I have always been a fan of journaling and thus, I have experimented with many different formats throughout the last few years.
If you follow me on social media or if you’re a part of my subscriber list, you’ll likely remember that I previously shared my experience of working to balance my ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ energies over the last few months- and how I was quite imbalanced with a dominant masculine energy prior to this.
In fact, for most of 2020 (and even the years before), I was often in ‘forced hustle’ mode- working hard, pushing myself and multitasking. And although ‘hustle’ itself isn’t a bad energy, a ‘forced hustle’ (where you are forcing things to get done when they don’t feel good or flow easily) is not a good energy to be in.
During this time, I found myself connecting very strongly with guided journaling- which now looking back, makes sense! During this time I relied heavily on structure and organization. I liked things to be neat and tidy- and my journaling was no exception.
I connected deeply to answering questions that were laid out for me, and tracking things like my meals, workouts and water intake. This type of journaling felt good and was just the level of organization and structure I needed at that time.
However, as 2020 came to a close and it became abundantly clear that I needed to make some energetic shifts to avoid burnout and come back into balance- I decided to experiment in multiple areas of my life, including my journaling.
Moving from the masculine (yang) energy to more of a feminine (yin) energy, meant that I was in need of less structure and more freedom. Something that would encourage flow and release and expansion.
I stumbled across the idea of morning pages when I was listening to one of my favourite podcasts- and the idea just stuck. And so, I made a conscious effort to incorporate it every day for seven days.
Curious about what I experienced? Read on to find out just how much it changed my life and why, 3 months later, it’s still a daily practice of mine:
What are ‘morning pages’?
Simply put, morning pages are three full pages of writing that you do first thing in the morning to empty your mind of all the ‘junk’ or ‘clutter’ that gets built up, and start your day on a fresh note.
A ‘stream of consciousness’ as some like to put it.
Morning pages are best done by hand, using the good ole’ method of pen to paper. Personally, I just grabbed a pack of blank notebooks from Costco, and utilized them.
What you want to do is sit down in a quiet space, with a hot beverage of your choice, and allow your mind to go wherever it needs to as your hand writes it all down.
You could record your dreams, work through a challenge you are facing, vent your problems, list out your tasks for the day, discuss any emotions or feelings that are coming to the surface, write out your list of gratitude- whatever comes to mind.
The best part? Morning pages are NOT meant to be read ever again.
That’s right. So that means that you don’t have to worry about grammar, punctuation, whether it is legible, or heck- if it even makes sense!
My morning pages honestly couldn’t even be read if someone wanted to, because instead of being slow and taking my time, I get into a flow state where my hand just keeps writing until my mind is blank and everything that was crowding my thoughts has been released.
Journaling in this way is very unstructured and freeing- but at first, it can feel a bit awkward.
The trick with this is to remind yourself that there is no right or wrong way to do morning pages, and sometimes, it even helps to write nonsense on the pages until you get used to it.
To be honest, my first few days had a lot of ‘blah, blah, blah’ written down, until something came to mind for me to actually write.
So, why should you incorporate them?
As with all styles of journaling, there are LOADS of benefits that you can experience in just a short amount of time of utilizing this technique.
As I stated above and in the title, my goal when I first started with this was to just incorporate it for one week and then see how I felt or if anything changed. By the time the seventh day rolled around- I was in complete bliss with my new routine and decided to keep going.
Three months later, and here I am, still doing it every single morning!
But before I jump into the benefits that I have personally seen with this, I wanted to share with you the listed benefits that this style of journaling has as it’s ‘claim to fame’.
The top reasons why you should consider starting morning pages are:
- They enable you to clear your mind
- They allow you to process emotion
- They increase your levels of creativity
- They silence your inner critic/bully
- They increase your levels of productivity and focus
- They make you less anxious
- They help to center you
- They help you come up with new, fresh ideas
A pretty incredible list isn’t it? I thought so too- which was what originally lead me to diving in and trying this activity myself. And personally, here’s what I experienced in just a week:
- I came up with a brand new direction and name for my business, transitioning from ‘The Happiness Project’ to ‘The Holistic RN’
- I worked through some challenges that ultimately seemed way bigger than they were and came up with concrete solutions for them
- They helped me realize that certain people and opportunities weren’t right for me, and helped me find the courage to release them from my life
- They showed me what was truly important in my life and where my priorities are
- They radically increased my creativity and inspiration, allowing me to create endless streams of content and ideas
- I started each day with passion and purpose, felt immense clarity and as if a ‘fog’ had been lifted from my mind
- My levels of productivity sky rocked, and what I was originally spending a week doing, I was able to get done much faster (and BETTER)
- They helped me release my anxiety and stress, slow my overactive mind and find the ‘calm’ among the storm
- I was able to effectively balance my masculine and feminine energies- moving from ‘hustle’ into divine flow in every area of my life (which feels SO good)
And SO MUCH MORE!
In all honesty, starting morning pages has been life transforming for me- and I am so grateful that I decided to do it and commit to it.
I recognize that they might not serve me for the rest of my life, and should I choose to change up my style of journaling in the future that will be okay. But for right now, I know that this activity is working (and working incredibly well I might add), so I plan to stick with it and encourage you to also give it a shot.
You might just end up loving it!
How to get started:
The process of getting started with morning pages is easy- so easy in fact, that you can start it tomorrow with ease.
All you need is paper and a pen (or a notebook, if you prefer).
Simply plan to start, and commit to doing so for just ONE week to see how you feel. My guess is that you will end up continuing past the first week after you see all of the benefits in your own life.
It’s a good idea to place your pen and paper in a spot where you will see it first thing. My notebook sits on my living room side table, as my morning routine involves me making a pot of tea and then parking it on the couch to complete my pages in silence.
You can make this practice entirely your own by having it include whatever you’d like to do though. The idea is that first thing in the morning you will open your eyes, get seated in your spot with your pen, and start writing.
You’ll want to avoid your phone in the morning (as well as any other devices)- and if you often have kids or someone else awake at the same time as you, it might be a good idea to get up 30 minutes earlier so that you have no distractions to do this.
Start by just writing whatever thoughts come to your mind- anything and everything you are thinking, write it down!
Remember that it doesn’t matter what you’re writing, what it looks like, how it flows or if it even makes sense! Because ultimately, it isn’t even writing and it won’t ever be read again by you or anyone else.
As hard as it might be to get through the first few days- push forward and write all three pages. Even if you have to write ‘blah, blah, blah’ like I did until something comes to mind.
Once you are a few days in, it will get easier and you will get faster at doing them. But the important thing is to stay committed to both the page length and doing it as a daily practice- otherwise you won’t see the benefit.
And once you’re done, what you do with your pages is up to you.
You could shred them, throw them out, burn them- whatever you want! Personally, I use a notebook so I don’t do anything with them until my notebook is full, and then I just toss the whole thing out into the garbage.
Finally, remember once again that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do morning pages really- and whatever you end up doing will be right for you.
I hope this helps inspire you to try something new and incorporate morning pages into your routine.
Best of luck babe- I can’t wait to hear what you experience!