… it’s month 10 of staying home together with entire family including 3 online-schooled kids…
Around March-April, when everything just stared, I savored my unexpected staycation for the whole month. Appointments got cancelled, errands got postponed, I finally didn’t have or need to go anywhere. I settled at home in my favorite leggings, cooked delicious food, enjoyed doing nothing and reveled in the absence of structure.
But.. a month is sufficient to enjoy, and by about August-September, this absence of structure and stagnation of energy slowly morphed into a swamp. Half a year of staying home, attempts to drag certain someones to the end of the school year, constant efforts to find time for myself, and search for some empty space to recharge the inner introvert can do interesting things to the psyche.
In September I was desperately looking for ways to break the apathy, shake up and move life. There were quite a few things that I tried and many worked. But the most effective combination in my 2020 was this:
By October I was convinced that I needed to start writing Morning Pages. I read and heard about them many times, mostly from my colleague and friend who has been practicing them for almost 10 years. And when I read about them yet again in her book, and she was praising the effectiveness of this method for getting out of brain fog, I figured I didn’t have much to lose, so why not try?
“Morning Pages” is the practice originally described by Julia Cameron in her book “The Artist’s Way”. It is quite simple. Every morning after waking up, you write by hand 3 letter sized pages of whatever comes to mind. No quality control, no censoring, no filtering, no penmanship. Just offload what’s in your mind. Sounds simple, and so it was. Every morning I started writing 3 pages of everything that came to mind. Sentences, phrases, words… And almost physically I felt as the pile of mind-garbage that collected there over months was being pulled out, untangled. I felt more lightness and clarity. In about a week, everything that was clogging and creating fog was offloaded. For another week I was writing unconnected sentences, words, phrases, pieces of phrases, I wrote out my emotions and exclaimations, or simply repeatedly wrote “write 3 pages, write 3 pages, write 3 pages…” and survived through this ‘drought’. In a couple more weeks new coherent thoughts started returning, I got new insights, wrote out answers to my questions, and found new questions to answer.
Right about the same time I saw a facebook post by another colleague coach about her new program, where (in the post) she was talking about the new level, time for life, butts and magic kicks. This promise of the next level and my decisive desire to do something about it resonated perfectly. I signed up, and for the entire month of November I was doing all the exercises, writing my Mega-List of Unfinished tasks and observed my time, my moods, my states, my thoughts. I completed and finished the tasks that were draining my energy for years waiting to be completed. And just like I wanted, it restarted my energy, oiled my engine and put it on tracks.
So now, when we are still all working and studying from home, I write my mind clutter out to my morning pages or my journal, and finish, purge, refuse, close – projects, things, files, tabs – from my mind, my house, my life – and compliment myself for clearing up time and energy for life. And well, when I hide from life into yet another Netflix series, I don’t scold myself for it, because if sometimes this is what is needed to survive and move on, this is what needs to be done, and it’s all right. Because this season too shall pass, and I now have the tools to keep going, decluttering mind and moving life forward.
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