I know of a fabulous secret I’ll let you in on – its a sure fire way that you will never wake up in a bad mood ever again! Before you even get out of bed to start your day you have the power to set it up in a way that screams of positivity! A simple concept created by Julia Cameron in her book called the Artists Way, Early Morning Pages is a “stream of consciousness” writing exercise that helps clear the mind of chatter, decrease negative self talk and allows us to deal with emotions in a constructive way. It is an extremely powerful tool for goal setting, getting in touch with emotions and diffusing anxiety.
“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”
This is a tool I recommend to most of my clients that are going through transitions or have a lot going on in their world. I prefer this first thing in the morning to access all those subconscious thoughts – its AMAZING what you will find written on the paper! When I first implemented this I followed the instructions below and was shocked when hours later I would go back and read what I wrote. It was especially the angst ridden stuff that was on the paper that made me a believer – had I not written these thoughts down they would have been hidden deep in my thought through the day – shaping my mood! While this isn’t meant to be the type of journal you want to read over and over again, it is interesting to see what comes up. The simple way to get started is:
Keep a journal by your bed, set your alarm for 15 mins earlier than when you typically wake up. You will use 3 pages for this exercise:
On the first page begin by writing down any memories you may have of your dreams. At first there might be nothing or simply minor recollections, but as you do this over and over you will build the muscle. You’ll send a powerful message to your brain: I am prepared to accept my unconscious thoughts and feelings and I accept that more and more will be revealed. You are developing a deep, direct relationship with your inner self.
Next on the second page, write 10 things you are grateful for from yesterday. Usually our minds focus on everything that’s not going well. Your mind easily forgets that you have great friends, a place to live, plenty of food to eat, access to education, a job and freedom. Take time for thanksgiving and appreciating what went well yesterday.
Finally on the third pages comes my favorite part – the stream of consciousness writing. Write for at least a page, maybe two. Write whatever crosses your mind. The good, the bad, the ugly – nothing is off limits! Remember this is for your eyes only. Use this as a catharsis – you’re ridding your mind of the anxieties of the past day, refusing them passage onto the next. No censoring. You will be amazed at what comes out of your sweet, innocent mind.
All the angry, ugly stuff that you write in the morning would otherwise stand in the way of you being your best you. By doing early morning pages, you get all those repressed thoughts out of your system so you can live your life and realize that you are not your mind and you are not your thoughts. You are a spiritual being in a material world, moving forward toward the life you deserve, which is the life you truly came here to live.
Watch your breath. Watch your mind. It’s like a meditation. Be still and just let it all pass from your mind onto the paper.
If there is one action I can have everyone take it is this one! So many of us carry negative thoughts around, heavy baggage that changes who we are, prevents us from being who we’re meant to be! This ohh so simple exercise proves invaluable to living a life of fullness.