we are now just over one week into this new year. for different people that means different things including still being in that process of wanting to bring something fresh into your life, starting a new habit or initiative, or feeling guilty about not keeping one up, etc.
i’m going to out myself with my new commitment for this year–bringing back an old gem from the 90’s: morning pages. “morning pages” were introduced by this lady in taos, new mexico who wrote the book, the artist’s way in 1992. i wrote morning pages for the first time in high school. pen to paper for three longhand pages, start to finish without stopping. getting all that crap out of my head onto the paper. it was one of my 15-year-old interesting experiments that came and went. like many things at the time, i fell in love with the idea of it, and then …
now that it’s 20 years later, and now that i’m a therapist, i really get it. morning pages are a brilliant practice, especially for folks who want movement in their lives, who want to tap into something deeper in themselves, and who need help with overthinking, second guessing, being hard on themselves, and/or being too self critical. and over 20 years later, this stream-of-consciousness style form of writing is still getting a lot of attention. (try googling it and see what you come up with, like this from the guardian.)
morning pages are simple. they can be irreverent, boring, repetitive, nothing you would ever want to share with anyone else. they are not supposed to be special. they are a chance for you to get a lot of thoughts out of your head during a set amount of time. morning pages help to free the thoughts that are like hampsters going around in circles in your mind. morning pages are for your mind what exercise is for your body. they help to clear your mind so you have a better starting point for the rest of your day.
try it for 30 days and see what happens. if writing longhand is something you won’t do, type your morning pages. some say 750 words is about the equivalent of the three pages.