today is the first cloudy and cold day we’ve experienced in Spain. Looks like the weather is now going to stay this way until we leave for Edinburgh.
I spent the morning curled up on the bed, under swathes of blankets and all my notebooks from this month. I’m going to be transferring to a new journaling/task management system next week so I did some prep work for that. Copying over tasks yet to be completed, copying out lines from my writing that I may want to use later, that sort of things.
What are you doing to wrap up your journaling for this month?
Morning Pages. Three handwritten pages of stream of consciousness done first thing every morning to clear out the clutter from your mind. Julia Cameron’s greatest gift to the world and the Holy Grail of many people’s journaling. It’s helped countless writers and artists become so much more aligned with their creativity.
This post isn’t about how Morning Pages are bad or flawed. No. It’s about how it doesn’t make sense for you to feel guilty about not doing Morning Pages, especially if your ultimate goal isn’t to become a writer or an artist.
There is a lot of guilt surrounding Morning Pages. From people that started it but only lasted three days, those that know they should do it but really can’t see themselves handwriting three whole pages, or those that honestly don’t want to wake up forty minutes early. They all end up feeling bad about how they are not doing the thing everyone is talking about.
I want you to know that you don’t have to carry that guilt with you.
I love Morning Pages. I do them six to seven days a week. Yes they are three pages (sometimes more) and yes they are all handwritten. They are a tremendously critical part of my wiring practice. Morning Pages work. It does what it promises to do very elegantly.
I do Morning Pages because I am a writer. This is who I am and what I do for a living. I can force myself to face the pages on morning when it’s the last thing I want to do because I know it’ll help me be better at this thing I chose to do with my life.
Morning Pages is like the early morning or all-day training professional athletes do in order to compete and win. It’s what keeps them at peak performance in their sport. They drag their backsides to the pool or the court or the tracks because being really good at the sport is their ultimate goal.
But what if someone isn’t in it to compete? What is they simply enjoy the sport and enjoy the health benefit it brings? Would it make sense for them to train every morning at 5am?
If you journal because you find it helpful in dealing with and healing from a situation, or just enjoy the act, then you do not need to haul yourself to your journal every morning all blurry eyed. What’s important for your chosen goal is to write when you need to. Write when it’s going to help you the most. Enjoy the act of it.
Journaling when you need it most is no less beneficial than Morning Pages. It’s no less of a commitment either. And it’s certainly no less enjoyable.
If you find yourself repeatedly saying ‘I know I should be doing it everyday, but I haven’t done it in ages’ or ‘I know it’s suppose to be really good for you but…’ then whatever the practice you chose is not the right one for you. It’s time to be really honest about what you want from a practice and find a new one that will fit in to who you are and what you need from it.
I’m burning through the notebook I bought last week from the local Spanish supermarket. Lots of big plans are coming to the pages now and I’m giddy about each and every one of them.
We have eight months of travelling to do next year before settling back down in Edinburgh. My husband and I sat over lunch and planned out where we would like to travel next year. Many exciting destinations have came up and they managed to all settle nicely alongside each other on the page.
We both agreed we want to slow the pace of our travel down so that we have time to do the things we really love besides travelling. Him doing his studies and me snuggling up to my notebooks.
What changes to make room for what you love are you contemplating for the new year?
Today I’m working from an impromptu outdoor office at the pretty little apartment we are staying. I want to make most of the Southern Spanish sun before heading back to wintery Edinburgh next week.
I felt the need to develop my desire words I chose last week (Exotic, Burning, Bold, and Guided), so I’m working through the second half of the Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte.
I’m finding it hard to mentally put myself into the context of my words and really feel them. I need to almost live the words in my head and be these words before I can come up with juicy details of how to make it happen.
Right now, I’m still several steps away from my words, too shy to step into them. I’m seriously out of practice from being exotic, burning, bold and guided, you know. I think this is going to take some time to get through…
Going out to journal at a place you love is a romantic date with yourself. From putting a time in your diary, getting ready to go out, walking down a street different from your normal commute, to walking in there with exciting expectations.
It’s a date where someone you dearly care about is thoroughly enthralled in everything you have to say. The noise of the location, colourful aromas and the texture of beautiful furniture serves to highlight the passion you are expressing. It’s a time when you get to meet up with yourself and bath in how beautiful a person you are.
Put a time in your calendar this week for a romantic journaling date with yourself. Find a luxurious place to go that really turns you on, makes you feel alive and connected with yourself. An indie cafe? On a beach? An old and beautiful bookstore? Or even a day spent in your bed with lots of cushions, coffee and your notebook. Mark the date and enjoy it.