🎙️ Week 3 Audio Versions
I’ve made the audio recordings available in 3 formats, to hopefully attune to your preferred listening application.
I had to make these links public to accommodate listening preferences. I would appreciate it if you could refrain from sharing broadly outside of cohort colleagues at this time.
📝 Morning Pages
I know there are a lot of people out there that struggle with sitting in stillness. I’ve written extensively on what you can do about this here, but if you really struggle and don’t want to invest in that skill, there are additional access points where you can have access to unfiltered, direct guidance from a more expansive Source.
One of my favorites is a practice called morning pages which is a form of spontaneous journaling.
Now you might be saying, I’m not a writer and I don’t journal!
Well, you don’t have to be a writer to be the beneficiary of morning pages. So long as you can send an email to someone, you can do morning pages.
The essence of morning pages is learning how to connect with pure unfiltered consciousness. I first learned about it in my early 20s when I had a lot of anxiety. I would sit down at my computer and just start journaling out whatever thoughts that came to my awareness. I found this immensely therapeutic and also helpful to get clarity on what was causing my anxiety. Over the years, I would do this every so often without really understanding the mechanics of what was going on or how it could help me on a deeper level. I just knew that sometimes magic would somehow emerge from out of me onto the page and didn’t really understand why.
As I began to focus more deeply on my spirituality, I realized that morning pages were almost like a kinetic form of connecting to Source guidance. Instead of waiting to see what emerged through an audible voice in the stillness, I could now see what emerged from my keystrokes. The more I did it, the more clear guidance came through. I also found this practice has vastly enhanced my creativity around all aspects of my life.
This is not surprising since we are effectively creative vessels for Source to express itself in the external world!
This connection I had made more recently between morning pages and Source was confirmed by someone other than myself when I read a book called The Artist’s Way.
The heart of the practice is sitting down in front of a blank piece of paper or screen and letting whatever wants to flow out of you come out. The idea is to avoid using rational thoughts and analysis and just start typing & see what happens. As you do this, you might encounter what Julia Cameron calls “the censor.” This is that inner critic that loves to keep you small and will do anything to protect itself. This is the same culprit that likes to come over the top in direct inquiry and start doubting whatever initial impulse you get just showing its face in another form.
If you haven’t done much creative writing, it’s likely that the censor will be on overdrive when you start the practice. When this happens there are two things you can do:
- Ignore it and just keep letting the writing flow
- Pause and notice that the compulsion to stop, judge, and edit is just your primitive survival mechanism that’s turned on when it doesn’t need to be. Reset yourself, turn this blocking device off, and let it rip!
I have done this practice for years when I start my day and have seen the power first hand. It’s always been fun and adventurous to see what emerges, not to mention incredibly helpful for whatever is in focus in my life.
When we do this, we are trying to tap into a higher, more pure form of consciousness vs. the conditioned survival mind that keeps us small and limited. Some people like to think about this as a way to access the right brain, though I prefer to cite the more fundamental substrate of all it which I believe is divine intelligence.
The more I got the hang of morning pages, the more I realized I could be more directed to invoke guidance around specific parts of my life similar to the practice of direct inquiry. Practically, this means posing specific questions and just letting the writing rip!
I recommend building some comfort in just writing without thought and then beginning to move on to more focused prompts.
🚫 Do’s and Don’ts of Morning Pages
- Allow yourself to write whatever you want without adding any filters or wondering how it sounds. The goal is not to write something good, but to allow whatever wants to flow out of you to emerge. It should feel like you are on an adventure where you aren’t sure where it’s going. This might feel scary at first, but as you get comfortable the uncertainty will turn into exhilaration
- Keep writing as long as you want. It’s common advice to write 1,000 words, but the truth is someone just made this up. Maybe you can use this as a goal for the beginning to build the habit, but over time you don’t need to follow any hard and fast rules. I wouldn’t artificially cut off the creative intelligence that wants to come through you just because you feel like you’ve written enough. There can be pure gold in there if you just follow the flow and allow it to emerge. Eventually, you will become attuned to just “knowing” when you’re done
- After you have fully written your morning pages entry, feel free to go back and read it. Look for clues, insights, and actions you might want to take in your life
- Stop and edit your work while you are writing. There is no editing here. You are simply allowing higher consciousness to flow through you. One tip is that speed kills the censor. Just go for it and don’t try to stop and think about what you are writing
- Show your morning pages to anyone. This is for you and your own guidance. You don’t want any pressure of trying to “make it good.” Good = unfiltered words on a page
- Try to rationalize or think about what is coming out as you are typing. The idea is to fully let go and allow whatever wants to emerge. This is a pretty good metaphor for how we can move through life if we seek ultimate liberation : )
- Get annoyed if you feel thoughts starting to come in. You are human. Thoughts arise as a part of our experience. See these thoughts as just thoughts and heed them as you wish.
