Literally and figuratively. Centering my cross stitch pieces and finding emotional and mental calm.
Let’s start with that second one.
(Click here to jump directly to the cross stitch centering tutorial.)
You may be familiar with Julia Cameron and her iconic book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. If you’re not, it’s just as hippy-dippy as it sounds, which is probably why I enjoyed it.
When I was at my first MFA creative writing residency in 2012, both my mentor and a classmate recommended Cameron’s book to me as a way to let myself write more freely, without thinking so much. See, the book takes the reader through a series of activities to help unlock creative energies, and one of the main components of the process is Morning Pages.
Morning Pages are simply three handwritten pages of stream-of-consciousness journaling meant to clear the mind—or unearth ideas that were previously hidden under the rubble of uptight thought—ideally written early in the day before worries and obligations take over. The pages aren’t supposed to be shared or published. Instead, they have a throw-away quality that lowers the stakes so the writer can babble on without worrying what anyone else will think.
(The Artist’s Way isn’t just for writers. It’s for anyone wishing to live a more creative life. It just so happens that part of that discovery process, according to Cameron, relies on writing through one’s thoughts.)
In short, the purpose of Morning Pages is to get past perfection.
To get past self-consciousness and inhibition in order to make messes, out of which personal revelations and innovative ideas are born.