One of the cornerstones of the Artist's Way is morning pages. Every morning during the 12-week course you write 3 pages long-hand.  It seems simple and maybe even like a waste of time, but it is actually the opposite - incredibly difficult but rewarding when you actually take the time to do it. 

I don't know how this is for other people going through the Artist's Way, but for myself and many others I hear from, it is not something that happens everyday. Even when it does, I don't always get to 3 full pages.  

I am both interested in that which is in the way of our flow but I also know there's another part of me that is happy to turn away and look at something pretty and distracting. 

This is why I am writing about it. One thing I've learned from the pages is that they will uncover things.  You start to learn about how you feel, what's preoccupying you, where your thoughts go. Instead of being in the thoughts, you can see the thoughts. That is two different experiences. It actually has quite a lot of parallels to meditation and is the reason why I incorporate both into my workshops. 

So my observations:  I can see how the block of writing my pages is the same block that keeps me from posting my gratitudes.  I started 101 Days of Gratitude 2013 last August, and am just coming out of a recent bout of not posting. 

Once I get past the negative self-talk about feeling bad I'm not keeping up with my own project, I start to look at what's keeping me from posting. Here's my list:

  • I don't like going on social media - I've written about this before, I feel an anxiety often when I go to post something online. It almost seems to increase the more personal my post is. Yet, I see this as a great tool for connection and want to celebrate it, which is what keeps me posting.

  • I forget - simple answer but its true. I'm juggling quite a bit at the moment and at the end of the day, when I usually spend a few minutes reflecting, I'm ready to let go of the whole day. I will think that I will "do it tomorrow" and that has turned into next week a few times now.

  • I can't think of what to write - Sounds unbelievable, but it goes with the first point. I start thinking about how others will perceive my post and over-think it all and then can't think of what I really want to post.

I posted these on my wall

above where I write my gratitude

so I will see them everyday and remember.

Now with my excuses out of the way and I can see how ridiculous they all are (the value in writing things down!), I want to make some resolutions.  I work a lot with affirmations and believe they are a powerful way to change our thinking and lives. Here are mine for right now:

  • What I have to say has value, even if its simple, silly, or superficial.

  • There is enough time for all tasks to be done each day.

  • I am in the beautiful flow of life.

Maybe this will help : )

Day 75: A Beautiful Day

It has been pretty dreary the past few days that I am ecstatic to see blue skies again. There is nothing I love more than green trees with the bright blue sky behind it. Below is the view from my room at the office that I am getting to enjoy while doing computer work.

In fact, I love sites like this so much, I even wrote a poem about it years ago. It will be appearing in my upcoming chapbook,

As Light Ascends

, from

Beauty is Beauty Press

. Here's a preview:

Messages from the Sky

There is something to say

The view from my office window today

...makes work seem less like work somehow

about the contrast of colors

that occurs with sky and trees–

how that buoyant blue

is somehow made brighter

behind branches bursting

with green so graciously. 

Same with the shadowed

egg-shell shade of clouds

that slides with ease of water,

and the airplane in the distance,

disguised as a diamond

perched among peach petals

gently cascading on some

celestial scenery.

Above these sky-scenes

Heaven is sure to prove its transparency;

but from this terrestrial position

the impression is a perpetual fluctuation

between Eden and perfection.

Days 66, 67, 68 & 69:

I just wrote the word "thankful" so many time in one email, I decided to get back on the Grateful wagon.

For the past few days I have found it difficult to sit down and write about my gratitude. I admit, 101 Days of reflecting and blog writing is a pretty big project and I know I am a bit susceptible to taking on a little more than I can handle. So since I get to make the rules, I'm gonna combine this immense gratitude I'm feeling right to represent the past four days. Then I suppose I can be thankful that I'm all caught up! (Because it was weighing on me just a little...)

When I allow myself to get out of the mindset of "doing things right," then I just find the joy in what I do and however it turns out! Hopefully we can all let go a little more and just be in love with things the way they are.

