4 Reasons You Should Do Morning Pages to Improve Your life

4 Ways Morning Pages from The Artist's Way can Change your Life for the better

Morning Pages are the brainchild of Julia Cameron, who famously wrote The Artist’s Way back in 1992 – a book I have had in my home for well over a decade. Earlier this year, I felt a soft whisper in my mind – a call to finally read the book and do what it contained.

Morning Pages involve three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing every day when you wake up, before anything else, and you’re not allowed to stop, or edit, or really even think about what you’re writing. You spill your guts. You literally write whatever comes to mind. You can write “blah blah blah” until something else starts to form. It’s a release – you just open up and let it all fall on to paper.

Back in 1999 or so, I did start the course of the book, but didn’t get far, mostly because I was terrible at getting up early.

I was also put off by the use of the word “God” – even though it does not need to be read as a literal, religious term when it comes to the book. Once I got past this, the true worth of the book’s contents could shine. To allow one word or a basic concept to shroud the rest of it was absurd to me. (This was also something I struggled with in regards to the Anastasia series).

I did continue with Morning Pages for a while, but was deterred because I was so easily called to hit my snooze button, or I was more likely lured by the call of the Internet, still a fairly new addiction back then.

This year, however, I stuck with Morning Pages, and have, daily for months on end. I have completed about 8 weeks of the Artist’s Way and was so overwhelmed with ideas and inspiration (along with other things that stole my time) that the last few weeks are still something I need to finish.

The Morning Pages stuck, though, because they have been instrumental in my life changes.

They got me to start creating again. They lit a fire within me. They got me to quit my stupid job. They led me to see what was absolutely stupid in my life and what I needed to change.

They can do the same for you.

 

  1. They will show you your patterns.

When you start your day with writing about anything that comes to mind, and without thinking about it, patterns show up. When you find yourself writing about the same things over and over, you start to realize how monotonous and boring your life has become. You’ll start to see the same old complaints day in and day out. “My job sucks. I hate my life. My partner is annoying. I need to eat better. I feel sick again. I am depressed. I need to sleep more. I have a dry mouth. I woke up 10 times last night. I wish I could go on vacation. I don’t want to go to work. I’m sick of cleaning this bloody house.” Or whatever. On and on.

Our constant complaints, and what our subconscious spills out on the page consistently, comes to the forefront of our minds where we start to think constantly and consciously about them. We discover what things need to change. Then, we can start to write about alternatives.

       2. They will allow your subconscious to speak to you clearly.

We are so bombarded with information and distractions that it becomes almost impossible to listen to our inner voices, and to our hearts. Having 15-20 minutes of stream-of-consciousness writing allows us to FOCUS and also spill out what has been brewing without our even noticing, due to everything else going on. Then, those hidden gems are right in front of us, where we can see them start coming to life.

       3. They will inspire new life and new creations

Most people have their best ideas randomly, when they have no distractions. In the shower, walking, swimming, exercise, washing the dishes, meditation, the moments before falling asleep – singular tasks that don’t require a lot of thought – when your mind is allowed to wander. Often when people have these ideas, they’re fleeting because they are in a place where they do not have the means to write them down, and the ideas fly away like tiny birds, never to be seen again. With Morning Pages, they spill out ON paper, so even though you may not always want to re-read your pages, at least you know where those ideas are. They are made immortal, they can always be revisited. Thus, it will inspire action. You’ll have your beautiful ideas ready for you, and they can’t escape, they are caged, just waiting to be freed!

       4. They allow a fresh start to the day.

The pages are incredibly helpful for waking up. I’ve often started them while groggy, only to be wide awake upon finishing. On days where I have woken in a melancholy state, I have worked through it on paper and end up feeling hopeful. The days where I haven’t wanted to do them have been the more beneficial. I’ve had the most insight, and the most positive effect.

I highly encourage you to at least try this practice, even if you don’t go through the whole Artist’s Way course (which I do recommend doing()! Try it for at least a month and see what changes happen for you.

