to be more creative.
One of the things that happens when you do morning pages is you identify who your naysayers are and you begin to say that’s not the truth, that’s just their belief system. I have a tool called crazy makers where you look at your circle of acquaintances and you say which people get in the way of my creativity. Often a crazymaker is very dramatic, and the creative person in his midst finds himself rescuing and being overly concerned about the crazy makers crazy agendas.
As we start to unplug from our crazy makers, we learn to be much more self loving and self forgiving. We learn to be more tenacious and we learn to say who does make me feel more good about myself. I think I’ll spend a little more time there.