Day 64: A New Chapbook

Even though I already have 1 million things to do, I am so excited about this new project. Almost exactly, 1 month from today, I will be coming out with my first collection of poetry in over 10 years!

I got a call today from someone I met last Friday at the poetry event for YellowJacket Press.  He has his own independent local press and is hosting an event next month. One of the featured poets is not going to be able to make it and so he thought of me. Part of the deal is they will publish my book!

I have never been a writer seeking publication; my craft is performance. But I have thought in the past few years that it would be good to get some of my work out there on paper, that it would help expose my words to more readers. I just don't take the initiative. I've even had the editors of an literary magazines, upon hearing me recite somewhere (no doubt at a YellowJacket Press event) request me to submit work to their magazines. Have I, ever? NO.

So I take this opportunity as a divine request to get my literary ass in gear and put some work on paper.  I write because I want to share and as much as I talk about how we need to share at open mic, blah, blah, blah, I need not to be myopic in my sharing.  Yes, poetry is powerful when read out loud, but it can be just as powerful in the hands of another while they ponder your words in the silence of their heart. I see now that I need not to deny my words their power.

Day 61: Gianna Russo

One day while I was working at Sam Ash, many years ago, a guy came in to buy some things and we got to talking. He told me about this open mic near USF at what used to be Holiday Cafe. That guy probably has no idea that tip changed my life forever.

I started attending this regular Sunday night open mic and met my first poetry mentor, Charles Kory. Charles was in his first few years at USF and had graduated from the creative writing program at Blake High School.  Having listened to my poems for a few weeks, he said to me, "You know, you should go to Blake." I was already in my sophomore year at my neighborhood high school, but he told me that I can still get in my remaining years. So I took his advise and applied, a few months later I got accepted. 

My last two years of high school, I studied poetry with the teacher there, Gianna Russo. Gianna has been a staple of the poetry scene in Tampa for probably longer than I have been alive.  She helped me to write more, to write better, to help others become better writers through workshops. She took us to the Writer's Conference and guided us in the creation of chapbooks (small collections of poetry) our senior year.  My life was ever changed by those two years with her. I understood how the application of techniques to my self-expression created well-crafted poems, which often contained more truth than I was even aware of. It was through this process of creation that I felt a connection to something deeper. I would say in a small way, I felt like a mystic. Gianna was my experienced guide through these inner realms; she gave me the map to the intersection of my individual and the collective unconscious. She may not see herself this way, but for me, she was a shaman. 

Lucky for me, our relationship continued after high school. Almost 10 years later, I am a longstanding board member in her non-profit

YellowJacket Press

.  YJP publishes new chapbooks by Florida poets every year through two annual contests as well as hosts some of the best poetry events in Tampa. 

Though Gianna admirably hands credit over to her poets and students for their part in their creative work, but I will state right here that our love for our craft is no doubt infused with her belief in us. Though Gianna is not officially in the role of teacher for me, she still teaches me about community, dedication, and love of the arts. It is because of her the I KNOW that poetry can make the world a better place because I experience it.  She is just following her heart, but look at what beauty emerges from that. It's something that we all can learn from.   


So, it's been over a week since I have posted even though I set the intention to post everyday. This is a typical pattern for when I have set intentions to do something daily. I'm adamant then more casual which slowly slips into forgetting I set an intention at all. Well, I want to try breaking that.

Its not that I haven't had things to write about, there are things everyday. It is more about making myself sit at the computer and type, not worrying about what others may think of what I write.  If that is an issue for me, why write on a public blog?  I like the exercise in letting go of what others think and just be myself. I believe this is good work.  This kind of exposure and introspection is what I hope to encourage in others through my business so I also feel that it might be helpful for some to see that I do it too.  Plus, it makes me continue to do my inner work, a necessary element in being able to effectively inspire inner work for others.

So let me get back on the wagon...or is it off the wagon? I can never remember...