& an easy routine to replace them with to create powerful, inspired actions in your daily life!
I used to be a regular devotee to the idea of writing “Morning Pages” (a la Julia Cameron as described in The Artist’s Way).
The practice has gained much popularity. Some of you may not be familiar with the idea. Many of you are. It’s simply a morning brain dump of all the thoughts going on in your mind--no matter what they are. You are getting them down on paper, airing them out… the idea being it frees up your mind to think more creative, productive thoughts when you’re through.
I have done morning pages on and off for as long as I’ve known about the concept--maybe 8 years. While I love the idea, in that time, I have never been able to make this a regular part of my daily ritual. For some time, I felt badly about that… like I should embrace the practice more fully in order to live a more productive, creative existence.
Over the summer, however, I had the pleasure of interviewing an inspiring entrepreneur--Charlie Kingsland-Barrow. She not only is a mom of two, but only works 4 hours a day on her successful, profitable business (don’t hate her :)). Part of that ‘work time’ every day (up to an hour or two some days) is devoted to the writing of intentions.
Now intentions are something I have been working with for 15 years, ever since I began my foray into the world of Feng Shui. They are second nature to me.
Feng Shui is nothing without the purposeful intention behind your action.
In the work I do, I have learned intimately how you can make that statement about life as well: your actions are powerless without deliberate intention behind them.
Though I have written my intentions with some frequency, I had not been in the habit of writing them every day, or of taking precious time from my work schedule to get clear on my intentions.
When Charlie told me of her daily practice of writing intentions, something clicked in me. I knew that was the shift I needed in my morning ritual, the writing practice that would create powerful, inspired actions in my daily life.
And I was right. Now I write daily intentions nearly every day, but at least 5 days out of the week. They don’t take me 1-2 hours, like they often do for Charlie. I can get down everything I need in 5 minutes sometimes, but find joy in relaxing into the exercise for 20 or 30 minutes (or more, should I make the time!). I know that my intention writing practice will allow me to work in more alignment, and thus be more productive. And I do them at the start of my work day, even when I know I have much to do.
They resonate with me so fully that it’s never something I feel like I should do, but rather something I look forward to every day, something I feel is missing when I don’t make the time.
Not only do I find these to be infinitely more powerful than Morning Pages, but around the same time I interviewed Charlie, I read a passage in an Esther & Jerry Hicks book* that reaffirmed for me the reason I believe my Morning Pages routine never stuck.
“Remember, when you awaken in the morning, you are reborn. While you have slumbered, all attraction has stopped. That sequestering away for a few hours of sleep--where your Consciousness is no longer attracting--gives you a refreshing new beginning. And so, unless you wake up in the morning and begin regurgitating what troubled you the day before, it will not trouble you in your new day, in your new beginning.”
My initial thought when I read that was how, through Morning Pages, I had been doing exactly what she states you must not do: regurgitating my troubles from the previous days!
I used to love the concept of getting it all out of my mind, thought it made so much sense that once it was out, I could begin to focus on more productive, creative matters. The basic tenant of the Law of Attractions contradicts this.
The Universe does not distinguish between what you want and what you DO NOT want. It simply gives you more of what you focus your attentions on.
Now the idea of Morning Pages may be to get it out so that you do not focus on it. However, writing it down does inherently give those thoughts a certain amount of energy. The thoughts you write down are described as “cloud thoughts,” the ones just passing by. Through Mindful Awareness & meditation, I’ve learned to let those thoughts pass on by, that they are not who I am, they are just thoughts. They have only as much import as I give to them.
I may have the same basic problem with Morning Pages that many others do: they are too negative. Julia Cameron describes them as meeting your shadow and taking it out for coffee. I am not one to shun my shadow side. I am aware of how helpful it has been to me, and do my best to embrace it into my whole-ness with open arms.
But she also states that by putting the negativity out on the page, it is therefore not in your consciousness throughout the day. That, I simply do not agree with. By playing to your grumpy morning self, by writing how tired you are, you give those thoughts legs, you give them energy.
Wherever you put your energy, expands.
You are not clearing your head of negative thoughts, you are giving import to them.
And so, for the past few months, I have followed a very clear intention writing “formula” that focuses on the self I want to be that day, the passions, focus and productivity I want to feel. By focusing on those thoughts and desires, it makes it easy to go forth and feel them, live them.
Sign up below and I'll send you my morning routine, the self care practices I find helpful and practical--the ones I find time to do every single morning (despite, or perhaps because I have 2 small children, a budding business and all the other commitments in life I choose to spend my time and energy on).
I am so thrilled to share with you how I specifically and intentionally format my morning intentions to produce the results I’m looking for. And how you can easily do it too!
Because It is oh-so powerful to start off the day with a practice that aligns and focuses you on exactly what you want in life, rather than rehashing the frustrations you want to release.
Tell me, do you have a morning routine that makes your day great? I'd love to hear about it! Drop me a message or visit me on Facebook.
*For those of you who are new to Esther Hicks, she channels the teachings of Abraham. That concept was a hard one to swallow in the beginning, but after I was able to let go of that reaction, I found her teachings, both written and spoken (you can find many educational clips of her on youtube) to be incredibly insightful. The quote I use is from Money & the Law of Attraction, pg. 46.