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Gratitude Art Journal and Morning Pages
I have a morning routine. I highly suggest everyone have a morning routine. Having morning routine has really helped me through some rough times and get back to a healthy creative life. We all go through times of struggle, times when our creativity seems to be hiding from us. It’s during these times when we have the most potential for growth and development. We can consciously take charge of our life.
How we start the day is key on how we will live our day. How we live each day is how we live our life! I have read so many books on the subject. I have also had morning routines and gone through times of my life where I didn’t. Let me tell you, there was a huge difference in the quality and success of my life between having a morning routine and not. I have found gratitude art journaling to be a great thing to include with morning journal pages. They work hand and hand.
The Morning is Yours
I want to make the most of my life. I want you to make the most out of your life. When people are are happy and working toward their true calling the world becomes a better place! The world needs the person you are destined to become! We often focus on the big events of life and we can get into a habit of overlooking our daily life. It’s the daily tasks that make up so much of our life. We should be making sure we are making the most out of it and bringing our life into a path of joy and success.
Don’t hate mornings, find the treasure hidden in them. Your morning is a time where it’s usually just you. You are not surrounded by co-workers and the hustle of the traffic. It’s quiet, a great time to focus and meditate on your dreams. It can be such a wonderful time you’ll go through your day with a ton of added joy. You’ll have a calmer mind.
What Are Morning Journaling Pages
Morning pages originates with Julia Cameron and her creation of the book and course The Artist’s Way. The Artists’s Way is a twelve step process of helping you discover and rediscover your creative self to create the life you want. It is about silencing the evils of self-doubt. The New Yorker talks about the lasting power of her message and how it has held up through the years and how Morning Pages is the core of the process.
Morning pages are 3 pages of writing done first thing in the morning. It must be three sides of paper. It his described as stream of consciousness writing, You just let tour mind go, almost like a brain dump. Julia Cameron says, “You’re trying to catch yourself before your ego’s defenses are in place.” That is why you do this first thing in the morning. You just write. If you can’t think o anything to write you and write that you can’t think anything to write. The important thing to to stay consistent and do this first thing in the morning.
Why Morning Pages Works
Morning pages are so beneficial to really clear you mind and produce clarity of thought. Julia suggest longhand. Do people still write in shorthand? If you do I’d love to hear form you!
Morning pages lets you be conscious of your mind and helps you prioritize your day. You’ll find you soon creativity is bursting from your brain. It’s okay if you have hard time at first. All things can take a little getting used to. I would suggest you try morning pages for at least a week or two and see all the benefits. Many people even say they feel less anxiety. Morning pages is also a great tool for silencing your inner critic.
Julia Cameron states that, “The pages may seem dull to you, even pointless, but they are not. Remember that they are not intended to be ‘art.’ They pave the way for art. Each page you write is a small manifesto. You are declaring your freedom — freedom from your Censor, freedom from negativity in any quarter.” Elisabeth Gilbert is quoted in The New York Times as staying without The Artists Way there would be no “Eat, Pray, Love.”
Morning Pages Works Out problems
I told this story about a math professor I had in college. He told us if we were struggling on a math problem to sleep on it. The mind works on problems while we sleep. When we wake up we often have a much easier time solving the problem. This works in other areas of life, as well. Writing morning pages helps draw out everything our basis have been working on while we were sleeping.
It’s a great boost to your creativity. This article in The Gaurdian states that the creativity is boosted because the brain, “And that bleary-eyed morning time has been shown to be associated with more creative thinking: with the brain’s inhibitory processes still weak, “A-ha!” moments come more readily.
Morning pages is also a great excuse to buy a journal. I’m a lot like Loralei Gilmore, I’ll do anything if it means I can go shopping. You don’t have to, you could use any paper or notebook you already have. I like to buy a special journal for each journaling activity. The size of your journal is going to affect the number of words you are writing. I try to make sure the journal is A4, about the size of a school notebook.
My favorite journal is MD Midori. These journals come from Japan and they have beautiful paper. The paper is off white but not cream, more like a dreamy white color. They are well bound and will not fall apart very easy. I am very hard on mine and it’s still intact. The notebooks have such a beautiful aesthetic. I get mine through Amazon Prime.
Julia Cameron says you must stop once you reach 3 pages. However, that does not mean you have to stop all journaling. I find keeping a Gratitude Journal with morning pages really works well. Even if I repeat some things.
