Experiment Log One: Morning Pages

Experiment 1: Morning Pages

Thank you for holding space as I embark upon my first public experiment!

Objective: To participate in Jamie Ridler’s Morning Pages group  from January 1st through January 31st, 2012. The idea to publicize the experiment was conceived January 4, 2012.

Method: To stream out, by hand on paper, three pages of writing in the moments upon first waking. Then to rip up the completed pages. (Per recommendations within the book “The Artist’s Way” by the author Julia Cameron).

Observations

Jan 4– I have written the morning pages the previous days.  This is the first day of tracking my progress online.  I was exhausted from waking in the middle of the night to view the meteor showers so when I woke I wanted to refresh by showering first.  Knowing how significant it is to write these pages before anything else, I made the  conscious decision not to go online (although I wanted to) and to stream out my pages before my shower.  When I was done, I felt invigorated. And creativity flowed.  Within that, the idea for this page was born and I sat down immediately to write this page.  Completely new and different for me: to sit down right away and work upon an idea as well as the entire concept of experimenting in a public venue.  I had many other insights and the follow through might take hours, but I am willing to invest my energy into each follow through.  (An aside: I wrote my pages out by hand as recommended.  At first, it felt awkward and I felt ashamed about the quality of my cursive–shall reflect upon ashamed, it is clearly my self judging my self as no one else will see the words.  I found it cathartic and empowering to rip up my pages when I was finished).

Jan 5 – I was hesitant to write my morning pages. I felt that there would be some truths rising that would be significant, but that might require inner processing or accountability.However, because I am exploring the concept of commitment in my life, I know the significance of this exercise is to show my self that I am able to be present to my self despite external–which in this case was discomfort.  I do not like to be in discomfort, however I grew up in chaos so am used to discomfort.  What I am learning now in life is how to stand in my truth to transform discomfort to extremely comfortable and beyond that to release discomfort altogether. Showing up this morning to write my morning pages was living that transformation.  Empowering just to “be present”.

Jan 6 – I woke extremely early. I did not wish to write my morning pages.  Perhaps my reluctance is due to so much heart truth rising.  I brushed my teeth *forever* to postpone writing my pages.  Decided I couldn’t brush my teeth all day, so better write the pages.  Flowed right out..so much to cover..truths, yes, but also creative flow about design details on this site, projects I am involved with, the structure of the day.  Awesome to stream it all out..refreshing..I realize I had been almost holding my breath as I held it all in..feel refreshed and energized and my creative flow is surging.  I wonder in what other areas am I hesitant/holding my breath…only to discover that just by showing up I have removed a barrier to flow.

Jan 7th – When I woke, I checked a few emails before writing.  I wish I hadn’t because that went against my “promise to my self” to write first thing per the instructions within the group.  And, it changed my original intent in writing.  However, I used this time in my morning pages to stream my reaction to those emails.  I originally was going to respond to one of those emails, but decided to write my morning pages first.  As I wrote, I found that my scarcity mentality (fear) was transformed to gratitude…and I wonder how many times such patience and reflection would transform my original reaction to something.  Nice insight!  And lots of streaming– released “junk” from yesterday.  I feel peace filled.

Jan 8th – Well, I went to sleep firmly entrenched in my heart space, yet woke in the predawn hours with much on my mind.  I figured streaming my morning pages was technically “correct” so  I streamed.  And now am fully awake.  From streaming I released that gunk and found great clarity within.  I think streaming removes a layer of barrier and my creative flow surges.  So rather than go back to sleep, I decided to follow that flow and see where it leads today.  I feel very peace filled, very clear, very creative.

Jan 9th – I “blew it” three times already.  Really.  I woke up in the middle of the night, feverish but knowing I would be online a bit *and* I went online for an hour without writing pages first.  I woke again in the morning and popped online again (knowing me emails were stacking up from clarity sessions and my recent post) and I then wrote my pages.  But, when I was almost done writing, I checked my emails again…so three times I interrupted myself.  And I know why.  Because the truth I was writing is something I am processing that is a bit fresh and raw to me, and I know the answer deep within, but I don’t really want it to surface so I am avoiding it.  Where else in life do I allow extraneous to complicate what is truly simple?  (PS Still have the fever, as one who does energy work I know why I have the fever, just need to acknowledge and heal it.

