30 Days Of Morning Pages: Introduction

I’ve been feeling all the feels the past several days. From anxiety to sadness to fear to nausea to nervousness, I’ve seen it all. There has been a three-day music festival, my fiance’s birthday party, planning our rehearsal dinner, helping with our engagement party, a big doctor’s appointment, an episode of my Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome, and--oh yeah--work (one week until Fall semester starts; I’m not panicking, you’re panicking). It’s been a lot.

 
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And, I’m trying to use my practices in the moment. I’m breathing, doing physical activity, sharing with friends, talking about my fears, being kind to myself, using positive self-talk, saying no when I need to. And, it’s still a lot. It’s time to get real about where my baseline has been at. As I’ve been taking on more and more responsibilities (by choice, things I want to do), I’ve been letting my baseline slide. I’m making time for yoga with friends and walking the dog and listening to motivating podcasts all while ignoring the fact that I need to take some time to slow down and process all of the major shifts I’ve been making lately.

 

So, it’s high time I create some space for stillness, slowness, and reflection. And, because I can’t always be trusted to hold myself accountable (and because I love challenges, even if I don’t always finish them), I’m letting you and this blog hold me accountable.

 

This blog, for the next 4 weeks (after this week) will be dedicated to writing about Morning Pages and journaling. If you’re like, Hold up, Neely, what exactly are Morning Pages? Don’t worry. I’m about to explain it.

 

Author Julia Cameron introduced the practice Morning Pages in her book “The Artist’s Way.” On her website, she says “Morning Pages are 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 that crosses your mind--and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke clarity, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page...and then do three more pages tomorrow.”

 

So, that’s the deal. I’m committing to three pages of free-flow writing each morning for the next 30 days, starting today--Wednesday, August 15. I’m going to put a little intention behind my Morning Pages rather than just writing about anything that comes up.

 

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, especially on Instagram Stories, you know that I’ve had some serious health issues that have been wreaking havoc on my life for the past year or so. I’ve been really digging my heels into these issues and so have been at many doctor’s visits. I’ve been asking to keep a food diary, an anxiety diary, a depression diary, a stress diary--basically to keep track of anything and everything that goes on throughout the day to see if it could be related to my health issues.

 

And, I do it for a few days, and then I get sick of it. Or, I do it for a few days, and then I’m feeling better, so I don’t think I need to do it. Or, I do it for a few days, and then I think, This is bullshit. I should have to do this. And, I retaliate against doing it out of anger and to make a statement to...myself? I haven’t been a willing participant.

 

It’s just not happening for me, so this is my attempt to make the practice a little more fluid and a little less rigid. My intention is to write down how I’m feeling, where my anxiety, stress, and depression are at in the moment each more, and to reflect on how I’m feeling health-wise (both mental and physical) in general. There are no hard and fast rules here, and if nothing is coming up in the health realm that day, I won’t write about it. I won’t punish myself for what I say or don’t say. I’m just going to let it flow.

 

Now, I’m not going to reveal everything I write on these pages because, Duh, privacy. But, I am going to give you a taste of what’s coming up for me, what issues seems to bubble to the surface more often than not, and talk about the practice of journaling every day and what that experience is doing for me.

 

And, I’m gonna challenge you to do the same. Do this with me. Be my accountability buddy. I’ll be sharing regularly on Instagram Stories, so if you’re not following me over there, head on over and do that to stay up-to-date on all things #30daysofmorningpages.

 

Let’s do this.

 

(I’m a little nervous.)

 

Are you ready to take the challenge? Let me know in the comments below. 

 

Do you have an accountability for your health and wellness practices? If you don't have someone, don't worry! I want you to join MY internet tribe over on Facebook. We're here to support you and be your cheerleader. 

 

I wanted to take some of the guesswork out of finding mental health strategies that work. That’s why I created The Mental Health Toolbox. It’s a collection of my best tips and techniques on how to manage depression + anxiety. It’s coming out soon, but to tide you over, I’m giving away 4 of my best tips for FREE.