If none do…practice the pages for longer. I promise, you can expect great things to occur.

~~~

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If you enjoyed this post (or any of my posts!), please consider a small (or large!) donation to fund my way to a martial arts seminar. There are rewards for certain amounts given, so please help out with a “tip” or a gift! You’ll be helping me to improve so I can teach other women to kick ass in the future!

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How to Feel Alive

Lorra Fae Wildfire of Passion School writes about how to feel alive, how to really live, poetry about life, naomi campbell with a cheetah running in the wind

Only certain things make me feel completely alive.

I don’t want to feel alive only some of the time.

I need a vigor and a lust to feel free, or when the day ends I feel like my minutes and seconds have been wasted on the minutiae of life, the things that really do not matter.

Where is the lasciviousness, the wonder? Where is the amazement and glory and heart-racing buzz that comes with a life fully lived?

I only feel alive when I’m adventurous
When I am fully immersed in the moment
I feel alive only when I am interacting with the real
When I am writing in full speed
When it flows like potions
When it just screams out and I can’t contain it
I can’t help but dance
because there is only motion
I can’t help but run
because there is only wind
I can’t help but kiss and squeal and swoon
because there is only desire

Every morsel tastes like orgasms
Every touch feels like the universe is coursing through my blood
Every movement feels like I’m a warrior
Every breath feels like fresh forest streams

Sex feels like I’m in another dimension
Love feels like the only thing that exists
Nature feels like the only real home
Sleep feels like a teacher
Waking feels like rebirth
So it can all begin again
Where life can seep through the pores
Into the viscous fluid of the veins

Passion is the true blood in the body
We so seldom let it flow
My blood will be replaced with the universal elixir…

It’s called LIVING.

~~~

Recommended Reading:

