The current global crisis, and the season of spring, is an opportunity for renewal.
For me, part of a life well lived is the rituals that shape my perspective and way of being.
One of my favorite alchemical and self-care rituals is journaling.
I started my journey into journaling with Julie Cameron’s “morning pages” approach. So easy and rewarding! Once you’ve installed a practice like this, then doors open to more advanced practices that can improve your working relationship with your unconscious mind.
Always best to start tiny, even if for only 10-15 minutes, and celebrate each day you sit down to do your morning pages.
What are morning pages?
- Morning pages = three handwritten, 8.5×11 pages of long-hand, stream of consciousness writing.
- Handwritten. Journaling is about exploration (in this case, turning inward), not efficiency. Writing by hand provides an entirely different felt sense and a welcome break from time in front of screens.
- Stream of Consciousness = you write down everything that comes to mind
- … first thing in the morning.
- … notice the shifts. Start by tuning into your body and emotions. Explore what changed after writing your pages. Learning to tune into these changes provide the fuel to continue this practice (e.g., enhanced mood, deeper insight, better intuitions, improved sensemaking, greater agency). Your felt sense is an intelligence that is likely under-developed.
- … play with posing questions and receiving new wisdom.
- … censor yourself. No one will see what you write. Free yourself! Write everything that emerges.
- … stop writing. If you don’t know what to write, write that thought down until your thoughts or feelings change.
- … judge yourself or your writing. There is no right or wrong thing to write. Witness compassionately.
- … skip days. Build the muscle of doing things that are good for you, even when you don’t feel like it.
Pay attention to how simultaneously beautiful and diverse your vulnerable disclosure becomes. What emerges in your daily practice provides a glimpse into your degree of internal coherence and supports greater clarity.
Not only is journaling cathartic, but it may also open your eyes to the gifts of a sustained meditation practice.