Jan 10th – I am not feeling well today.  Woke early again/still.  Wrote my pages.  Easily streamed the first page.  Didn’t have anything to say for the next two, so I checked in with my self.  I wasn’t avoiding anything, I truly didn’t have anything to say.  So, I wrote out a project list.  Very new–I don’t think I have ever had a project list.  Wrote out a love letter to my children, my heart is now overflowing with love and gratitude toward them.  And then, the pages were finished.  Sometimes when you think you have nothing to say, you do..the most significant thing.  I love you. And thank you.

Jan 11th – I did not write my morning pages “first thing”.  I didn’t want to write them at all.  My little heart hurts and I didn’t really want to acknowledge it, let alone give it space.  However, not acknowledging my heart space is not acknowledging a significant part of *me*.  So, I devised a “plan”.  I would move through my morning and then write around that.  I was trying to control the pain.  About an hour in, I decided to sit down and stream.  Felt refreshing, and definitely cleared space for me to create.  I had two scheduled appointments that I felt I didn’t want to honor, but I realized again, that is not honoring *me*.  Transparency says, show up, as you are, perfect in this moment, and share your truth this moment–as I do in morning pages, so I shall also do in moving through today and connecting.  This is a gift of morning pages..presence, even when you would rather not invest or be there.

Jan 12th – I wrote my morning pages first thing.  Streamed effortlessly.  Covered some heavy internal topics but that didn’t affect the flow of my streaming process.  Actually had to go back to see my page count.  I felt like I wrote a paragraph, but it was three pages!  That is how effortless it was today.  Light.  The difference, I think, is that I have made a commitment to my self to show up for my self and morning pages is part of showing up.  So, it was light.  Refreshing.  And I feel joy.  In all realms.

Jan 13th – Wrote my morning pages.  Streamed easily.  Effortless.  Light.  Maybe because I have had so many clarity sessions with clients this week that I am quite centered now, so streaming is more along the lines of gratitude and creative ideas.  Very refreshing.

Jan 14th – Again, I am experiencing such clarity lately that it is a joy to stream out these pages.  And the words just flow, past three pages.  Creative ideas, thoughts, ideas..fun stuff.  Very refreshing and light, a joy to be present to. After two weeks, it is not a “chore” it is exciting and fun.  A beautiful exercise.  Where in my life may I allow a “chore” to become a beautiful exercise?

Jan 15th – There is now an ease to writing these pages.  And a “routine” if you will.  I wake, stream as easily as I brush my teeth…creative ideas emerge.  I look to the dates here and see it has only been two weeks, and yes I have been writing these pages for years, but not in a consistent ‘wake and write’ form.  This reflects to me that when I am committed to a concept–in this case, being present–I am “rewarded” with the experience of that concept…full presence.  Awesome feeling!  I think this is the point where plateau begins, where I may be so familiar that I lose gratitude for the process..so to keep gratitude present is the key.

Jan 16th – Writing this morning was an exercise in removing “gunk” before beginning to create for the day.  Streaming out my doubts and my “blahs” was refreshing.  also allowed me to re-center.  By the end of the last page, my vibration had raised from low to a wonderful, fun, cultivate magic vibration.  Interesting affirmation that my presence is important to the process, when I am fully aware, I am in flow, and everything truly is possible!

Jan 17th – I wrote my morning pages quite easily.  In the midst, an amazing creative project surfaced…I would have told my self “no” right away, but because I was streaming, I streamed out the process and now I am excited and ready to nurture this idea.  This morning, time was a factor.  I had the thought that I would wait until “later” to stream, but this is important to me, so I honored flow by being present to the pages.  And then the idea, and the excitement, and the gratitude for my decision to honor presence.

Jan 18th – I wrote my morning pages very easily.  However, I did not write them when I woke; instead I went for the extra sleep and quality time with the kids and then wrote my morning pages. I think because I darkened my site in honor of the SOPA strike so I had no ‘rush’ to pop online and record my results.  However, I did continue to stream throughout the day, and this process birthed so many new creative ideas and renewed focus and clarity in my life.  As I continue, I understand it is not about the accountability to “others” or this “experiment” but to my self.