Why You are Wild.
Wildling Manifesto.

~~~

Please leave a comment and share!!

If you enjoyed this post (or any of my posts!), please consider a small (or large!) donation to fund my way to a martial arts seminar. There are rewards for certain amounts given, so please help out with a “tip” or a gift! You’ll be helping me to improve so I can teach other women to kick ass in the future!

You can also follow me on:

Instagram: Lorrafae and Passion School

Twitter: MissLorra

Facebook: Lorra Fae Wildfire

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What’s the Alternative?

I’m back after a long hiatus – I didn’t leave purposely, I just got swept along in the riptide of typical life.

Like most people, I’ve spent the majority of my life giving some power to others, allowing them to instruct my days, in order to get a generally pathetic cash reward every two weeks.

I recently quit my job. I’d planned to for quite some time, yet fear kept me going back. But…it felt like my time was being hijacked – I felt a very strong terror saying, “What if this was your last day on earth? Would you want it to be THIS?” I ask myself this a lot. The answer is always: No.  Not that the job was BAD, it just wasn’t what I truly wanted to be doing. It didn’t align with how I want daily life to be. Instead of feeling scared, I felt excited. That’s when you know you’ve made the right decision. My terror shifted – the fear of NOT doing what I love was MUCH stronger than the fear of having less security. Allow yourself to feel that anticipation: the promise of a more tantalizing existence.

Your moods are a map – if you dread going to work, if you are ignoring the things you’d love to be doing, wasting your time with FILLERS, then you are COMPLETELY and utterly ignoring your path in life. You are doing yourself and others a disservice. We need you, and we need your passion to ignite us.

Some people may be completely happy doing a regular job, and that is totally fine! I am not talking about them. I am talking about ME, and YOU – the ones who pine for more. We are aching. Bursting.

I BURN with a fervor, and I have repressed this many times – in relationships, in my everyday life, in work. Not purposely. It sucks. It’s not a way to live.

So, when you change your life, what about the fear? What about the scary prospect of failure?

Here’s a better question: What’s the alternative?

A life of mediocrity? Ennui? A life of apathy? Being upon death and saying, “Man, I wish I did that.”? No thank you. I get this one life as me- one life FOR SURE. Even if there are more lives, I get this one, ONCE, and I am not squandering it.

I’ve spent too much time already, flitting about from job to job (“A JOB” is a 4-letter word), spent too much time on things I don’t truly care about, too much time reading social media, and other stuff that does NOT improve my life.

Why read blathering from people about all sorts of topics I really don’t care about? Way better to actually learn something of value. To read words of substance. To go out and DO things. My time is valuable. PRECIOUS. So is yours! What is the alternative? MONOTONY.

Does this ring true for you? “I want a monotonous life.” Yeah, I doubted it.

Every adult I know, especially once they get to their 30s, says “WOW, time goes so fast!” – Yeah, it does, especially when you waste it, when you do things to “kill time.”

EXCLAMATION: you can’t KILL time. Time is killing you.

I have no other alternative. I don’t have a plan B anymore. I have a Plan Z, but no plan B.  Plan Z is destitute – and really still not terrible. It’s still more free than having a job working for someone else, making them more money (unless of course you want to help them and their cause – then awesome! Still…DO YOU, first).

You need an explosion within. If you don’t have that zest, and you’re damp and wretched every day with gloom, then you need to change some things – rapidly. Make it your first priority because your life will be completely bland and beige otherwise. Don’t you want a rainbow life? Isn’t that why people love psychedelics? Everything is more dazzling, unrestrained, more potent.

You can have that feeling naturally, daily, if you follow the map your life has for you. It’s built into you. It’s called “Your Emotions.” Your map has still led you down this runaway path, too – it’s leading you that way so you can see where it goes – then you can TURN AROUND. You realize, like with a malfunctioning GPS, that you are completely lost, and that you are going off-target. You don’t have to keep going – you know it’s the wrong way! TURN AROUND. What’s the alternative? You’ll probably end up somewhere you really didn’t plan, a ghost town, where dreams go to die.

If you feel afraid, reluctant, or anxious, ask yourself “What’s the alternative?” Write it all out. Let THAT petrify you. If you feel freaked out, then you are off-course. Center yourself, breathe, and continue where you know you need to go. Point your needle north.

It still takes work and discipline, but it is SO much better persisting on a path that you know is your own, and you know is the one you were meant to go down all along. You’re listening to your own GPS instead of one someone else gave you. One you thought you had to follow. One you thought was correct, or one you accidentally came across. Don’t use that. Internal compasses are much better – you just have to stop ignoring it.

Learn to read your compass.

 

What the Hell To Do With Your Life

I ain’t scared of much.

You know what terrifies me? Wasting my life.

I have already wasted way too much. I have also accomplished a lot of what I’ve wanted to do. But can you imagine (as I try to) what can be accomplished if we do NOT waste our time?

I have been looking at how I spend time a lot differently lately. I do spend a ton of time online, but now I try to make it count.

If I feel tired or lazy, I try to at least learn something. If I want to play a game, I make it educational instead of pointless. No more 80’s Nintendo (back to once a year for me!) – because of this I am now a geography pro. Do you know where Kiribati is? How about Togo? I do.

Why am I bringing this up? Mostly because I am unemployed and flailing. I know what I want to do, BASICALLY, but when you are a “scanner” (as Barbara Sher coined it) you can have so many interests that you absolutely cannot decide what your focus should be.

I have so many interests it can be staggering, and often I don’t know what to focus on so…I do nothing. This is a problem. Only recently have I figured out how to fix this issue in terms of time-wasting, but in terms of how to pinpoint a goal is very difficult.

