I was sitting this morning, pondering the week ahead and trying to summon up some positivity. This Monday morning in Melbourne does feel harder than usual, doesn't it. I have been drawn to share a book that I have had for many years, and if I'm honest I have never had the patience to finish.
Perhaps you, like me, have a copy of 'The Artist’s Way'? I was listening to Russell Brand’s podcast over the weekend and came upon an interview he did with the author, Julia Cameron. She was talking about her ‘Morning Pages’ and the tools in the book that were aimed at unlocking creativity and how they can now be used to give us a sense of optimism, a sense of adventure and help us fight the claustrophobia that many of us may be feeling.
In The Artist’s Way there are two basic tools
Three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages. They are about anything and everything - and they are not to be shared with anyone. Yes, they must be done by hand. Yes, they must be done in the morning. If we do “evening pages”, we are reflecting on the day that we have already had, and are powerless to change. Morning pages empower us and give us clarity, helping us to find tiny choice points in the day ahead.
Right now, with our enforced solitude, many of us find ourselves becoming more introspective. Morning pages channel that introspection. Many of us are asking ourselves, “Who Am I” without my office, my social life, my travel schedule? I find this tool particularly helpful to get my head in the right gear at the beginning of the day and find it sets the day off with clarity and purpose, rather than in a tailspin of negative news.
The Artist’s Date
In normal times Artist Dates are small adventures pursued solo outside the house. In the times we are now living in we can still pursue small adventures, but within our homes. Listening to music that you don’t usually listen to, trying a new podcast, discovering great audio books for your daily walk, vision boards on the refrigerator, learning to knit or baking cakes.
Everyone is creative, whether we call ourselves “artists” or not. What better way could there be than to spend this time leaning into or discovering our creativity? Perhaps discovering hidden parts of ourselves that we haven’t allowed to come into existence. Maybe you always wanted to write a book, but thought that was for other people, not you, or that inner rockstar is yearning to break loose, but you have held them in and now you are in your 50s.... What would you want to try if you didn't care what anyone else thought or if you didn't have to do it perfectly? It just popped into your head, admit it! :) Another great technique from the book that always cheers me is writing the List of 25 Things I Love. How can you not feel more positive if you are thinking of these things? Here are mine that I wrote this morning…I wonder what you would have on your list? If you are interested to have a read of The Artist's Way here is a link on Goodreads
25 Things I Love
Raspberry Jam on Toast
Clean sheets when you get into bed
A hand-knitted scarf
A beautiful sunset
Breathing in sea air (I am lucky enough live about 1km from the beach)
Melbourne coffee (that's why I still live here)
Our new bright red Smeg kettle
Raspberry and White chocolate blondies I made this weekend (recipe)
Roast potatoes (my death row last meal)
Text messages from my kids
Rhubarb & Ginger Gin
An amazing guitar solo (inner rockstar)
A painting sale (someone has chosen it for their home, means so much)
The way the light falls that sends you back in time
Anything handmade with love
My fav Spotify playlist
A new episode of your fav podcast
British crime or period dramas
Yes, they were worth it! :) You know you want the recipe
As always I hope you all take care and stay safe.
Sending out love x