What does your morning routine look like? Once your turn off the alarm, do you brush your teeth and then instantly open your laptop and dive into emails or get lost in your Facebook feed? What if instead the first thing you did in the morning encouraged self-reflection and creativity?
Maybe you have heard of morning pages, the idea of writing a few stream of consciousness pages first thing each morning to get the juices flowing. This is a practice I have been trying to add to my life. Although I don’t always make it every single day, I am making time to write at least a few mornings a week, and am hoping to increase that consistency as I build this nurturing habit. I don’t focus on a certain number of words, I just like to focus on this for ten, uninterrupted minutes. Whatever comes in that time is enough. If I want to keep writing when that time is up, I allow myself to do so, but I don’t require anything more than sitting for that time and jotting down a few thoughts.
I am not a huge journal person, mostly because I have sloppy handwriting and don’t always like the clutter of physical paper. So instead I practice this morning free write actually as a morning free type on a document on my computer. This doesn’t have the benefits of writing by hand, but still allows me to set aside 10 minutes in the morning to sit with my thoughts and start my day. I think the important thing is to do it, and if I am more likely to type than write, then that’s ok.
It’s all about finding what works for each of us individually, so whether in a journal, in your phone notes, or on your computer, I encourage you to give writing in the morning a try with even just a few sentences a day. I think you will enjoy the rhythm of it, and find that it starts your day off feeling focused and in touch with all of those thoughts that have been circulating overnight. Take this one step further and review your writing weekly or monthly. Notice patterns, or things that keep coming up during this writing time. Perhaps those are items that aren’t getting enough attention elsewhere in your life, or are things you are interested in or working through. This exercise can be beneficial just in the practice of doing it, but also might lead to deeper insights by letting your thoughts flow naturally, before the schedule of the day kicks in and your to do list becomes consuming. I am looking forward to increasing this practice in my own life, and hope you'll join me.