Another Simple Practice: Morning Writing
A few weeks ago, I shared a super simple prayer practice. Today I share a simple writing exercise to clear your thoughts in a private, non-judgmental way. I use this writing practice as a companion to my morning prayer time:
I adapted this practice from something called "morning pages." The basic idea is that you write three pages long-hand stream-of-consciousness style first thing in the morning. I first learned of the practice many years ago when I read The Artist’s Way, a workbook for helping you unlock your creativity.
At this stage in my life, morning writing is less about unlocking my creativity and more about clearing out brain clutter. First I sit and pray, and then I write my pages. I’ll write out all the stuff swirling around in my mind...anxious thoughts, petty annoyances I wouldn’t want to say out loud, old wounds that are painful to talk about, sometimes sermon ideas...and a lot of boring nonsense, too.
Actually, maybe clearing out the brain clutter is about creativity? Making space for new thoughts to arise.
Anyway, I write whatever is on my mind for three pages. Then, I stop and rip it up and put it in the recycling. That way I can be completely honest on the page without worrying that someone else will read it or that I’ll feel embarrassed if I come across the writing later.
Even if you are not trying to be "creative", you may find this exercise helps you sort through thoughts and emotions that might be bubbling under the surface.
Finally, a psalm to go along with your morning writing. Psalm 5:1-3 (The Message translation):
Listen, God! Please, pay attention!
Can you make sense of these ramblings,
my groans and cries?
King-God, I need your help.
you’ll hear me at it again.
I lay out the pieces of my life
on your altar
and watch for fire to descend.