Morning Pages;Soul Food for the Mind

7:30:00 AM

Declutters the Mind, Heals the Soul

I dedicate this post to Chris Salisbury…I have been on many decks after that first one, thank you for setting this in motion and to Amani Institute for this journey.

I have been journaling since my teens and when I got raped, journaling really helped me...I have said this before but everytime i opened a new page, it felt like a new lease of life had been handed over to me, I am currently using journaling as one of the tools in my depression free December journey. Last week I asked how people view journaling and love these responses;

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In this blog post, I would like to introduce a 2.0 version of journaling I recently embraced called the Morning Pages (introduced to the world by artist Julia Cameron) but before I introduce you to it, I would like to introduce Chris.

My mind has been writing about Chris for some time now…my fingers just caught up.

I met Chris a little over four months ago in Naivasha through the Amani Institute SIM program.

He was our facilitator for the first course on Bio-Empathy. An interesting old-ish guy who loved to sing things I couldn’t understand.

I was not sure I was ever going to write about Chris, not because he wasn’t worth writing about but because to write about Chris is to recreate a dramatization and I often asked myself, how does one write a mime for someone fit to be described by words, by a melody, by a drum beat?  I still haven’t found the words to the songs or a drum beat that spells his essence, but my mind still reflects on his lessons and practices the art.

The morning pages; an art that Chris introduced us to and I have been using ever since.

The way it works; before throwing yourself into the hands of your day, sit down and write three pages of anything - how you slept or woke up, what you would like to eat later, which hair style you will be wearing in 2016, those candle sticks you’d like to get (this is one of my entries) simply let your mind wonder and record it all in three pages using long hand…you can keep or throw away the papers…the art is in the offloading.


First ever Morning Pages attempt
I remember that chilly morning when Chris asked us to sit by ourselves for 3 hours; 1,2,3 hours before breakfast, from I think 6a or 6.30a, looking at the lake and write what comes to mind. My mind went all over the place but after some time it began to let me in, it let me in on what hurts, what excites, how it would like to be handled…I didn’t notice that 3 hours were done…it was very therapeutic.

That morning, I wrote about some things I would like to let go off and within 3 days, I began the process of letting go of one of the things on my list; worry by moving forth and stepping on the deck.                          


As we were winding down our time in Naivasha, we had to say what our way forward is and I said I’d like to get on many more decks. 4 months down the line…I am so excited I have done a large chunk of the work. I am very much aware that there are many other things that attributed to moving me from where I was that morning to where I am, to who I have become, but they would have no place to sit, if I didn’t highlight what needed to be worked on that morning in Naivasha…if Chris had not pushed us that morning.

For anyone thinking of trying this out, when you begin this practice, you will definitely wonder what in God’s green earth will you write in 3 pages (its 3 pages, not 3 hours – we did the Chris special) but as you begin to write, you declutter to a point you will start getting clarity on some things and your worry will be why is this thing 3 pages and not more. Through the morning pages practice over the months, I once wrote…I will not be depressed this December. As I gave my speech after my project was voted as the best one in our cohort during the close of the immersion phase, I said…I do not worry anymore, I care…and I am glad this December, I am not worried to the point of worry running my holidays as it has in the past, but I am caring enough about myself and using all these tools to make sure I am present to enjoy this deck as I scout for the next one.

(SIDE NOTE: I recommend this article on Morning Pages - These 3 Pages Might be Your Key to a Clearer Mind, Better Ideas and Less Anxiety by Chris Winfield (a different Chris) on his experience with this art…what he felt when he heard about doing 3 pages a day to the benefits of doing it and some tips on how to do it)

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