- Stop early to read and annotate your work with to-do’s and action items. Save this for the end when you are all done
Sometimes it can feel hard or intimidating to stare at a blank page. So what I recommend is a simple prompt as you begin to get comfortable with the practice. I personally like:
My highest expression is calling for…
As you sit down to write you can simply verbalize this phrase or put it at the top of your page.
Here’s a video of me doing morning pages and talking through the practice so you can get a sense of what it looks like:
✍️ Advanced Morning Pages
So you’ve gotten the hang of letting it flow, now it’s time to take the practice to the next level.
Now you want to direct your energy by writing down the question you want an answer to, reading that question, and then spontaneously writing.
Here are some example prompts I’ve used in my own life:
- What is the most effective, harmonious way for [insert] to come into being?
- Who can I rely on for help with [x situation]?
- What guidance do you have for the highest expression of [x situation]?
My personal routine is that I like to write down questions I want answers to about things in my life before I go to bed. It’s like I am planting a seed in my consciousness and the broader field. Instead of trying to answer it right then and there, I just leave it be. The wheels begin turning in the background so that the best possible information can blossom into my awareness when it’s ready.
For the longest time, I would do this on a notepad, but I recently upgraded to a device called
Remarkable which is like a digital notepad that can transcribe things to text.
Usually when I do this I don’t get the answer immediately in my awareness after I write it, but sometimes this happens. Often I will wake up in the middle of the night and get a ping in my awareness to get up and start writing down the information. Other times, it will come as I lay there trying to sleep. When I sit to do morning pages the next day, I’ll restate the question and see what emerges. I often find myself discovering previously unseen avenues of approach. If I don’t get a satisfactory answer, something might pop into my awareness later in the day.
Simon Sinek talks about this in this video on trusting your Gut. Though I think his perspective on information coming from the subconscious is limited relative to more expansive states that go beyond your historical experience, his description of the phenomena is on the money and something I agree with:
One important mindset is to not become attached to getting immediate information.
Our conditioned survival mind is made so uneasy at the prospect of allowing reality to unfold at its own speed. Instead when we’re faced with a problem, it feels better to race toward a resolution—any resolution, so that we can tell ourselves we’re “dealing with” the situation. This is an attempt to feel a sense of control and safety which is an illusion.
Once we see this dynamic for what it is, we can move beyond it. This comes back to trusting life and the perfect timing of everything.
I know that I am supported and that whatever information I need will come to me when I need it. This doesn’t mean I’m passive, but rather that I am patient.
It is important that you start to recognize that you HAVE THIS SUPER POWER of being able to ask questions and that guidance will appear.
Your entire life you might just have considered that ideas pop into your head randomly. It’s not that this isn’t true, but you also can exercise more control in welding what information you’d like the collective consciousness to provide you with. This is why once you begin to recognize the correlation between the questions you pose and the information you encounter, you can start to become more intentional with this gift.
One thing to reiterate is that the information you get back might be more encouraging than directive. For example, you might get back that you are on a great path and trust that what you need will be made available to you soon. It is common for the ego to view these responses as frustrating because it loves to have certainty. I consider this type of encouragement to be a great thing. The more we trust that the divine will make clear the things we need in perfect timing, the more abundant and easy things come into being.
More trust = more expectancy = more magic!
📚 Practice Stacking
One thing I will often do is what I call practice stacking. If there is a big, hairy problem I am trying to solve I will surround it with inputs from all sides.
Practically, what this looks like is the following:
- I’ll write the question down during the day or before bed. If during the day, I’ll look at it before bed
- I’ll wake up look at the question again and then ask in direct inquiry while I mediate which is the first thing I usually do after drinking some water
- When I sit down at my desk to begin my work, I’ll revisit that question again and write some morning pages on it
I find that this can expand the depth of ideas and insights I have around a particular topic. I wouldn’t practice stacking around a basic yes/no question or something simple. I find this to be better around a bigger, more open-ended question.
Here are some examples:
- What are the most impactful actions I can take to advance me towards X goal
- What is my soul calling for
- What steps can I take to accomplish X, by y date
Anything that involves looking for creative solutions might be a good place to exercise practice stacking.
🆚 Morning Pages vs. Direct Inquiry?
Now that you have 2 entry points under your belt, you may be asking which practice should I do?
I will stress this throughout the course, but we are all unique in how we receive information. So adding this additional practice is an invitation to explore and see what works for you. That is why this week, I encourage you to prioritize giving this a try if you can only do one practice.
