Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Getting Strong

We cannot escape fear. We can only transform it into a companion that accompanies us on all our exciting adventures.
— Susan Jeffers

We have arrived at the end of Chapter Seven and will be doing some exercises to celebrate and solidify our work here. This chapter has been about re-establishing our personal, intimate sense of connectedness to Divine Creative Source. I am so in awe of the deep, courageous work you are doing and which some of you have shared. Clearly, it is painful at times, but simultaneously it can trigger the epochal breakthroughs you are also experiencing.



And we also have some folks who are just now joining us. Welcome! I am so glad you are here.

Before we continue, I would like to say that for those who feel stuck, or even overwhelmed in the wandering pathways of cataloguing old sorrows, losses and hurts, I would urge you to review how you are working with the morning pages. Truly, having now done this work for the 3rd time, I am convinced that morning pages are, for most of us, not optional.

Morning pages are a ritual way of opening to that very Source that we are trying to heal and restore a clear connection to. They are a form of prayer that is specifically designed to help our inner artist self dialogue with Creator Herself. 

Maybe words are not what your pages should be. Maybe doodles and drawings. But showing up at the page every day (with very rare exceptions) is vital.

For those of you who are just now joining us, or if you find yourself generally skipping out on doing them, I urge you to re-read about the morning pages here and here. 



As you develop a morning pages practice, and it does take committed practice, you will discover the conversations there begin to have a voice other than your Talking Self.

Yes, it is absolutely necessary to have a place where Talking Self can whine, complain, and do a core dump of the inner junk, and the pages are fantastic for this. But they also open up a channel for listening. 



Morning pages can be, in fact, a reliable, deeply intimate form of personal divination.

One fine day, perhaps right in the middle of an ornate, elegant pity party (oh, honey, do I know how to throw these!) or perhaps some absolutely justified, impassioned diatribe about your latest run-in with that colossally annoying jerk that has done it to you again… something will shift. You will hear a whisper, or maybe your hand will actually move across the page, writing with a life of its own.



It might be something to the effect of “There now, sweet sugarbuns. You are right, that was monstrous, and I think you need to go and have a bubble bath right this minute. Don’t you worry your precious head one more second about that so-and-so. Relax and let Me handle the karmic payback for you.” 

Yes, this can happen.

Or perhaps even more likely and just as delicious, it might be a sudden step-back where you notice how clever your rant is, and if you tweaked this bit here, and that little bit there – well, Dorothy Parker herself would applaud! And suddenly, your inner artist is grinning right at you! 



So dearest, brave travelers on this journey, if you are feeling stuck in barren shadowlands of grief and anger, I would urge you to write it out, paint it out, sing it out, dance it out, and trust your pages. The morning pages are faithful to you if you are faithful to them. On the precipices of despair especially, they can save your neck! 



So our first exercise is a message that your morning pages will surely have been at least hinting to you. Today, we will put it into explicit words that will become a mantra:

Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong.


Watercolor this message; paint it; write it in Sharpie calligraphy; print it out in the coolest font on your system. Make it bold, put it somewhere that you’ll see it every single day. Stick copies of it in places you’ll find it when you are vulnerable (like in your wallet when you have to pull out money). 



Julia writes, “We tend to think being hard on ourselves will make us strong. But it is cherishing ourselves that gives us strength.”

I couldn’t agree more. It is time to put a stop to taking our little sips of poison, the subtle punishments we inflict on ourselves, re-creating old poverty and abuses, our child-self wounding and neglect.



Instead, how can you treat yourself as a precious object, starting today?

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  • September 10, 2009, 4:16 pm denise

    Beth, thank you for posting the links to your blog pages for the morning writings. 🙂

    Ane yes, I will cherish myself as a precious object. I hope you are doing the same ~*~

  • September 10, 2009, 6:52 pm freak22

    Over the last year I have been on a very spiritual journey that had room for my artist journey in it and with both I have just stared to really learn to cherish my self as a precious object. I discovered something, the more I find happiness with my self the more light and happiness I see in the world around me, its as if I was waring extremely dark sunglasses, i could see the world but nothing good in it. wow I'm rambling,umm so I'm worthy of it what ever it may be.

    Heather

  • September 10, 2009, 10:34 pm Thalia

    Okay, I don't know if part of that was directed at me, but I'm going to say it one more time and then let it go.

    Obviously morning pages work well, splendidly well for Julia Cameron. And obviously, they work well for a lot of people out there, yourself included Beth.

    They do not work for me. What I found in doing them (and I did do them, and I did give it what I would consider a decent try) was that they frittered away my creativity. They did not 'prime the pump' and get other things going. Instead, the injunction to write three pages about anything, even if I didn't feel like writing at the time, or if I didn't really have anything to say, just took the energy I would have used for other, deeper, things.

    It is not that I don't write, or journal. It's that I do–I have a regular journal, a dream journal, and art journal, and a blog as well. Two blogs, actually. And it's not that I don't communicate with Deity. God knows (ha) I do. If I do anything in my life with any regularity it is that. I mean I can't even manage to eat every day, when you come down to it.

    I simply cannot do daily rituals. It does not work like that for me. For me, not anyone else. But for me. I know this and I have learned this the hard way over the years. My brain simply does not work like that. I get enthused about something and do that for a month; then I stop and rest a space. Then something else comes along and I do that for a week; and I rest again. I can't do it every day. And I can't make myself do it everyday.

