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Posts Tagged ‘Journalling’

I never saw myself as a writer nor did I set out to become an author. Pulling my thoughts together in what has now become a total of five books seems more like a happy accident than a specific goal.

Writing really happened when I began to understand that when I wrote things down, I shifted. Journals became a place to ‘dump’ my hurts and vent my anger; a place where emotions which are sometimes difficult to express verbally could be placed and not judged by others. Recording my ideas has allowed me to expand them.

If your brain works at all like mine, ideas appear in rapid succession and unless written down, disappear. As a result I always have a journal with me to simply capture what is in my head, imbed it on the pages and move on. These are the ideas that spawn my work and also feed my own sense of self-discovery.

In her book The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron writes that “the pages are a pathway to a strong and clear sense of self”. It was her book that started my writer’s journey. One of the exercises within the twelve week program outlined within the book are something called Morning Pages, which Cameron refers to as the primary tool for creative recovery.

What are Morning Pages: three pages of handwritten, stream-of-consciousness writing. Yes I am aware that most of you now write with a computer and I have to share that writing longhand is different. Somehow the physical connection of pen in hand is different than pecking at keys. Stream-of-consciousness means that once you begin writing, you do not stop until all three pages are filled. At first it may be nonsense, like ‘good morning world, I have no idea what I am writing about this morning, blah, blah…’. That’s okay for at a certain point something switches and your hand starts writing things that seemingly come from out of nowhere and now you are in the ‘juicy zone’.

As I began my own writer’s journey, I kept to the habit of morning pages for over a year. Poems emerged, feelings were exposed, truths realized. I came to know me. Because I could record anything, free of the judgment of others, I had a sense of freedom rarely experienced in my outer world. In this type of writing, grammar doesn’t matter nor does punctuation. There is no English teacher staring over your shoulder assessing these things. You write only for yourself.

Morning pages is only one of many writing tools however. I no longer keep my ‘pages’, I am more prone to simply record random thoughts and ideas as they show up in my day. There are no rules in my world although serious journal writers would disagree with me.

Journal B W sketch ORIGINAL SCAN

Writing, if you choose this path, is there to serve you, no one else. Writing for self-discovery is designed to feed your soul, lift your spirit, help you to see yourself through the lens of your inner world rather than through the eyes of others. It is designed for appreciation rather than a place for your self-critic to put you down.

That said, I suggest that if you decide to take up your pen, you begin by recording everything you know about yourself, your gifts, strengths and values. As you place these attributes on the pages of your journal, you create an amazing foundation for moving forward and directing your personal journey.

Thanksgiving Day I picked up a book at a friend’s place and found the following poem by author Dawna Markova, which describes my relationship with writing:

 

Thinking Ourselves Home 

I write to fuse inside with out,

to salve wounds and broken dreams. 

I write to understand the many things no one has told me,

to stroke my moments clean,

to squeeze them into tiny mirror fragments shining with mind light. 

I write to turn my bold to ink, to fertilizer, to sap. 

I write so that my yes can feel, so that my heart can lick,

so that my soul can crawl from its hiding place and

gaze upon a mystery which can be neither solved nor explained.

I write to breathe my spirit live.

 

Final Thoughts

I write to breathe my spirit live. Even though you may not see yourself as a writer, I encourage you to pick up the pen. Do it for YOU, no one else. Do it to serve the journey, not to write a book. Do it to find yourself and to discover who you are today and who you are choosing to become, not to live in the past. Do it to celebrate yourself.

 

Upcoming Events: Living Your Strengths Coaching Circle, Saturday, Novemeber 23rd. For details go to:

http://www.roadsigns.ca/upcoming-retreats-events/coaching-circles-retreat/

 

Until next time…

 

Betty

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