I was once told that Jamie Kirkland (one of my favorite painters), does not pick up her brush until she has reached a meditative state. Given that my attraction to her paintings is for their serene quality, I believe this statement, whether true or not.
I have since employed the same technique before picking up my pen to write (or my camera to shoot). I feel a heightened mental and sensory state occurs after a bit of meditation. My words and purpose seem to vibrate at the surface of my awareness. My work has greater clarity and concludes with greater satisfaction.
I’ve written before about writing and Morning Pages (see Julia Cameron). I still employ the technique of daily, 15 minute, uninterrupted, stream-of-conscience writing. However, as the mother of toddlers, I have had to modify the practice.
The idea of setting an alarm for before they awake, to write for 15 minutes in bed before anything else, is great. The reality with toddlers is they wake up on their own schedule. I recognize that this season of my life is dedicated to needs. The needs of the boys, work, hubby, and my own needs. I often need to sleep until they awake, to catch up on the missed sleep of previous days, weeks, years. Yet the creative side of myself cannot be put on the shelf, so I modify and find a space for creation in my life.
My routine begins when I step into my studio for the day. First, I space clear (put away anything out of place). Since I usually do this before leaving in the evening, this doesn’t take long. I am one who has difficulty ignoring a mess. I find the mind keeps returning to things left undone.
Second, I do a few yoga postures to release any tension and quiet my mind (reach my meditative state). Third, I set my intention for the day. Typical intentions are: health, strength, listen, love, respect, calm, centered, open.
Next, I light a few candles (repeating my intention each time), turn on some centering music (Deuter and Takenobu are regulars), and set my phone timer for at least 15 minutes.
It is then that I pick up my pen and write uninterrupted until the timer goes off. I write continuously, stream of conscious. It is important to not self-edit, to not worry about a reader. This way one can really see where they are and what is needed in ones life that day.
This morning, my entire focus was on sharing my routine with others. It has helped me greatly in my life. I share in case it helps someone else. So here it is, Namaste.