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012 The life changing magic of morning pages

Apr 9, 2020 | Podcast

Morning pages are going to change your life. Morning pages are going to give you better art, better relationships, better mental health and a clear head. In this episode, I’m going to chat about how I make them work for me and give you an exact to do list on how you can make them work for you, how you can rock them, how you can make your life rock… all due to morning pages.

Caylee Grey

Caylee Grey is a South African artist in Germany. Creator of Get Messy, official fairy freaking artmother and your pro excuse-squashing ninja. Her life mission is to empower 10 000 amazing, real-life humans just like you into a regular creative practice.

Highlights + takeaways from the episode

In this episode, we talk about the absolute magic of morning pages from Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way.

Transcript

(this transcript is automagically generated and is sure to contain errors. It is provided here for your convenience. It’s also provided for your sense of humour as a machine tries to decipher South African English…)

1:04
This episode has a very clickbait-y title. It’s called Change Your Life with Morning Pages. And let me promise you something. It is 100% accurate. Morning pages will change your life. Morning pages are an incredible thing that I took from a meh book.

1:28
It is from the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Now I know that it’s controversial that I’m saying that it was average. I think that the things that I took from the book were incredible. I didn’t like the actual book completely. But yeah, don’t forget, I’m going to talk to you about morning pages, which will change your life.

The book was not necessarily my spiritual cup of tea cup of spiritual tea, but I did take something great from it. A few things great. One of it was clearly morning pages.

Yeah, the title of this podcast may sound extreme, but it is not. My adaptation of morning pages truly has changed my life. They can change your life too.

While Julia Cameron sees them as something spiritual, I really, really don’t. But I do agree with her on two things:

1. Morning pages are a farewell to life as you knew it and an introduction to life as it’s going to be.

and

2. They have nothing to do with creativity.

What they do have something to do with is clearing your mind. And the way I see morning pages is I see them as active meditation.

So if you’ve never done morning pages or never heard of them, they are three pages of longhand stream of conscious writing done first thing in the morning.

Julia Cameron says that there’s no wrong way to do them. They are not high art They are not even writing. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind and they are for your eyes, only.

Morning pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritise, and synchronise the day at hand. You’re not meant to overthink morning pages, you’re just meant to put three pages of anything on the page. And then do three more tomorrow.

If you want to know more about them and the original way that they were meant to, I highly recommend reading The Artist’s Way if you want to. If you’re not enjoying the book, like me, you can just read the morning pages bit and take it in. But most importantly, you should really really do morning pages. They, yeah, you got to incorporate them into your life and you got to incorporate them into your routine.

In this podcast episode, I’m going to talk about how I make morning pages work for me.

So morning pages have two requirements. They’re done in the morning, and they’re done on pages. Duh. So those are the requirements that I follow. As I mentioned beginning these are not spiritual for me it’s just a brain vomit. I guess it’s a little bit spiritual and that I feel a lot of afterwards but I don’t think that I feel closer to God, which is what Julia speaks about. Perhaps you would. My morning pages are also distinctly lacking creativity. I don’t even try to write neatly and there’s no pressure. I know people like Charlotte turns hers into art and I think that’s awesome. I can’t do that. on mine. I just scribble sometimes I scribble over them. Sometimes they look like to do lists. They always look different. But they are very necessary to my life.

So this is how my process looks. Once I’ve woken up in the morning I make a mug of coffee, a glass of water and I sit on my table outside if it’s cool otherwise, I sit in my bed, I’m not gonna lie. And I have two notebooks. I’ve got my daily planner and I’ve got my everything notebook. I use my really cheap easy writing favourite pen and my pretty handwriting.

5:32
I don’t check my cell phone I think that’s like one of the very like if you do nothing else, except that do that. And then I journal I just write I list things I write things I need to get done. I write what Dennis I’m planning people I want to catch up on I write lofty dreams are things that happened. Things I wish Gryphon would stop eating like the flies because he He doesn’t know the difference between flies and wasps and he, he will open his mouth for anything that flies. Julia, our home girl recommends forcing yourself to write three pages. I don’t do that. I just write until my mind is clear. This is tended to be to vomit pages. I call them my vomit pages. But after chatting with Karen Orban, she calls them brain spiration. Why did she call them she had a really good name for them. She called it hot storming. Isn’t that amazing? I guess I call it brain vomit. So you can choose which one you’d like. And after those two hot storming vomit pages, I usually have like one or two summary pages. Now the summary pages are something that Julia doesn’t mention, but I’ve found that it’s imperative for me. Once I’ve, once I’ve done name team, Armand, I quickly go through it and make a vomit to do list and the more things about words that I use, I just wish that I had started with Karen Evans words, the hot storming that has, yeah, brain vomit is like just stuck in my head now. But my vomit to do list is a long ass to do list with items that are not equal. Some of these things are gonna get done some will get done. Some are really not important. And I’ll talk about this another time but the that’s the next step to my morning pages. If I wrote about Griffin’s flight eating, I might remember that he’s almost finished his cable and on each bubble, if I wrote about grand dreams are at one thing I can do right now to become closer to the dream. And since I tend to think into do this, it’s just the way my brain works. I find even more things that my brain has stored away that didn’t come out in the journaling. Then after this Varma to do list I list three things that I want to focus on and make them MIT’s for the day. I think MIT’s came from Leo about and they are just three things, the most important tasks for the day. I love this. I love the number three, I find that I work well in threes. And three things I can get three things done in a day. So that’s my process. Let’s talk about how to make morning pages work for you. You need to do it first thing in the morning, I don’t want don’t check email before don’t check your phone. don’t connect to the outside world. This is about you. This is in this is your head going on to the page. that analogy, oh man, but this is this is your truth and your real feelings. You don’t want to have it influenced by anything outside. You can let your family know and your partner, your children. Anyone that needs to know that The morning is your quiet time. If you need to wake up a little bit earlier, then you got to do that. Sorry, I promise it’s worth it. If your mind is constantly worrying about the fact that you are not talking to other people, you can leave your phone on silent except for an emergency number. And yeah, if your life’s too busy in the morning, wake up half an hour earlier, what 30 minutes gonna do nothing promise you you can wake up 30 minutes earlier. You don’t have excuses unless you’re humpers a type of person who wakes up at four. Maybe waking up at 330 is not good, but other than that, wake up half an hour earlier. Tip number two on how to make money pages work for you is to find a spot. I’ve got a spot I’ve got two spots depending on the weather. There. Yeah, you can stay in bed. It always makes me sleepy but you know cold. They get away from distractions. My outside patio is my chill place and find your chill place. Number three go analogue. You have to do this on actual paper with an actual pin. Lately, I have been using my iPad and my iPad pin, a pin. I don’t know these Apple terms. And I always thought that I was a tangible goal. But yeah, no, that works. The pen and the pen works super well. But don’t be distracted and don’t go into other applications. If you’re going to do this.

