"The world can’t wait for perfect."
Around this time last year, I started journaling daily. I was in my first semester of grad school to get my MFA in Creative Writing, and someone recommended I read Julia Cameron's book, The Artist’s Way. Admittedly, I have still not read it — add it to the list of things I have been meaning to do for years — but I did adopt part of the practice she teaches: a daily morning writing routine called "morning pages."
"The bedrock tool of a creative recovery is a daily practice called Morning
I started putting my notebook and pen beside my bed before I went to sleep, so that as soon as I woke up I could reach over and start writing. In the mornings, laying on my stomach, my head turned and resting on one arm, I wrote about the dreams I had, the things I heard the day before that I found strange or noteworthy, philosophies on how to be the kind of human being I want to be.
When I first started doing morning pages, I couldn’t stop. One day turned to two, two to three, and three turned to almost thirty consecutive days of writing for at least thirty minutes first thing in the morning. After a few weeks, I was going to bed looking forward to the morning — imagining myself waking up and grabbing my notebook to record whatever thoughts came to me upn waking.
There's this theory that in the morning is when we are closest to our higher consciousness — when we are most easily able to access our conscious minds unclouded by the smog of compulsive thinking. I felt clear in the morning, and starting my day with quiet reflection made it easier to process thoughts during the day. I felt clear-headed and alert; and got increasingly able to really listen to the thoughts that ran through my head during the day. I turned this morning routine into a social media project, recording a line or two from my entries and posting them on my Instagram page with the hashtag #morningmeditation.
This blog is the end result of this project. This blog is evidence that writing is a practice I fall in and out of love with. I am as ashamed of my inconsistent practice as I am proud for doing it at all. Some mornings I am eager to make a cup a tea and gift myself a moment of stillness and reflection, some days I am in a hurry and resent my limited capacity to make sense of the world when my thoughts are not the page. No matter how much I walk away from writing, I always return to it. Writing has followed me across years, cities, lovers, and jobs. On the page is where I discovered my power. I fear that I too often use the word "magic," but until the English language catches up with our urgent collective need to understand the world in different terms, I will continue to use it. There is some inherent magic in transcribing your own thoughts — in giving shape to words. It is hard to describe this magic; all I know for certain is that I feel it.
It feels important, now, to think critically about how to use my magic. I have come to understand my magic as simply what I am capable of doing — the power I have to affect change in the world. Everyone has magic; it's something like "agency," or "the capacity to be self-determining." When I say “my magic,” I am referring to the power I have to live the life I want.
The current state of affairs in the United States and all across the world compels to me reflect on my role in shaping the future. More than ever, I am asking myself, How do I live in such a way that reduces harm to other people and the environment? What does it mean to live in a such a way that When do I feel most powerful, and how can I shape a life that allows me to exist in such a state most of the time? The more I ask these questions, the clearer the answer becomes.
In the midst of chaos, I return to things I know to be consistent in my life — the need for food and water, my body’s demands and requests for sleep and exercise. In the midst of chaos, I return to writing as the best way I have found to make sense of the world.
I’ve been thinking and re-thinking about the best way to use this blog space, and now is the time to stop thinking and start doing. I’m committing to use this space as a site for liberation — where I exercise my freedoms and where you are invited to observe my process in hopes that it helps you do the same.
I can no longer be comfortable with silence. With waiting. The world can’t wait for perfect; it is made better with my best. So here I am, as is, hoping to be less apologetic about being in process.