(Thank you to my heart sister, Isar Danu, for sharing this quote for us today. I offer it with all my love, in memory of her mother.)
Now in the fourth step of our Artist’s Way journey, we come to the real push regarding the morning pages, as well as the looming shadow of the infamous “Reading Deprivation Week.” This, folks, is where the rubber hits the road.
I am hearing lots of resistance and explanations (in emails as well as here) about why morning pages don’t have to be every day, how our lives are way too busy, how we are getting the same benefit, but doing it within our own boundaries, schedule, self-wisdom and so forth.
And truly, I am right there with you. I am finding them really challenging this go-round, even though they are also an ingrained habit from many years’ practice. There is just something about trying to get this blog written and posted every morning (hopefully by 10am, but certainly by lunchtime), plus handling all the other busy-ness I need to see to every morning, that makes my morning pages want to slide down my list.
So I guess I’m saying that I am not living in a dream fantasy-land of endless time and nothing better to do, and neither are you.
We are recovering creatives. Which means that we have spent who knows how many years living in rationalization and denial. We have adapted to calling ourselves “okay” in the face of tremendous loss, pain, and anger. Most of us are very, very good at talking ourselves down from the sorrow of deferred dreams, ignoring unhappy relationships, swallowing hurt, and calling it survival. We are experts at our procrastinations, our ability to self-deceive, and our need to think we are in control, while continuing to sabotage our secret divine desires.
This, my dear lovelies, is exactly what all these exercises and checklists have been designed to show us. And this is what the morning pages whisper to us, and why we need their form of dialogue with our deep wisdom, every single day. At least we do, this early in our discovery and healing process. You see, part of the very nature of our woundedness is that we have a blind spot to much of what is blocking and hurting us.
It is especially telling that many of us are giving ourselves, say, a B+ for our morning pages (“not perfect, but pretty good, considering,” we tell ourselves), but continue to fail when it comes to our artist’s date. The artist’s date, I am suddenly realizing, is the absolute truth-teller about where we are in our own state of denial.
Most of us can manage to eke out fairly regular morning pages like good little soldiers. Because soldiering through, to get the job done is our stock in trade. But the artist’s date is the expendable “fluff. ”
So really, to what extent it is non-negotiable starkly illuminates where we are in our relationship with self-nurturing and joy. It reveals the exact extent to which we are actually healing our inner artist.
More about all this tomorrow.