I’ve had a long history of different jobs, some short-lived, some long, and my frazzled journey has left me with some deep scars. I’ve been to school twice, and ended up not wanting to do those things as jobs. I’ve been fired countless times (though only once in the last 13 years). I’ve never had a problem finding a job or getting one – keeping them has been harder, because, for the most part, my unhappiness is obvious. I have a very expressive face and am unable to be a phony. Even when I have attempted to fake it, people know.

When I apply for jobs, often I will change my mind right before an interview, frozen with dread at the idea of spending all my time doing something I don’t really want to do. Very rarely do things come up that I want to do.

BUT WHAT DO I WANT TO DO? All day every day? Nothing specific! I want variety! I want excitement! I want to learn and be useful in a way that isn’t petty.

I have ALWAYS envied people with a laser-focus. The musicians I know, for instance…that is all they do. They obsess. The people who obsess are the ones I see succeed. They know what they want and fuck all the rest.

As a teenager, I wanted the same thing, though my confidence was exceptionally low. I tried starting bands with no luck. I was in one for 2 weeks, I think…I joined a group of girls in their band Bitter Honey – we’d practice one or two songs and then they’d want to watch TV. I felt hopeless, being in a small town with people who didn’t take what I loved seriously. I tried placing ads up in indie newspapers and up on bulletin boards in the alternative record stores. I was just young, and again, no one took me seriously. This included my parents.

My interests were still supported, but never as a career choice. I was told to be realistic. Teenage me was like “Yeah right” and didn’t listen, but deep down, I did. After so many failures, and lack of being pushed in the direction I hoped for, I had to scramble for something else.

I ALWAYS DOUBTED MY ABILITY TO MAKE IT AS ANY SORT OF ARTIST. A musician, writer, photographer. Those were my main focuses. Be realistic.

Where has being realistic gotten me? 20 years later, I am still scrambling, wondering what random job to take just so I can get by and spend only my free time doing what I love, if I can figure it out. Other people make livings doing this, why not me? What separates the people who make it from ME? Drive, luck, practice. Mostly drive and passion, and nerve. Putting yourself out there.

I am slowly figuring it out, but I still question my ability to do it on my own (“Should I go back to school? Should I teach myself? Should it be university, or is just college okay?” etc etc). I don’t think I am too old. Debt is something that absolutely petrifies me, as I don’t want to be a slave to money.

About a week ago, I laid in bed after waking up, depressed and lost (but still better than the previous day, where I’d been in utter despair) and started questioning myself:

If I had a year to live, what would I do?

I thought about asking myself what I’d do if I had a day to live, or a week – but you can’t accomplish anything in that time, really, though I guess the answers would also be illuminating.

This is hardly an original question, but how many of you have actually REALLY thought about it? And taken it to heart?

Here are my answers:

~ I would travel, as much as possible. Even if I couldn’t afford to go to anywhere super exotic, I would sell all my things, trade in my car for a van, and road trip all over North America, visiting all the people I know and admire. Then I’d sell my van, go back to Thailand (I’d make my boyfriend come along too – hell, if I’m gonna die, he is gonna figure shit out to make it happen!) and also go to the Maldives, where I’ve wanted to go for years.

~ I’d surf, even if I am shitty at it. I’d do it as much as possible.

~ I’d have lots of sex, crazy sex, adventurous sex, loving, gushing, Richter-scale sex.

~ And I’d WRITE. A lot. All of it. It would be like blood coming out of my fingers instead of ink, because my fingers would be almost broken from having so much to say, to share.

What did this lead me to realize? That my ideal job would be to be a travel writer.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about 8 years old. And I have been. Not professionally, but I have always written, and often. Stories, yes, but mostly memoir. Zines. Comics. Snail mail. Blogs (I’ve been blogging for 14 years….) Countless beginnings of novels. My old pseudonym was a character from a novel I was writing at age 16. Anything to play with words.

So what do I have to do to make this happen? I guess, like anything, practice. Write out a map.

Above all else, I must remember and take to heart that time is limited. Even if you believe in reincarnation, an afterlife, whatever – you are only THIS you once. You only have this life experience once. And there is no absolute proof, so don’t take chances. Do it now.

Don’t wait until something scary or bad happens to you in order to make a change (though sometimes this is the only thing that really works…having a breakdown is what led me to my lifestyle changes I’ve assimilated into my life for 6 years). Figure it out now. It doesn’t matter if you’re 36 or 96. Do it.

So, what would you do if you had a year to live? How would you LIVE? GO LIVE NOW. Don’t just exist. LIVE.

Waste Not

Last night, I wasted my night.
And I cried.

Why do we do this? Why do we just stare into nothing? It’s easier to be so passive, to just get sucked into lame, unimportant things. Society is DESIGNED to be that way, to seduce, confuse, and distract us.

It is actually something we actively have to AVOID.

We must resist the media, the endless drama, the stuff that makes NO impact on our lives.

Spend your time ONLY on things you ADORE.

If you are online, read only the things you are wild about. The things that lift you up and PROPEL YOU OUT THE DOOR, or that WHISK YOU INTO A FRENZY TO CREATE, or that INSPIRE YOU TO BE AMAZING.

But actually GET UP and BE amazing. Don’t just click on the next link, the next channel.

Remember, we only get one life. Explore the earth, explore your mind, take care of yourself, so that you have the energy to LIVE.

I’m going to shut off my laptop unless I’m writing or Skyping, honestly. Or reading something important. Purging everything, now.

Obsessions Can Lead to Purpose

Zine Art by me (of me), 2000

I’ve been reading a hell of a lot of graphic novels + comics lately – I go through phases where I eschew (well, not totally – I am always reading many things at once) regular reading to let drawings do the talking. This is especially easy since the Vancouver library system has a shit-ton of good graphic novels that I can borrow in bulk.

