Tools for contemplation and reconnection [Guest post]

Written on August 19, 2011 by in Artistry & inspiration, Guest bloggers

There has been no greater gift that has come into my life than connecting with my inner artist.  When I discovered my personal joy in photography, it didn’t stop there; revelations of who I am and where my inspiration comes from continued to flood in.  Inspiration flows when we can operate from a space of clarity and connectedness. There are contemplative tools that can be used to draw out our inner inspiration and serve as a personal guide to living authentically as an artist.

Contemplative tools come in all shapes and sizes.  Practices like meditation, going for walks in new places, or yoga are healthy activities that can fuel creativity and nourish the soul.

My contemplative tool of choice is Morning Pages.

It started with a book I picked up back in 2009 from the recommendation of one my favorite photographers MeRaKoh.  The book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, literally LITERALLY changed my life, and it continues to do so to this day. One of the tools mentioned in the book is a journaling exercise called Morning Pages.  Morning Pages are three pages of free form writing of whatever is on your mind flowing straight out onto the page.  These pages have helped to reveal my own hidden truth and renew my creativity every morning I put my pen to the page.  

When I first began writing morning pages, it was exciting.  Julia Cameron had instilled in me the motivation and trust that writing three pages every morning was going to lead me down a path of self-reflection and provide guidance for my artistry.  It did do all of these things and more…but not right away.  To be quite honest, in the beginning, writing morning pages was annoying.  I would set my alarm clock to wake up thirty minutes earlier every morning, take out my notebook, and write…about nothing.  Sentences like “I am so tired today” and “have to go grocery shopping” came out onto the page. It seemed counterproductive and I didn’t feel like I was getting anything out of it.  But still, I believed in the power of writing out my thoughts, as jumbled as they seemed at the time.  I did this up until late 2010 when I hit a lull.  While writing my morning pages, I hit a point that started to reveal layers and layers of truth that I wasn’t quite ready for.  My mind rebelled and so I put down the pen.  I stopped writing for about three months. 

During the time I stopped writing things became cluttered.  I had no outlet to release the stream of thoughts that entered my mind on a regular basis.  My mind was like a clogged pipe that had been backed up with all sorts of gook. There are so many things that gets trapped in our minds on a daily basis that it actually forms a block that impedes the desire to create and express ourselves freely.

This blocked energy left me feeling uneasy and stuck; unable to express myself creatively.  I soon found myself setting my alarm clock again to ring thirty minutes earlier as I made my way back to the page every morning.  The practice of doing morning pages everyday helped me to:

The experiences we go through in life impact us in the smallest of ways. Morning pages can serve as a release from the build up of toxic thoughts and inaction paving the way to putting ideas in motion.

It doesn’t matter what contemplative tool you use to connect with your inner self.  You may find that developing a meditation practice works better for you or chanting “om” three times before starting your day.  These are the kind of tools that come from within and are unique to every individual.  When you incorporate these tools in your life as a daily practice, you can form a conduit giving you direct access to your authentic self. 

 Try incorporating one of these practices in your daily routine just for one week.  Don’t set any expectations, just immerse yourself in the activity freely and assess how your inner self responds. 

What contemplative tools have you found to be helpful in reconnecting with your authentic self?

Guest post by: Ariane Hunter, professional portrait and wedding photographer. When Ariane is not shooting, she is either blogging her musings about conscious living, practicing yoga, or adventuring the streets of New York City. She firmly believes that everyone has unique talents that should be shared with the world. Her motto is See Beauty… Learn more by visiting her website and following her on Twitter.

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  1. satsumabug
    August 22, 2011

    I love Morning Pages too. I’ve been doing them off and on for several years, and they’ve given me so much support and inspiration and power. Like you, Ariane, whenever I stop doing them, I feel their absence! That doesn’t always mean I get back to them right away, but once I do, it’s like coming home.
    satsumabug recently posted..Making over my closet

  2. Kate Watson
    August 24, 2011

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Lisa! I agree, morning pages are a great tool.

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