To the woman who has lost her spark. To the woman whose get up and go, has well and truly gone. This is for you.TO THE WOMAN WHO IS SLOWLY FADING AWAY… — Sunshiny SA Site
“Did you right today?”
“Then you’re a writer today.” Julia Cameron ~ The Right to Write
In a recent staff meeting with the Zen Habits Team, it was suggested for each of us to go through one of Leo’s courses like a student would. I chose his ‘Beautiful Mornings’ course. I love waking up early and seeing the first light of day, but to do that and feel rested, I needed to reel in my bedtime.
In the course Leo’s asks that we implement something into our morning to make it more beautiful. There’s a book that’s been laying on my bedside table for years. You can tell by the cover it’s been well used, and the pages aren’t as bright, white as they once were, but it’s been laying there waiting to be used some more frequently. I’ve re-inserted it into my morning and praying over my adult children.
Most mornings I wake up and my mind begins rolling through the day, but last year I promised myself I’d ‘watch the day unfold‘. Being in need of more practice, I’m sticking with it this year. There’s one thing I feel the need to do before anything else, (even coffee), and that is to spend time with God.
No matter how the day unfolds, or what I see on my plate, by putting Him first I’m trusting His plan instead of mine. When it comes down to it lovely, the only reminder I need today is, I am second.
I’ve not found the right time exists to do anything worthwhile. Sometimes we get caught up waiting for the right time, but that’s a long, unproductive wait. My quality of writing can reflect my mood, so I like to ensure I’m in a good headspace before clicking the publish button.
God, I will take care of the quantity. You take care of the quality.Julia Cameron ~ The Sound of Paper
My friend and I continue to Marco Polo every week. She’s a writer as well, but we have different styles. We share this one secret to sitting down and enjoying what we write, and I’m here to share it with you. Write before work.
It sounds easy, but I’m dedicated to my work, so it doesn’t take long for the inner critic to start in on me not to write. I’ll have nonsense thoughts similar to, “You’ve got so much work on your plate today, and need to do that first”, or “You have people looking for you that need your help.” The inner critic will make any daily activity seem more pertinent than writing.
My friend and I’ve found if we dive into our work/job before writing, we won’t write that day. I can force myself to write after work, but it’s not fun, and it usually gets trashed. Writing should be fun, so I write before work.
If you go to work early, try getting up a bit earlier to write. There’s no need to agree with our thoughts that we don’t have the time when we can make the time. Plan on it and create some space to write. By taking time, you’re inviting it to be the right time.
Here’s more tips from Barb on how she writes:
Driving back from town I turned the radio on, and this song began to play. I haven’t listened to Cody’s new album, Human in it’s entirety, but this song is by far one of my favorites.
To people who know me, it’s no secret I love Cody Johnson. He’s like the underdog who made it big because he never gave up. My guess would be, one thing he did to achieve his well-earned success is he kept singing his heart out. Cody sings so many things I want to say. I haven’t shared nearly enough songs by Cody, so we’ll need to fix that!
All of Cody’s songs are real and raw. When you watch this video, wait until the 2:54 mark and you’ll see how passionate he is about his words. I believe we’re supposed to unleash our passion in what we do and let ourselves love big! The part of the song that hits home for me is when Cody reminds us to chase our dreams, because they won’t chase us back.
If you got a chance, take it, take it while you got a chance
If you got a dream, chase it, ’cause a dream won’t chase you back
Tomorrow isn’t promised, so there’s no room for putting things off. Take a chance, and go all in when you do, ’til you can’t.
There’s only one post published about this and you are welcome to read it here. I haven’t written about this nearly enough. The sand timer is considered a valuable asset in my daily life. It’s helps me watch the time.
My Mama receives the credit for teaching me the value of time. There wasn’t an idle moment in our home. She always had us doing something and the two words you never let Mama hear you say were, “I’m bored.” On rainy days if she couldn’t find enough for us to do inside she would say, “Read a book.” When we’d run outside to play, or over to a friends house, her parting words were, “Watch your time.” We had to be home in time for dinner.
In March of 2020, I was walking through a large home store, just browsing the shelves when I spotted this sand timer. It was sitting on a shelf like it was out of place, or the only one left. It didn’t have a tag of description, only a sticker with a bar code. I pulled out my phone, opened the timer app and started the timer. I carried the sand timer through the store letting it run and watching the timer. The sand ran out at 30 minutes.
When sitting in front of the blank page, I flip it over, and keep an eye on my time. Whether it’s morning pages, a Blogpost, or a project, I sit and work on it for 30 minutes at a time. Do you ever get to the end of the day and wonder where the time went? With the sand timer you can watch your time.