Jan 19th – My morning pages had this amazing flow…streamed out quite quickly and easily.  I am in a huge creative surge, so there was a lot to cover..and once I released surface, I was amazed at the depth that was uncovered.  Now to honor this flow and create with it for this entire day:)

Jan 20th – I streamed out this flow that immediately led to an amazing project that I had been conceptualizing but had no idea how to implement.  My morning pages took probably 15 minutes, but my project so far has taken one hour.  Something dear to my heart that I have wanted to implement for years, and somehow became “unstuck” through this morning pages project.  The flow is incredible, because I am willing to open my heart to make a difference.

Jan 21st- I streamed my pages.  They have become part of my morning “routine”.  I understand it is about presence to the process, and this understanding has been enriching in all areas of my life.

Jan 22nd –  I was reluctant to write my pages this morning.  Surprising because yesterday I noted how they had become part of my routine.  I almost had the feeling of dread about writing…very new.  I think perhaps I am so independent of routine that even labeling it such began a “push/pull” within.  I recognize that I do that in life.  I also was writing about some truth that rose last night, and I didn’t really want to face the truth.  Not that it is ugly, perhaps it is beautiful, but acknowledging it will usher in change.  As it has.  I don’t think I may acknowledge truth then walk away from it,  I always create from it.  So, in showing up this morning, it was solely to honor my commitment to my self through fear.  And in doing so, I tapped fully into flow, a heart opening.  From dread, to being present, to a heart opening.  All in three pages.  Where else may I apply that in my life?

Jan 23rd – Streamed out my pages.  Glad to stream.  I focus on the positive in life, and the lesson from yesterday seemed to be patience and trust.  So, this morning I streamed all of the things were not present yesterday and then all of the things I invested in.  I trust that it all works as it is meant to, and I patiently wait to see which of the seeds I have planted and nurtured will blossom.  I continue to create as I release extraneous to patiently trust.

Jan 24th – I streamed out my morning pages rather quickly.  I knew I would because I woke with so much to stream.   Still in the patiently trusting, silence mode.  So many lovely surprises when I am quiet and trusting and allow for.

Jan 25th – I streamed out my pages.  Used the process to try to decide.  Realized again/still that words are just that…words.  My process in creating everything is to open my heart to be present..I choose the fullness of my presence.  I love the insights that arise as I stream the surface level of “stuff”.

Jan 26th – I streamed out my pages, then forgot to update this experiment page.  I really didn’t wish to be online today..my own little mini-withdrawal due to not wishing to ‘run into someone” online.  As I am present to my self, it is in all areas, so here I am present online.  I also recognize that this experiment is “ending” soon, and I tend not to ‘love’ endings.  I am learning to reframe that; to transform ‘ending” to gratitude for a beautiful opportunity to share through transparency.  And to stay in this moment with awareness because when I open my heart through fear, anything can (and does) happen.

Jan 27th – I quickly streamed out my pages.  My mind had lots to stream, all over the board. Instead of reigning it in, I gave it space to flow.  Huge lesson in there..in general do I try to control the “stream” rather than allowing for and honoring flow?  To I give space in action, or only word

Jan 28th – Wow.  A very quick stream of pages…lots of surface stuff just kept streaming out in response to external in my life.  Awesome relief to allow that ‘purge’ to make room for my creative ‘surge’.

Jan 29th – I streamed my pages pretty quickly.  However, I was projecting to the “end” of this project; wondering how will it feel the day after it “ends” when I wake up and no longer “have to” honor a commitment, will I still honor the practice in such a dedicated way?  And this reflects to me how my projecting to the end of a commitment greatly affects my perception of this *now*.  It was a joy to release that and stream in this day…and know that flow will take care of the rest.

Jan 30th – I am excited about a project, so I streamed my pages quite quickly.  Used them to stream out the first run of ideas, so that by the end, it was pretty streamlined.  Very refreshing and allowed me to tap directly into flow.

