In the past I have not been successful in having consistent daily time for myself. Sure I would become stressed and feel frazzled and out of control at times and retreat to my room with the door closed loudly proclaiming that I was “Done with today! Everybody leave me alone!!!”
Not the healthiest way to carve out a little me time. Plus I hate it when I am that crazy, screechy mom. Once the justified feelings that everybody else is driving me insane start to fade, shame is right on it’s tail. Letting me know that I am a failure.
It’s a vicious cycle really.
I’m going to let you in on a tool that’s been rocking my emotional world lately. For the past 25 days I have been devoting a little portion of my mornings to writing morning pages.
What the heck are morning pages?
In short, they are a little bit of daily magic that helps me keep my shit together. Don’t worry though I will give you a much more detailed explanation than that.
First, I am not a bullet journal kinda girl. I really wanted to be. All of those pretty pages filled with goals and to do lists. Promises of having my life organized with in the pages of one tidy little notebook. Seemed heavenly.
In reality it was just confusing for me to try and figure out how to set up the darn thing. So I tossed the idea into my “fantastic things for other people to do pile.”
I still really love the idea of journaling and creating a daily writing practice. Just without the mild anxiety that accompanied setting up a bullet journal.
When I first heard about morning pages it was an aha moment. I was on my way home from a family vacation and listening to Sarah Dobson on The Vibrant Happy Women podcast. She got the idea from the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Sarah explained that writing morning pages sparked greater creativity in her life.
Again what are morning pages?
Morning pages are three hand written pages that you write every day.
Umm why the heck would you do that?
Here's what writing morning pages has done for me:
- Writing out my thoughts and feelings every morning has allowed me to dump a lot of negative on to the page and leave it there. Having the tough stuff of life come out of my head and flow through the pen helps me to either release it or make sense of it. If it stays in my brain there is a good chance it will become a storm of confusion and discontent.
- Morning pages in my journal gives me a place to remember the sacred. I share a lot about my life on the blog and social media, but there are some stories I want to hold close and keep secret. I also don’t want to forget them. Having a place to write them down without sharing them with the world is comforting.
- There is a peace that comes with writing morning pages. Sometimes when I sit still and quiet I take a deep breath and focus on my heart. A feeling of calm and well-being spreads in my chest. This also happens when I am filling out those three pages with my thoughts. I call it being tapped in with my best self.
- I am seriously much better at coping with daily stresses when I have written morning pages. I am a more relaxed, clearer thinking, better mom because of it.
The rules of morning pages:
There are three rules of writing morning pages.
- Hand write three pages every day no matter what.
- Don’t let anybody read them. Even you. Don’t go back and read your pages for a long time after you write them. Like months.
- Put it all on the page. Don’t let the critic in your head tell you that thought is stupid. Write it down. Even if it’s the thought that you need to buy more cat food. It belongs on your pages.
Keep it simple friends. You can start with a half filled journal you already have at home. (That’s what I did). Or some loose paper stapled together. Any functional pen or pencil will work. Just start. And then keep going.
There’s magic in those three pages.