I was texting with a friend while she was getting ready for work, and wanted to wish her a good day. The words clicked along the tiny keyboard as, “I hope your day is filled with grace and space.” Those words reminded me of my friend Dawn, who uses them as her tagline when signing off.
Today hasn’t gone as planned. My landlord scheduled his handyman for today to make some much needed repairs. I don’t know if you remember our dog Winnie, but I’ve mentioned how people make her anxious, especially if they enter her house. I placed her on a lead, walking her with me around the house, but she knows that means someone’s coming in.
I wasn’t able to get much work done sitting at the kitchen table. The handyman was walking from room to room, in and out of the front door, and his power tools made unfamiliar noises. I decided to step into my bedroom just to have some space to breathe, with Winnie in tow. She relaxed and immediately hopped up on my bed which is a treat for her.
I grabbed my laptop and sat down with her. As I’m typing there’s a lot of loud noises coming from the other room, but from where I sit, you can hear the rain coming to a halt. There’s a Cardinal eating birdseed outside the window and heat is coming through the vent to ensure we stay warm. I’m suddenly not worried about what’s not getting done and instead realizing what this day has to offer.
It seems all we really needed was to step into some grace and space.
It’s still dark outside my window, and the house is quiet and still. I’ve already written my morning page, and I call it that because I only write one page. Julia recommends 3 pages of longhand, but that feels like work to me. It’s more enjoyable to pull out one blank page and fill in the empty space. I’ve been noticing a certain feeling toward the page of the bottom.
The halfway mark has a satisfying feel to it, and once you get there, ‘it’s all downhill’ as they say. The pen glides back and forth across the page, making it’s way to the bottom. I always pause when there’s only enough room left for two lines to be written. How do I want the page to end? Sometimes I simply wish myself a remarkable day and sign off.
The page is not about what you write, it’s just asking to be written. It’s become my daily disciple before the day begins. A certainty to be relied upon in this uncertain world. For the past few days there’s a feeling of accomplishment, or completion when filling in the bottom. My soul is at ease at the bottom of the page.
It was 2019 when I first tried implementing the Morning Pages into my life, and it was a struggle. I tried and failed many times, but never stopped completely. In 2021 it finally clicked, and today, the page feels like mine.
Looking back I see it as playing with pages. You have to find the page that’s right for you. I kept bending the rules, but in reality there’s not many rules with the Morning Pages. It’s pen to paper, first thing in the morning, therein lies the name. One thing I always came back to was a standard size piece of paper, but today the page looks totally different than where I began.
It’s blank with no lines and it’s not in a notebook.
I’d continually try different forms of paper and encourage you to as well. I’ve used journals and spiralbound notebooks. Notebook paper worked for months, but then I purchased some paper for a project at work. I only needed 25 pieces of paper to print out some letters, but the smallest sized box held 100 pieces. This paper is pale gold parchment, and if you’ve never held a piece of parchment paper in your hands, you need to.
Each morning I sit down at my desk, pick up a pen and let it glide across the blank page.
I have this neighbor around the corner who refers to me as Barbara Walker, because he knows me as the ‘walker’ of the neighborhood. 😂
To light him up, all you have to do is mention baseball, or music. The bass guitar in particular. Toward the end of our conversation he mentions his right shoulder, and how he can’t do the things he once loved to do. He loved playing baseball so much he injured his shoulder and throwing arm. He meets his baseball buddies for a round of frisbee golf, but it’s not the same.
He’s the kind of guy who is gonna play and go all in. I wonder how many broken bones he’s had and if he has scars? I don’t see him as injured. It looks like to me, he lived.
You gotta write everyday and I just learned Morning Pages don’t count as everyday writing. Those pages are simply there to catch yourself thinking.
One of my most loved writer’s is Julia Cameron, and I’m going through her course, ‘The The Right to Write.” Listening to Julia’s sage advice is similar to listening to my Mother if she would’ve written. This course was given to me by my son for Christmas. He asked what I wanted this year, and I know how much he usually spends on me at Christmas, so I told him about the course. The course has more meaning as a gift.
I imagined sitting and watching hour long videos, but that was only in my mind. Julia is smart in making each video one minute or so long, and breaking each lesson into tiny clips, which leave you hungry for more.
Not everything you write is meant to be published. I believe that’s the beauty of the Morning Pages. I can lay exactly how I feel to the page. Julia expressed the importance of writing them by hand, instead of typing. She described typing on a keyboard instills speed and accuracy, but writing on a page by hand brings depth. Those ‘first thing in the morning’ thoughts run deep, which I’m grateful not to publish.
Everyone has a Writer in them, but writing wants to be released everyday. If you need a permission slip, here it is my lovely. You have the right to write.