Jan 31st – The “last day” of this group experiment.  I typically do not like the “last day” of anything.  So, it was interesting to me that this morning, instead of writing first thing as I have the last thirty days, I postponed writing.  Then, I realized what I was doing; as if I could “postpone” the end. Poignant. Where else do I do this in life; think that by removing my presence I may avoid the inevitable “end” of a natural cycle; a huge barrier to the next “beginning”. Be fully present to flow and allow this opportunity to gently move me to the next.  So much that I loved about this process, so much gratitude and joy and clarity within it; I close this experiment in full appreciation of the process and the importance of presence.  Much peace.

Results

1. I learned the power of commitment and presence to a process.

2.  I was able to observe the natural flow of how I approach a commitment and choose the degree of my presence depending upon where in the process I perceive I am: beginning=full force, enthusiastic; middle=disinterested, a bit bored, and also fully creative and present; end=wish to avoid it, but committed to presence, and was wonderful to feel the “accomplishment” of completion.

3.  I am reminded of the importance of removing surface to allow for transparency and refreshing depth in all that I choose to create.

4.  There is freedom and empowerment in creating with community; inspiration, encouragement, and joy in creating together, even as each individual path differs.

 

 

Comments on: "Experiment Log One: Morning Pages" (8)

  1. Hi Joy! As a long time on-and-off again morning pages aficionado, I have found it an extremely cathartic, inspiring, and creativity-opening experience whenever I have committed myself to doing morning pages. I find the best results when I do it before ANYTHING else- I literally don’t even get out of bed, just grab my journal and write. I’ve fallen away from the practice for the past couple months of holiday and family chaos, so thanks for the reminder on what magic this seemingly simple process holds. I will begin again tomorrow! :)

    • Thank you for sharing, Molly! I have written morning pages for years, but until this project, I would sometimes let whole mornings pass before writing. I recognize the importance of streaming right away, and have found the most amazing flow lately…which I truly believe is a direct result of this process.
      However, today I woke and did not write right away..I know there is a truth I do not wish to acknowledge and it would have surfaced immediately–which is testament to how powerful morning pages are when I use them! I did write, and the truth is there (as always) which shows me the truth waits patiently for me to be ready to see it..
      Thank you for mentioning *magic*..a huge part of my life..and a reflection to me to allow for the magnificence of magic–just writing that phrase raised my vibration to “magical”…

  2. Joy,

    Pretty silly why I avoided going here. Thank you for sharing yourself…really…thank you. I will continue to process how this experiment may work for the betterment of myself.

    • Sometimes I resist that which seems complicated to me, but is really very simple when I open my heart to it. I have been writing these pages for years, but to write consistently first thing each morning has shown me the importance of presence to my self. And of honoring that presence.

  3. Morning pages… this is one thing that I am trying to do daily. I do not feel that I am deep enough, but they are being written. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Lucy,
      The only “process” to morning pages is to stream them. Since I am involved in clarity and energy work, my surface level in these moments is the top of inner core, so what I stream at this time might be deeper than most. The point is to stream off surface so that “surface” doesn’t replay throughout the day. I am glad you are streaming..it is a beautiful gift to be present to self in such a way!

  4. Hi Joy, just found this post and therfore, your blog as well through Jamie’s wrap up of Morning Pages post. Loved your record of your morning pages experience, what a great idea! Just curious, have you continued with your morning pages into February? I have, but have just completed a notebook (this morning) and have other ventures I’d like to embark on as far as writng goes, mainly songwriting… just kinda wondering what i will find myself doing tomorrow morning….

    • Hi Carrie,
      I apologize; I just saw this comment, so will email you as well. I have continued with the morning pages practice. I have been writing them for years, just not as consistently every morning before anything else; sometimes waiting until later in the day, or not writing all three pages.

      During this practice, I found that the consistency, and the commitment to consistency allowed the power of presence to expand my practice; and the process itself cleared away so much “stuff” that each day my creative energy surged. My insight is perhaps this surge “scared me” a bit–the whole “fear of success thing” which might be why I wasn’t ready for the consistency before now.

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