Self Expression

By Pam Boyer

It is vitally important to our well-being that we continue to express ourselves no matter the stage of life we find ourselves. Julia Cameron wrote numerous books on the subject such as The Artist’s Way and It’s Never Too Late. I love what she said about it: “Self-expression is something that does not—and should not—ever stop. Each of us is creative. Each of us has something unique to bring to the world.”

What tends to happen, though, is we allow life to get in the way. While we are building our careers, raising our families and taking care of loved ones, we sometimes completely lose that part of ourselves.

There is good news here! You can always get it back. Never forget that it is never too late. Read that sentence again.

The easiest way to begin expressing yourself is by journaling at the beginning of your day. Julia Cameron dubbed the activity: “Morning Pages.”

What exactly are Morning Pages?

Morning Pages are what you do first thing in the morning. It’s stream-of-consciousness writing and it’s not to be shared with anyone else. It can be rants, raves and whines. Although, you will be covering many topics and themes. The bottom line is: you need to express yourself—this means you write about what’s happening and how you feel about it.

We’ve used this saying before, which we read in Julia’s Never Too Late book, but it really does make the point we are trying to make.

There's a joke, that goes like this ...

Question: Do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to play the piano?

Answer: The same age you'll be if you don't.

What we love about this practice is that it really does give you a snapshot of where you are at the moment. Julia Cameron this about Morning Pages: “Think of them as a tiny whisk broom that dislodges dust from every corner of your life.”

Now many of you will feel resistance to this idea. All that can be said about that is: “Keep writing! Just do it.”

We think you will find the activity very helpful. It’s a way to get you completely present, while allowing the flow of ideas, creativity and inspiration. It also helps you process challenges. There’s another benefit. As we keep doing this, we tend to start being more truthful with ourselves. We gain new perspectives, which can lead to expansion and healing.

Below are more instructions to help you get the most out of this activity.

1. Start writing while you are just waking up. When you are in this state of awareness, you tend to be in an alpha brain wave state, which will open you up even more to creativity. Amazing epiphanies can come through during this process. Emotional healing too.

2. The subject? The subject is anything you want to write about. Nothing is off limits.

3. Write long-hand. No computers or other devices, please. Use standard size paper (you know, 8.5 by 11 inches). It can be a notebook or single sheets. Does not have to be anything fancy at all.

4. Do not share what you write with anyone.

If you have never done anything like this before, don’t over think it. Get out a piece of paper and a pen or pencil and simply start writing what comes to your mind. This practice is life changing.