10:34
You need to be disciplined. Okay.

10:38
Tip number four is just to write just right. Just right in the beginning, it can feel awkward and it can feel like you might be a little bit embarrassed of what you’re writing down. Just push through that this really doesn’t matter. If you’re writing badly. It doesn’t matter what subject you’re talking about. Don’t worry about your handwriting. Don’t worry about anything if you want to make it easy on yourself, you can like, aim to make your handwriting bad. This helps me a lot like if I do scribble handwriting. And just remember that these pages are for you. This isn’t a blog. This is not an art journal you’re going to put on Instagram. They’re not a journal that you’re going to leave your children. Just format the thoughts inside of your head onto the paper with your pin. Head Okay, this is curse but you know how you feel so much better off to having a vomit even though the actual volume is not that great? Yeah, this is what happens here. It you feel much better afterwards. He feel clear. Your brain feels clear. Normal format inside of you, man. Okay, another tip. The last tip is to have an assigned journal. So this helped me a lot because yeah perfectionism rod, I want you to choose like a really crappy journal that you have lying around that you bought long ago with lofty dreams to use when you use that. And because morning pages are super general you can use your journal for other everything to everything to but don’t pressurise yourself into trying to make this an art channel. Don’t Don’t try and keep it looking pretty. This is meant to be ugly. This is mean to have ugly handwriting, make that your aim and then you put pressure in your perfectionism goes out the door. This is a journal for getting rid of the gunk so you can focus on your creativity and make it better. Right so those are my tips and he has the next step for you. Depending on how you’re going to be using your morning pages, they might be different things on some days but morning pages up here journaling, pure journaling Journey karate nonsense. And today’s morning pages are less with things I need to do should do want to do, no matter what they are always, always fear clear minded afterwards. Before I had morning pages, I thought that the inability to feel clear minded was just a grown up thing. It’s not it’s not I’m telling you now you can slip. You can feel fear minded, much scarier than my voice right now. But you can, you can have a head that is a brain like thoughts that are only focused on what you need to focus on and on absolutely everything. That’s what morning page is going to do do for you. And if you’re listening to this, if you want to do it and you think, man, I don’t know this is worth it. I don’t know if I can do it. Try it for a week. Make yourself a sign to make it The focus of a science experiment and just try it for a week. Do it every single day for seven days, including weekends. see where it leads you. Make it your own. promise you if you do for those seven days, you’re gonna want to do it for another seven days you’re going to want to do it forever. For but, yeah, I feel like it’s just a part of my life now. It’s not even a thing anymore. It’s like, it’s like brushing my teeth. It’s like, I don’t you know, it’s it’s core to who I am. It’s and and if I go a few days without doing it, I can feel it immediately. My brain is busier, my anxiety is higher. My depression comes creeping back in. My creativity is not as good my that’s what I’m producing is not as good. Everything starts with morning pages. And the other reason it’s done in the morning is because how you start your day is how you live your life. I really believe this. I am a not all but I am reformed, not all because I know that I bet in the mornings and when I prioritise my mental well being my creativity when I prioritise

15:22
being a better person, I am a better person. Like, like, thinking about that, it’s kind of obvious, but I want you to, I want you to do morning pages, I want you to try it if you do it for the seven days and you still not feeling anything, just do it until the end of the month. I mean, it’s rotting nonsense. It’s not like difficult or anything. It’s just a commitment. And see what happens and have a look at your creativity before and after and have a tangible look at your brain and your, I don’t know, ask you ask the people around you. If you’re a bit of a promise you they’re gonna tell you you are I’m going to tell you you are

16:00
Go do morning pages. I love your face. I’m excited to see you be creative. 

Your podcast host, Caylee Grey

I’m Caylee Grey. Creator of Get Messy, official fairy freaking artmother and your pro excuse-squashing ninja.

In the Get Messy podcast I’ll be chatting to a selection of amazing, real-life humans just like you are who are dealing with the very same barriers … but overcoming them to create their art.

Together, we’ll explore what it REALLY means to be an artist. Practically. Warts and all. So that you can be an artist, today, now, even if you work a day job, have a million and one commitments and own a cat that likes sitting on your art.

No more excuses. Okay? Okay.

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