I’ve heard of stream of consciousness writing, it’s been suggested in various books and lectures over the years. I subtly ignored all the positives I read, thinking that adding another routine to my morning was sheer crazy-talk. Especially in my latest phase of sleep advocacy; I love nothing more than sleeping in guiltlessly these days.
Neal Donald Walsh calls it Conversations With God. Julia Cameron, in The Artist’s Way, refers to them as morning pages. Janet Conner calls it Writing Down Your Soul.
No matter what you call it, they all seem to agree that you’ll be a changed person by beginning such a diligent practice.
The recommendation is three pages, or 10-15 minutes, for at least 30 days.
No editing, no over-thinking, just fast writing and whatever comes to mind. Questions are encouraged, although that of the yes/no nature should be avoided, just don’t be afraid if answers to those questions somehow appear on the page.
Some refer to those answers as being that of the voice of God, Universe, source energy, angels, our highest self, intuition, subconscious, all of the above.
Remember, our subconcious mind (automatic pilot) as Bruce Lipton describes in The Biology of Belief can take in approx. 20,000,000 bits of information per second whereas our conscious mind (thinking mind) can process a mere 40, give or take. So perhaps the pages simply provide a direct download from the powerhouse computer subconscious mind.
Writing, as opposed to other art forms of expression, proves to be the most therapeutic according to studies. It bridges the gap between the left/logic/thinking brain to the right feeling/emotions brain.
We often spend days, weeks, months and for some of us years trying to think our way out of problems. Yet, as Mr. Einstein put it: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
According to Conner, in Writing Down Your Soul, she found activating the Voice as being just the answer to tapping into a different level of thinking/communicating, a place where her problems could not only be justly heard, but ultimately solved.
Elizabeth Gilbert described an ongoing conversation journaling to God in Eat, Pray, Love. Through her hand, and her pen, God had assured her she was not alone.
There is something so perfectly uncensored about stream of conscious journaling. In a culture where we criticize our own deepest thoughts, God forbid tell a friend or even a shrink, morning pages might be a terrific way to completely unload. No edit. No shame.
All you need is a notebook, nothing fancy, a pen that won’t piss you off mid-page, some quiet time, a decent enough space, perhaps a candle or incense for mood, and go!
At the top of the page, start with the date and your intention. Writing quickly, throwing all neatness and order out the window, is suggested.
When asking questions begins to feel comfortable, do so without expectations. Just continue to allow whatever comes forth. All questions should be directed about you, not others. For instance, “Why won’t he stop doing this to me?” is not nearly as effective as “What am I doing to perpetuate the situation?”
Today was day 1 of 30+ for me, and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow morning. I even bought a new black marble notebook this afternoon at the corner store for $ 0.99, which had me smiling all the way down the block.
I’m not quite ready to share bits of my pages just yet, as I’ve still got the training wheels on. But let’s just say, I can already attest to power in the practice.
I leave you with this: Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier, and give it a go. Seven days to start. You’ll know by then if it’s working for you or not. Can you commit to 30? Should you commit to 30? Dare you;)