    I am sorry if that sounds defensive, or is defensive, rather, since it probably is. But I have had discipline and routine shoved down my throat as the only way to do things all my life, and I am sensitive to being poked there.

  • September 10, 2009, 10:35 pm Thalia

    And as for cherishing myself as a precious object, part of that is abiding by my truths.

  • September 10, 2009, 11:34 pm Athene Nocuta

    I like the "Cherish myself as a precious object" and keeping it in your wallet. I always feel bad if I spend $$ on myself, even for the essentials like new bras. So having that there will remind me it's ok to take care of myself, even if it does cost $$.

    As to the morning pages. I will give them a try. Part of it is I don't want to wake up early to do them, and the other part is I am afraid I will see more of my shadow side in them than I care to deal w/ right now.

  • September 11, 2009, 7:30 am freak22

    Thalia I just want you to know that you are not alone. My art is writing and when I started the morning page's I would end up feeling so burn out by them that for a time they ended up being the only thing I was writing. When I realized that I stopped. I can clearly see why they are a great tool but I write so many other places that I eventually get the same benefit from my journal or even my stories that the morning page's seemed redundant. And I'm sorry Beth if I feel the need to personally disagree with you. I think every one should do morning pages or something like it, but since I write ( I write so much that if I don't i get itchy fingers) I already do write way more the 3 pages a day and to force my self to do more as Thalia says it's just a burn out and while you need to nourish your art forcing it (and for writers the morning pages can feel that way) does no good.

    But like I said rather then defending my self I just wanted Thalia to know she is not alone.

    please remember to love yourselves (i know I forget to sometimes)
    Heather

  • September 11, 2009, 9:08 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    So many great responses, with deliciously diverse experiences. I just love it! We all find our way in this work in incredibly different ways.

    Denise – thank you. This is actually hard for me to do; but I'm working on it! Makes for wonderful homework! 🙂

    Heather..Beautifully, beautifully said! This is SO true. Isn't it a terrific revelation? It can change everything!

    In some interesting synchronicity, yesterday there was a situation on a Yahoo group I belong to where you can just see so clearly how one person's response is so angry and coming from a place of her old hurts and vicitimization. She lashed out at some very nice people, acting as if they had attacked her, simply because they, as the event's coordinators, were disagreeing with the way she was understanding THEIR event.

    She came away feeling validated that the world was "as usual" (her words) out to get her. And they are left shaking their heads and feeling sad.

    Thalia-
    This was not directed at you. You had already explained where you were coming from re: the pages. I believe you.

    It was mainly in response to the several people who are just joining us, as well as some others who've posted (and emailed me) that they are having trouble sticking with the morning pages.

    As I state many times, and as my Reclaiming tradition emphasizes: You are your own spiritual authority.

    The morning pages are a tool. They take practice, and it may take a while before we master their real gifts to us, like discovering that they are much more than just another journal.

    Yes, as Athene has noticed, they do indeed bring up shadow work that we may or may not be ready to deal with. Every single person reading this has their own work to do, and their ways of coping with it. Everyone has boundaries and limits, and that is a very important, and beautiful thing, really.

    I absolutely know that the bottom line is that you (and everyone else reading this) need first and foremost to trust yourself – before me, before Julia Cameron, or anyone else.

    But I also know that there is often huge resistance around the morning pages for many people because it is hard for recovering blocked creatives to allow ourselves the gift of time to do them, and the stillness to have them become the conversation that they are capable of being.

    By the way, Athene – it doesn't HAVE to be in the mornings. But it is usually best to have a regular time; our Younger Self likes routines.

    And finally, Heather back again, yes I hear you, and as a writer myself, I know it can start to feel like we could burn out. So again, doodling, drawing, or other ways to mix it up can be helpful. And bear in mind that the morning pages do NOT have to be yet another journal. Fold them in with the "regular" journaling you are doing.

    Or they can be where you write your answers to the Artist's Way exercises, past and present, where you write about ANYTHING. Where you can rant about hating morning pages.

    It is just much too easy to excuse ourselves and not show up. Believe me — I personally know this very, very well!!! Excusing ourselves and not showing up is what wounded, blocked creatives DO.

    It does not have to be so hard. If you only write 2 pages, or even 1 occasionally, the Morning Pages Police are not going to swoop down on you and give you an F.

    Ultimately, do as ye will! I support and honor you in whatever way(s) you find to do this.

    As long as it is bringing you true healing, support for your deep creative self, and inspiring your path of artful living, I'm happy! 🙂
    – Beth

  • September 11, 2009, 4:31 pm denise

    Rock on with our awesome selves!!!
    I think it's great that we each instinctively know what will or will not nuture our inner and artistic beings~~~some need structure, some need to be boundary free. Me? I like just enough structure to keep me from falling off the world, but still the freedom to break the rules and run with scissors when I want to get freaky-crazy.

    I'm so glad I was introduced to your wonderful site ~*~

  • September 11, 2009, 6:20 pm Joan M. Cannon

    Thank you so much for encouraging us to fill our wells AND to gently dredge them with the practice of writing the "Morning Pages."

    Some days it does feel like I am not getting anywhere, and the time it takes to write them could be better spent, as my two-year-old daughter makes such quiet time a rare commodity. That being said, I am learning how to not judge myself and allowing the sanctuary that notebook and pen have come to provide for me.

    Thank You, Beth, for the beautiful disciplines you employ, for I am inspired and moved daily by your wisdom and resources…