This year, I made a commitment with a few others to do The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron. It’s an amazing book about releasing your creative energy and efforts towards goals I keep telling yourself that one, maybe one day, I will get to.
With the beginning of 2019, it made perfect sense to make that some day, one day, into today. I have read the Artist’s Way before and one of its main tenets or laws so speak are to do Morning Pages by hand every day. The first time few times, I read the book I elected to type my Morning Pages, reasoning that my handwriting is terrible. Yet the morning pages are not meant to be shared, they are just to unblock creativity. And while I was diligent about doing them daily, I have to say it felt a bit mechanical. The other thing is that Morning Pages need to be the first thing one does when you wake up. It is to get access to your inner creativity without criticism.
And so this year, as much as I resisted it, I began writing my hand. I have to tell you, as a former stroke and a brain bleed patient, my handwriting has gone from terrible to horrendous. It hit me that what I resisted is the reminder that I am not whole, that each day is a blessing because of medication I take daily. With each activity that I take on, including crossfit, running, hiking or raquetball, I forget that I am not a 100% healthy person. I am beyond blessed for the opportunities I have been afforded in my life, yet writing my Morning Pages allowed me to grieve a bit.
To let go of old pain, memories that no longer serve me, to process so much of what I buried and pretended never happened. I struggle to get the words out sometimes, and then there are days I ask myself what the hell am I doing. Yet each morning, I take out my notebook, sit in the morning quiet and just begin writing. Anything. Everything. Lists. To do tasks, thoughts about others, judgements. It is a brutal place as I connect to this constant river of thoughts and feelings, and it hit me that this goes on all day long.
What stories am I reinforcing? What self-limiting beliefs am I cultivating? How much of my time is spent on “busy” work that does nothing but just that, keeps busy and not dealing with my life. And so I sit, sort, sift and pray for clarity. Doing the Morning Pages has not become an act of purging. And the well runs deep.