For some time now I have been trying to find a form of meditation that works well for me. I’ve read books, articles, blog posts, etc. but nothing I tried really seemed to stick – or help. It seems when my thoughts get jumbled, there are really only two ways I can sort them: 1) get lost in a good book, allowing my subconscious to sort it all out; or 2) write them out.
The first requires a good book, which is something I’ve been unable to find lately (or at least one that fits my mood). As for writing… well, finding the how and when proved too easy to procrastinate. Then a few months ago, while on a journey down a random internet rabbit hole, I came across an article on “Morning Pages.” The general idea is to write three pages (as in 3 single sides) in a stream-of-consciousness format first thing in the morning.
I found this to be an unbelievably simple idea, but for some reason it took reading about it to bring the idea into action. At first I was afraid that I would have to get up earlier to fit this in; however, I soon realized that by replacing my morning tête-à-tête with my phone with pen & paper instead, there was plenty of time already in my schedule. I still take 5 minutes or so to check for anything important and/or clear out the junk emails, but I save the rest for later allowing me to spend the other 15 minutes or so with my little journal.
As I understand it, the content of this exercise can be whatever you’d like, but the three pages is a hard and fast rule. Most days I do stick with that limit, but I’ve found it more important to write than to worry about how much room I take up on a page. Some mornings I write about the night’s dreams, others a reflection of the previous day and my goals for the day ahead, and then others a true stream-of-consciousness rambling to a point (or not). After I’m done I usually take a few minutes for kitty snuggles before pulling myself back to reality and physically getting ready for the day.
I am amazed at how much this new habit has impacted my daily peace of mind. Immediately after I’m done, my mind is blissfully blank and oh so peaceful. It’s just me and a warm, furry monster; time stands still; and life is good. The rest of my day is a little calmer and much more centered because I know that whatever happens, I can write it out the next morning as needed. Turns out I’m finding some of those lovely meditation benefits after all. (smile)
After a few months of this practice, I now find myself getting up with my alarm (vs. hitting snooze a few times) excited to write. On the days when the time simply isn’t there, I definitely feel the lack. I’ve tried taking my journal with me, but I find the anxiety of keeping it close outweighs any potential benefits. My writing is also much more scripted, which feels out of place in that space. So I try really hard to schedule in at least a few extra minutes even on those early mornings – something I’ve never considered doing for anything else.
Eventually I would like to try a more traditional form of meditation again, but for where I am right now, I’ve accepted that this is what I need. I’ve also given myself permission to simply focus on what works for me and to leave the rest for later – no guilt, no sense of failure, just triumph that I finally found my own form of mental peace.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful women out there!!
Wishing you all a joy-filled day with the ones you love. 🙂