To add on to my bit about listening, I want to push you to start “morning pages.” Morning pages is part of the exercise to recover your creativity through the book “The Artist’s Way.” For the morning pages, you’ll want a journal. Morning pages are there for us who have a critic, or “Censor,” in our heads at all times telling us how “that’s not going to work,” or, “you don’t have the knowledge or the talent.” It’s the critic who’s never satisfied and is always dishing out criticism that is not constructive. If this critic eventually gets itself heard enough, or even enough times, it might start to cease its complaining, leaving room for the more important, inspiring and authentic thoughts we have. I sure want those.
“Morning pages” is the exercise of writing three stream-of-consciousness pages in your journal every morning before the day. I generally make a cup of tea and sit by my window, in front of the heater. I love them, its a great place to rest, and unwind. Ironically, we think of unwinding as something to do at the end of the day, but if you wake up in a flurry, all overwhelmed, the rest of your day will manifest out of that. Morning pages is a great time, to put down all the things on my mind in my journal, usually they start out as a to do list: “oh my, I need to do this today, and don’t forget about that..” Once all that is emptied, I’m a little less anxious, and some deeper thoughts can surface.
Starting the morning pages will not be easy. You will think they are pointless, you may find it hard to think of stuff to write, you might think everything you’re writing is complaining and awful and that’s your critic trying to take over. But, no matter what quality of writing is put down, if you do morning pages, consistently for a long period of time, things will start to change. You will notice new things, you will have new thoughts. That was one of the most comforting things to hear when I was reading about morning pages in “The Artist’s Way.” The idea that If I did the pages everyday, consistently, things would change, even if I hated it, or I was just complaining the whole time. And things did change, and it’s been scary embracing the change.
But I urge you to do them, every day, from now until forever (yes, it’s a big urging, and yes you will have many binder-fuls of morning pages by then). One thing I discovered, now that I’m about a month and a half in, is that I’m starting to answer my own questions! I have conversations about my ideas and problems, and I actually give myself some good advice and some good answers. Allow yourself a daily routine, a daily exercise to pull all the thoughts that are weeds out of you, do some “mind-weeding” so that there’s room for some more authentic plants to grow.