Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Artist’s Way: Week Four, Post Two

If I were to ask you the question “How are you?,” what would be your response?

Ten to one, I bet you’d respond “Fine,” no matter what was going on in your life, right?

Ya, me too.

And if you asked me “How are you feeling today?” I’d probably respond “Okay,” no matter what was going on in my life.

Glossing-over our emotions and thoughts is easy to do in conversation. (We don’t think the other person really wants to know anyway, and is just being polite.) But, it is next to impossible to do this in the Morning Pages. In fact, they really don’t allow it (I’ve tried). They press you to answer the questions “How am I?” and “How do I feel?” with an honesty that bares you to the bone. They make you answer even if you don’t want to because you know that it’s going to be painful (and require you to take action).

This truthfulness is what Julia calls Recovering a Sense of Integrity and that’s the focus for this week. She really goes into detail about the value of the Morning Pages in regards to uncovering who we really are, what we really believe, and how we can hide these truths from ourselves.

Here are just a few quotes that I loved in this chapter:

“Over any considerable period of time, the morning pages perform spiritual chiropractic. They realign our values. If we are to the left or the right of our personal truth, the pages will point out the need for a course adjustment” (p. 80).

“The process of identifying a self inevitably involves loss as well as gain … As we clarify our perceptions, we lose our misconceptions. As we eliminate ambiguity, we lose illusion as well. We arrive at clarity, and clarity creates change” (p. 81).

“Each day’s morning pages take a swipe at the blur you have kept between you and your real self” (p. 84).

I’ve experienced this, this unknown part of myself that suddenly makes its appearance on the page.

And it can be startling.

One of the rules of Morning Pages is that you don’t go back to read them. So, you’d think that that would mean you don’t remember what you’ve written (and in some cases this is true), but what happens is a tethered unraveling, an experience of coming undone and yet remaining connected. Slowly, more and more of me is appearing on the page. And it makes me uncomfortable facing myself in such an intimate way (which sounds strange, I know).

Let me give you an example to help you understand. A few days ago as I was writing random thoughts in my Morning Pages, a line appeared that was so shattering I actually stopped and held my breath because I was going to cry (and I hate crying). It was a truth so tender that I wasn’t prepared for it, and the line has been haunting me ever since.

I wasn’t going to share it specifically because it’s such a personal revelation, but, since it’s just the two of us, I’ll offer it for you to ponder:

It’s terrible to long for something you know you won’t give yourself.

The Morning Pages have shown me that this is my truth, my integrity.

And it breaks my heart…

UP NEXT: Not Reading = Sad Liz

1 comment:

Amanda said...

WOW!! What a powerful and sad sentence! I love that you are going through this journey, but most of all that you are sharing with us. I'm so proud of you!