morning routine: draw, write, move. repeat

I’m not exactly a morning person.

In fact, sometimes I wake up feeling a bit jarred because the sun has actually risen and another day has begun.

Most days I make the transition from dark to light fairly well, but other days there’s a pressing feeling that accompanies my waking. It could be tension. Or a sense of the blues. Usually, though, it’s rather shapeless and undefined.

When that shapeless feeling arrives (like today) the very best thing I can do is draw, write, move. And then repeat.

DRAW. For me it’s mostly about color, so I like oil pastel crayons. They help me draw the feeling out. But you could use any medium.

WRITE. Now, let the drawing speak by using any combination of these writing prompts: I am, I have, I feel.

MOVE. Let your body move freely, dancing into the feelings and sensations, expressing the drawing and words you’ve just created. Notice if the movement begins to shift or change the feelings (it usually does).

DRAW AGAIN. Let whatever is present now show up in your drawing.

WRITE AGAIN. Give voice to your most recent drawing with the same writing prompts: I am, I have, I feel.

MOVE AGAIN. If you feel like it. Usually by this time I feel much more centered and ready to start my day.

By the way, I first learned this activity from a great Natalie Rogers book: The Creative Connection. It works best for me if I complete the whole thing fairly quickly, usually in no more than 10 minutes.

So. How do you make the transition from dark to light?

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12 thoughts on “morning routine: draw, write, move. repeat

  1. I am….I have…I feel…..wonderful exercise! Dark to light – so many connotations for me and mostly about inside…altho as the winter draws down to short dark days I certainly welcome the light!

  2. Hi Patty,
    I’m a journal junkie. I grab coffee and get in my special chair and write – sometimes dreams ooze out of the pen, other times just random thoughts, whatever comes I just let it come. The coffee and writing seem to instinctually finish themselves in tandem. Then it’s off to whatever exercise I’m doing that day – yoga, pilates, zumba, whatever. I will say I feel more energized when the sun is shining than on dreary days. And since winter is on the doorstep, I’ll need a real boost to get thru this season! I tend to burn a lot of candles and all the lights on in the house – for months! 🙂

  3. Oh I’m a morning person and in fact, I wake up before dark eagerly awaiting my morning routine. This morning I first woke at 4:30 and forced myself to stay in bed until 5:15. Crazy? Now, don’t ask me about evenings. I shut off as easily as one turns off the light by flicking a switch. My husband can’t get over how I quickly just shut off. It is interesting how people have different clocks.

  4. I know that weird, unnamed feeling, too, and for me it usually dissipates by the time I’m up grabbing a cup of coffee. But the thing I do first in the morning is write, whether it is in my journal, or as is the case right now, working on my next novel. I know I’d be lost without my morning writing habit.

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