What is a Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal is writing what you are grateful for. Focusing on what you are thankful for is the first step in bringing better things into your life. It can be so easy to complain and feel down, especially if you’re on social media a lot. Keeping a gratitude journal focuses you remind on the positive and on the great things you do have.
Feeling grateful can affect your mental and emotional health. Forbes reports that celebrating your gratitude and being thankful for your success will drive you to seek more success.
Keeping your state of mind on grateful thinking, creates happiness, happiness will positively affect all areas of your life both professional and personal.
When life is at it’s toughest is when it’s the most important to stay grateful.
Starting your morning with morning pages that calms your anxieties and draws forth creativity and then paired with being grateful will have powerful affect on your mind and energy you go through the day with.
There are no rules for starting a gratitude journal other than being thankful. You can use prompts which is a good way to jumpstart your thankful thinking. I have made a printable gratitude journal page. Just sign up for my e-mail, confirm your subscription, be sure to check your junk mail, and and you’ll receive the password to my resource library. Don’t worry, I do not sell e-mails nor do I spam. You’ll only receive things such as new printables and other similar updates.
“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.”
~ Henry Ward Beecher”
Why a Gratitude Journal After Morning Pages?
Once you’ve had your brain dump and let your creativity loose in your morning pages your mind should have some more clarity. Now, it’s time to be intentional. You are intentionally starting your day with the mindset of being grateful. Both exercises are helpful to your mind. Morning pages help relieve anxiety and bring new thought to the foreground of your mind.
Starting Your Gratitude Journal
First you need to choose your journal. You can add gratitude journal pages to your journals you already have, or you can keep a journal dedicated to Gratitude. Either one works, there is no right to wrong on how to keep a gratitude journal.
One of my favorite art journals is MD Midori. This journal is made in Japan with smooth, beautiful paper. It is well bound, it does not fall apart. You can read more about this journal and my other favorite Japanese Journal supplies here.
If you have never started an art journal you can ready tutorial here.
Step 1.) Be Grateful
The first step is really to think about what you are grateful for and how you want to express it.
You can read about easy art journal backgrounds in my tutorial here to help get you started.
Sometimes all I do is take some watercolor and paint a quick watercolor wash with one or two colors. Then add maybe some collage details with things that make me happy.
Being grateful can be expressed through both writing and creating art. Painting what you are grateful for is also a very powerful activity.
Step 2.) Write Your list
I like to write lists. A gratitude list is very easy. You just list things you are grateful for. You don’t have to explain why are go into any detail if you don’t want to. The purpose is to express gratitude and train your mind to be thankful on a daily basis. Just write. Right now I’m grateful for the electric, internet, and computer Ih ave that let’s me type this out and get it to you.
I am thankful the room I am sitting in. I am thankful.
Here are some ideas for gratitude lists:
- People in your life
- Treasure possessions
- Things about yourself
- Places you like around your town
- Books you’ve read
You can take a ruler and draw out lines, or just free hand it.
I made a simple spread here. I used a printed quote from my printable, added some scrap paper, an old postcard I found at an antique store, and a loose watercolor wash.Then some doodles and my list of what I’m grateful for.
Step 3.) Continue in your Gratitude Journal
The next step is to stay consistent in your gratitude journal. Once your mind is free from your morning pages you should have a good grasp on your mood. Let it flow to being thankful and let your creativity have fun in your journal.
Writing morning pages, keeping a gratitude journal , and art journaling are all activities that will work to transform your life into a creative way of being. You’ll see the positive effects on all areas of your life.
Step 4.) Embellishments
As I mentioned in the first step, I added collage details and a loose watercolor wash to brighten up my page.
Add things that make you happy when you look at them. Little scraps fo your favorite paper, colors that make you smile, photos of things you are grateful for.
When you are art journaling you are letting your imagination take control. I suggest keeping a box of collage details by your desk so you have easy access when you need them. Keep things that make you smile. Start collecting little fun ephemera details for your gratitude journal.
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Where to find Inspiration
If you need more inspiration I suggest to try Skillshare. Whenever I’m feeling blah, I pop over to Skillshare. They are basically a streaming service full of amazing classes. They have tons and tons of classes in a wide variety of subjects. You can get two months free with this link. After your town month trial it’s still a pretty low fee. You can cancel at any time. I’ve been addicted to it since I discovered it,
Share Your Art
I’d love to see your art. Hop over to my Facebook Group and share your art with me.