One thing I’ll say about morning pages is that there is a bit more overhead relative to direct inquiry. With direct inquiry, you can literally close your eyes and quiet your mind in almost any situation to get guidance. Morning pages is more of a process that requires you to be in a place where you can write something. I personally do both and kind of use them differently.
I use direct inquiry for most things I want a clear answer on and I often contemplate with morning pages when I am looking for more open-ended, creative solutions. For example, I would use direct inquiry for something like should I buy this car? And then I would use morning pages for something like how can I grow my business in the next 3 months? I might also use direct inquiry for this too and practice stack.
🏋️ Week 3 Skill Development: Unleashing Your Creative Genius
Morning pages, like all methods for accessing intuition, is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger and more refined it gets which results in an enhanced ability to tap into insights.
For this week, the goal is to simply familiarize yourself with the practice.
Set a goal to write 250 words a day from scratch for 5 days or using the recommended prompt or one of your own! If you want to write more, by all means, do it.
It is often recommended to write 1000 words for morning pages, but I think the more important thing is to get started and be consistent.
When should I stop writing?
This may be cliche advice, but you’ll know. I usually write until whatever has been wanting to come out of me feels settled. If I am looking for specific guidance, I’ll go until the information on the page feels satisfactory. Remember there is no wrong answer with whatever comes out of you. If something is incomplete, the information might come through in a subsequent entry or other form like something popping into your awareness later that day. Our job is to trust the answers we seek will emerge and pay attention to our inner whispers and the way life communicates with us in the outer world.
What if I write something that’s scary?
Remember Source guidance always comes through in a loving, supportive tone. This should give you immense confidence to allow whatever wants to come through you to do just that. There’s nothing to be afraid of!
If something comes onto the page that is negative or scary, it’s likely emanating from the conditioned survival mind which loves to worry and come up with worst-case scenarios.
If you’re scared because it represents a deviation from your preferences, I again implore you to explore that with curiosity. As much as we think we know what’s best for us, we often don’t. Have trust knowing you are lovingly supported by the Universe to evolve to your highest expression.
What if I can’t get started?
If you can’t write anything there are a few things to do:
- Try a prompt like the one given or “What information wants to make itself known to me right now”
- Do something else and return to the morning pages at a later time
- Contemplate what it is that might be blocking you? It’s likely some fear that is irrational
One reason you might be struggling is some belief around your creativity, God, or your ability. One thing you can do is to use the morning pages to ask and write about what the beliefs blocking you are as well as what a more supportive set of beliefs might be.
Do I need to act on everything in my morning pages?
You never need to take immediate action on anything that comes through. However, over time you will realize that the more attuned you become to invoking and following intuitive guidance, the more rewards there are. There is no notion of “getting punished” for not following something. This is emblematic of religious programming that pictures our Creator as some domineering figure. The idea is to experiment and learn to get comfortable with what feels right for you.
Does this go against my spiritual path?
No. Morning pages can be seen as a direct connection to the divine. We tend to think, or at least fear, that creative dreams are egotistical and something that God wouldn’t approve of for us. Again, this is most likely due to some really bad religious programming. In reality, Source has given us these dreams and seeks to experience them through you. Accepting this concept can greatly expand your intuitive and creative possibilities.
What if I don't feel like writing?
Given the choice, you ideally want to do morning pages when you are feeling fresh and excited to engage. But sometimes we don’t feel this way and that’s okay. A few things you can do are:
- Investigate why you are resisting it. Maybe there is something to be learned here
- Return to it at a later time
- Realize that the hardest part is often just getting going and committing to writing one sentence
It’s my experience that once you have built this habit, morning pages show us that our moods don't have a significant impact on our ability to receive guidance or be creative as long as we are able to perform the task with a calm mind.
So over the next week, I encourage you to commit to doing it no matter what to hit your goal of 5 entries employing the strategies mentioned.
What if I get information that’s unclear or unsatisfactory?
Just as we discussed with direct inquiry, you are welcome to revisit this information at a later time. You can also use another modality such as direct inquiry to approach the same question. Remember, you are looking for clear, direct, neutral information - you will begin to know it when you see it with practice.
Do morning pages need to be done in the morning?
No. Though they should be done when you feel like doing them which is often when your mind is fresh and uncluttered. For most people, this happens during the morning. If you are not a morning person though, maybe this happens later in the day. I would calibrate your practice for when you naturally feel best!
🍿 Week 4 Preview
In week 4 we will cover:
- The direct expression method and best practices
- Setting a strong foundation to invoke more intuition
- How to improve recognition
- How to improve application