Once in a while I feel like I am wasting my time on them, but often I find them uplifting, and often so mesmerizing that upon finishing, I hug them to my chest and sigh (I do this with all amazing books). Until the other day, it sort of hit me – all of my passions seemed to coalesce together and I thought…why am I not drawing and writing graphic novels?

My favourite sort are autobiographical – the whole passion for them started years and years ago when I discovered I Never Liked You by Chester Brown and Blankets by Craig Thompson – I’d always liked comics but nothing really captured my heart (except things like Johnny The Homicidal Maniac) – the personal aspect is what really drew my attention.

I’ve always loved coming-of-age stories, memoirs, diaries – I have kept journals since I was 12 (I ripped up the first two unfortunately, but I have many books starting from age 14) – my preferred drawing style is pen-and-ink and I’ve been drawing since I was 2 – I think I’m pretty good.

Latest work, 2011, Yo-Landi

So why didn’t I make this connection before? I’ve even MADE comics. I made many silly, nonsense comics with friends in the late 90s, and I even did a 4-page comic for my boyfriend for our first anniversary.

2010

So, suddenly I thought, wow, I should do autobiographical comics…then I could, write, draw, and I certainly have enough material, detailed material!

I seriously dunno why I haven’t seriously considered it before, but now that I am really into the idea, I feel like it’s the thing I’m meant to do.

Maybe it’s because I’m so clear-headed from how I eat? It’s the happiness that comes from that, and from the copious amount of sun I’ve been getting.

All I know is that I have many project ideas swirling in my brain, now, more than ever before. I get the most flow, groove, and motivation when I am eating REALLY clean. It’s like downloading the universe in one swoop (maybe it was all that lightning we got last night, dancing outside my window).

I still want to write regular fiction, but this is the creative-block-killer that I’ve been needing.

What is your passion? Do you have as many as me? I have so many that it is overwhelming at times and I end up not being able to focus on one and end up doing nothing – that’s why something that incorporates a lot of my interests at once is a relief.

Beauty Amongst Chaos

There are days where I just feel flat.

I don’t mean chest-wise (cuz I don’t care) – but just…blargh.

I’ve had a lifetime of teeth issues, and no matter what I eat, I will continue to have issues because of the bombardment my teeth have taken over my life. So I won’t blame fruit, or raw – actually they improved going raw, so there.

Anyway, it was a few weeks of dental appointments, and today I just had enough. I got into a “why me?” mode and said eff it to everything and just binged on kale chips (could be worse…) and sat around watching Sailor Moon and Game of Thrones.

Not really my style. I tend to be a doer, EVEN if I am watching something, I am working on a project of some sort (like my zine that has taken me years – it’s almost done).

Eh, anyway, my point is that even though I get this way at times, I know it’s not going to last. Usually I am upbeat + positive and in a pretty lofty state.

Ever hear that idea that people are afraid of their own power, and that they are more afraid of success than failure? I think I am in that state.

I have this series of books in my head, these amazing characters that I think about all the bloody time – and the idea of writing them scares the crap out of me, because I know they would be epic, and the length and time and care I would need to take in order for them to live up to what I’ve concocted is absolutely daunting.

I have to do it, though. I think about writing sprees all week, when I am working – I feel like when I get home I need to just hunker down and write. But then I get distracted by something – this is the downside of being so fascinated by everything – I am what Barbara Sher calls a “scanner – though I do get in states of obsession. When I finally enter that state, I am unstoppable.

I can be obsessed with many things at once – and I get so flustered and baffled at how to do it all that I am overwhelmed, and just end up reading or something. Often I act. This is why I am so in need of work that allows me to be free of a schedule – when not at a typical job, I am constantly working on projects – I don’t feel restrained by time, and so things flow so much more easily. This work needs to be writing! And so, I write, as always. Either here, on paper, fiction, memoirs, letters, little comics, zines, lists – anything. It is constant.

More often in winter is when I get flustered,  from a lack of sunlight and lowered spirits. I know how to combat this now and it is why I have continued with this blog instead of giving up like I have in previous years. I just push, now. I think to myself, “Who the hell cares what anyone else thinks? It doesn’t matter if you feel like poo – write about feeling like poo. Do it anyway, any sort of criticism won’t matter tomorrow, or in the grand scheme of things. None of this matters” – and it really doesn’t. One day, everything anyone has ever created will be gone. We will all die. Humanity will disappear. That does not mean that we should not still procreate and make beautiful songs and books and it does not mean we should not treat one another and ourselves and other creatures with immense kindness and respect. And so I say what I want, and I want others to believe in themselves, too.

We are all really good at something, and anything we love, we can do.

I have always envied the people who can obsess over one thing – they tend to be the most amazing, shining examples, the inspiring ones. But there are others who are great at many things and those are the ones I relate to. When I am really into something, I stick to it, too. I have always stuck with writing, drawing, and within the last few years, healthy eating. If I still lived near waves, I would have stuck with surfing – man, do I miss it.

When it comes down to it, the whole reason I want to be healthy is so I can continue to have the energy and confidence (and happiness) to continue, because otherwise, I will just look at the world and think “Why fucking BOTHER?”

But I know why I bother – because this is reality. We are alive, we’re here now, we might as well enjoy the beauty amongst the chaos. There can never be enough beauty.

~~

“Sometimes I get a little sad, and I feel like being alone. Then I talk to my cat about it, and he reminds me I’m James Franco. Then we dance.” — James Franco