My cell phone was dead so I left it charging in my bedroom. I sat outside on the front steps waiting for my grandson to get off his camp bus. Normally, that time would’ve passed uneventfully as I caught up reading emails or scrolled through instagram and facebook. But sitting there, alone, no phone in hand had me fidgety and bored.
When my kids were small, I waited for the camp bus every day and I didn’t have a cell phone.
I guess it was during that downtime that I used to think, which I absolutely have no time for now. Now, instead of coming up with my own thoughts, I read other people’s ideas and “like” them.
Through social media, I am reminded...
It’s never too late.
I am enough.
Miracles happen when you believe.
There are countless recipes I must try and a plethora of clothes I must buy.
There is no time anymore to sit still and just “Be.”
As a young mother, I didn’t have all those social media distractions and I am grateful for that.
For years, I fought against technology and cell phone use. I left my phone off in my purse and wouldn’t talk on it in public places.
But I do now. And it’s hard to know what’s lost.
That day, waiting for the bus, alone and undistracted, I had a writing idea, one I might not have had if I were “liking” someone else’s new facebook picture or copying and pasting a memorable quote.
Now, I check my phone countless times a day. I think it’s the intermittent reinforcement. You never know when that great email is coming. Just this week I received a second invitation to submit one of my posts to the North American Review for their blog. You can find that post here.
Just as I am thankful I had children before cell phones were as indispensable as fingers, I’m glad I began writing before I had a cell phone too.
Presently, I start my day reading emails and checking out what’s posted on instagram but a decade ago, I did Morning Pages, which are three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness.
Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, says “The pages may not seem spiritual or even meditative—but they are a valid form of meditation that gives us insight and helps us effect change in our lives.”
Over many years, I filled stacks of black and white composition notebooks. My children knew that writing time was sacred and my daughter, at two, would say to her siblings, “Shhh, Mommy’s doing her Morning Pages now.”
It was a daily practice, a ritual.
It was a time to be still and reflect.
It was a time to plan and discover.
I loved the feel of my hand moving across the page (no you can’t do Morning Pages on a computer).
It’s also important to know you can’t do Morning Pages wrong. And there are so many ways that journal writing can go right.
Sometimes I figured out a way to deal with a family matter, uncovered a dream I didn't even know I had or developed a writing idea.
Sometimes, I simply jotted down what I needed to do that day.
The point is that it encouraged mindfulness, focusing my attention on the emotions and thoughts happening in that present moment.
It was my time to