Guest Post: It’s Between the Page and I, 6 Things I Learned Over 10 Days of Morning Pages

While I'm on retreat, I've got a variety of guest posts for you.  Today, please welcome Resham Khiani, as she writes about morning pages.

It's Between the Page and I, 6 Things I Learned Over 10 Days of Morning Pages

by Resham Khiani

It's 8:00am on Saturday morning.

Another long, hard week in London has come to an end and I'm looking forward to a cosy lie in…. until the challenge I've set myself bursts my bubble.

For 10 days straight, I will be doing my Morning Pages Exercises. For those of you who are new to hearing it for the first time, they are an exercise devised by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way. The concept is basic: write three long hand pages, non-stop once you wake up in the morning. It doesn't matter what you write, just write…. even if it's line after line of "I don't know what to write,"  your subconscious mind will kick in and messages will appear.

Bleary eyed, I made my way to the kitchen, prepared a green tea and grudgingly sat at my desk. "I'm too tired to write" – the voice of sabotage has arrived. I gently say to shut up or I will smack it (I know, I know, it's weird, how on earth can anyone smack their conscious mind?!). A sip of green tea and my hand begins to glide, almost insanely, within seconds. Scribbling messily, sloppily, uncontrollably I see I'm just whinging and moaning about all the things in my life. I'm fed up, tired, can't be bothered and don't want to take responsibility of my life.

But then, I feel an urgent message coming along, something profound, almost spiritual. I'm alert. I'm ready: "Do you remember what it was like to fall in love?" Before I answer this message, my subconscious begins misbehaving and complaining how annyoing my flatmate has become. It begins hatching a plan all by itself, with me, merely being an onlooker with no say. All I know is, the retalation is quite harsh. And then I hear: "muhahahahaha." Note to reader: writing down the evil laugh diminishes it's effect.

Each day, of course, was a battlefield with the mind. Getting up on time to actually do the exercise was a challenge; however, I remained disciplined throughout. Looking back at my pages, I could see myself swinging from exhilarating happiness, to downright depression, to simmering, passionate feelings and finally spiritual, optimistic statements. The Morning Pages revealed so many messages in a short space of time. And they were:

1) I write a lot about sex, so much so, I make myself blush after I finish reading it! (I blame the Mills & Boon romance books I read on a regular basis, whereas Sigmund Freud will blame me for suppressing my natural instincts).

2) I goad myself to set up my own business, based on NLP and helping woman change their beauty beliefs.

3) I have a depressive and philosophical streak in me enough to put Milan Kundera (author of The Incredible Lightness of Being) to shame.

4) Apart from being depressive, at the base of it, I'm optimistic, and realise I have the power to direct my thoughts.

5) I question myself too much: I live too much in the future or past,without fully being present.

6) I am a diva.

Putting ink on paper, coupled with honesty is a revelation to oneself. Morning Pages have switched on my intuition, my creativity, my belief of trusting myself. I realised I had fallen out of love with my life and my creativity – hence the reason why I got such a message. As a result of being persistent with the exercises, I no longer walk around with a feeling of frustration or anger because I've dealt with it on paper. I'm free from negative emotions and drama. Funnily enough, my life has become simpler, more fun, opportunities are flowing, inspiration is soaring. I'm writing a lot more, I've got a few romantic dates lined up and certainly feel life is on my side. Perhaps getting up on the first morning really was the beginning of a new life……



Resham Khiani (on the left in the photo) is the founder of InnerBellissima blog, devoted to helping
woman change their beauty beliefs. She writes regularly on her blog.

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13 Responses to Guest Post: It’s Between the Page and I, 6 Things I Learned Over 10 Days of Morning Pages

  1. J.D. 05/04/2012 at 04:59 #

    Mils & Boon? Where can I can get those, please?

  2. Charlotte Dixon 05/04/2012 at 07:46 #

    You’re a funny, funny man, J.D.

  3. Zan Marie 05/04/2012 at 08:57 #

    I know what you mean about morning pages. I’ve only been doing them for 8 days and I’m already blown away. This morning’s gem was: A work ethic imbibed from childhood can become a negative when it makes you rush through writing without pausing to craft well just to check a task off a to-do list.

    Good luck to us both. ; )

  4. Charlotte Dixon 05/04/2012 at 09:12 #

    Guys, I've just recently gone back to morning pages myself.  I did them regularly for something like 10 years, now I go through spurts.  But the times when I'm doing them, my days go better than when I'm not.  Zan Marie, I'm so pleased that you're doing the Artist's Way.  I can tell it is really working for you.

  5. Zan Marie 05/04/2012 at 11:54 #

    Thank, Charlotte. I’m amazed that the insights so far.

  6. Zan Marie 05/04/2012 at 11:56 #

    Ha! Make that *thanks* ; )

  7. Charlotte Dixon 05/04/2012 at 12:40 #

    It'll just keep getting better and better.

  8. Liz Carroll 05/06/2012 at 06:35 #

    Have just found myself on this website. Haven’t done Morning Pages for such a long time or any journalling for that matter and am really suffering. Does anybody know whether there is a difference in journalling longhand or doing it on the laptop?? By difference, I mean more beneficial…. I am sure the day will come if it hasn’t already when people will stop taking pen to paper altogether and that will be a very sad day!! :(

  9. Charlotte Dixon 05/06/2012 at 08:00 #

    Hi Liz, glad you found your way here.  I do recall in the Artist's Way that Julia Cameron advises writing by hand, the idea being it is a more direct connection to the brain.  However, I say do whatever works.  I went through a phase of writing morning pages on my computer and it was fine.  I do prefer writing longhand, but its a matter of individual preference.  Don't let that hold you back.

  10. Liz 05/06/2012 at 13:51 #

    Hi Charlotte, thanks for your prompt response. What are your views on journalling in relation to depression….?

  11. Charlotte Dixon 05/07/2012 at 07:06 #

    Liz, I always say that I don’t know how people who don’t journal make it through. My journal is my own personal therapist and it handles all my emotions with ease. I believe journaling could be extremely helpful with depression, though I’ve not struggled with it myself.

  12. Joy 05/10/2012 at 05:22 #

    I *love* the practice of morning pages and have been writing them for years. However, sometimes I become lax and put them off until later in the day or choose to skip them. On those days I realize the importance of consistency and how valuable ridding the “surface gunk” is at then enabling this surge of creative expression. Morning pages allow me to access clarity and peace and I love what I learn through them :)

  13. Charlotte Dixon 05/10/2012 at 07:26 #

    Joy, funny you should write this today.  When I woke this morning, I was really tempted not to write morning pages.  I told myself I didn't have anything interesting to write (which is not the point anyway).  But I sat down and did them and came up with all kinds of ideas!  I agree, morning pages really do make life go better.
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    Guest Post: It’s Between the Page and I, 6 Things I Learned Over 10 Days of Morning Pages – Charlotte Rains Dixon

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