This is a book written by Julia Cameron. I first read about this book all over social media, folks talking about morning pages and how this process changed their life. Of course, I had to get on Amazon and order it immediately. I am embarking on this journey in the hopes, not for some miraculous healing but really to find out what limits my belief in myself, skill, and abilities. What are my fears? What is holding me back from not just accomplishing things, but even the simple recognition of my hopes and dreams. What things do I want to accomplish? I am hoping that as I trudge through these 12 weeks that I will be able to find out and share some insights about myself, so you will all discover this just as I do. This is interesting considering these are not even things I am willing or ready to share with my family, but I can share here, with strangers. Funny how life works and where this crazy path leads. Should your interest be peaked you can purchase the book here or search your local library.
The first readings were an introduction to the two most vital tools on this journey
Morning Pages and Artist Dates.
Morning pages are key to finding out what is holding you back. It is a process Cameron herself has been doing for over a decade. Morning Pages are simply three pages of longhand writing about whatever is on your mind. Sometimes these are ramblings, “I need to do laundry”. “I have nothing to say”, etc. This is fine since one of its main purposes is a brain dump. In this way, the process works for everyone, even non-writers. You simply write the pages and never let anyone, even yourself read them. It is the things that will come out on these pages that is blocking you.
In writing these pages, Cameron warns that your “Censor” will come out. The Censor is the negative thoughts, “You call that writing.” “If you haven’t done it yet, you never will.” Remember the Censor is just an opinion and does not speak the truth. So when you get straight out of bed and get pen to paper you are able to leave all of that negativity on the paper rather than carrying it with you throughout the day. Cameron even suggests finding an image that fits your view of the censor and draw or paste it into your notebook with an X through it. This process helps to release some of the power the Censor holds over you. You are putting all of your hopes and dissatisfaction out to the universe and that leaves you wondering, how does it all come back to you? Cameron also, provides the answer, “The Artist Date”.
The universe returns all you put out there on your morning pages in the form of insight, inspiration, and guidance or answers if you will. Artist date is simply, dating yourself. Two hours a week you spent on you. No children, spouses, pets, or friends allowed. Remember the Censor. It will show in the form of negativity about taking this time, you don’t have time, it’s stupid, etc. The more negativity that rears its ugly head, the more your inner self is telling you it needs this tool. The tool provides the pampering and a safe space for your inner self to open up because it will be listened to. These dates can be as simple as going to the store and buying yourself some fancy stickers for your journal, a ride out to the beach at sunrise, or cooking a new meal. I have also heard others will simply spend time surfing online stores and count this as an artist date as well.
Cameron also requires those attending her workshops to sign a creativity contract. This serves as a commitment to the work and a gift to yourself. Committing to this process deserves a small ceremony which includes buying a notebook, planning your dates, or getting a sitter in advance. Let nothing hold you back from reaching the finish line at end of this path. A sample contract can be found here. You can amend it, but be sure to sign and date it. This will be available for you to come back should you need some encouragement. I hope you will follow my journey here and play along should you be so inclined.
“A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity”