Morning Pages: a tool for creating insight, innovation, and calm

writingWhen the world is changing so quickly we need to find new ways to make sense of it.

Often our rational, conscious minds will be stuck in the ways the world used to work. But our unconscious minds will already be spotting new patterns as they emerge.

To lead ourselves and others better through this time of change, we need to find a reliable ways to draw on the power of our unconscious intuition.

Sportspeople do this intuitively as they leap and stretch to put the ball exactly where they want it to go. They don’t think what to do they just know it. How can we train ourselves to do the same?

Julia Cameron wrote The Artist’s Way as a way to help people reconnect with their creative, intuitive selves. We can use one of the tools she invented to reconnect us with our intuition quickly, deeply, and reliably.

The technique is called Morning Pages. To apply it, first sit down with pen and paper first thing in the morning, before your conscious mind is fully awake. Then write out longhand whatever comes into your mind until you have filled three sides of paper.

When you are finished, look back through what you have written and make a note of anything significant. Then get on with your day.

Repeat the process the next morning or for as long as you feel the need to draw on this extra source of information.

The benefits will come to you in three levels:

  • First, you will get any niggling worries out of your head and down on the paper. This will calm you, clearing your head, and allowing you to focus on your priorities.
  • Second, writing without thinking will often produce unexpected new insights and understanding. We don’t know how it does this, it just does. Your unconscious is often wiser than your mind.
  • And third, sometimes even solutions will pop up out of nowhere

Journalist Oliver Burkeman was sceptical about Morning Pages to begin with. Now he wishes he had started years ago.

Try it. You may find the same.

Is your mind stuck on an issue you can’t seem to resolve? Have you tried using your intuition? Would it be worth trying the Morning Pages, just to get your thoughts down on paper and see what else emerges?


Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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