“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.” Natalie Goldberg
As a new self-published and award-winning author one may say, “WOOW, she must have something special going on.” If some of you thought, “The stars must be in alignment,” that would be a more accurate assessment! Reflections on writing is what this is about.
Even though I’ve been writing some form since my late teens and I have another book in me left to write, I don’t know I could do again, what I created with Miracles. I still feel depleted on an emotional level, much like a wet washrag twisted every which way without a drop of water to fall. Less than a year after my daughter’s death I knew it drove me on a mission, unlike any other thing ever experienced. My trip to Australia while she was in ICU and two weeks later never left, was life changing in ways too complex to discuss here.
I had to write. I could NOT, not write. Not long after Laura’s death while going cross-country in my RV, I’d park at night, put pen to paper, and produced one or more of the pages some of you have already read, in Miracles of Recovery.
What I know now, is that what Miracles represented at the time was Laura’s passing. I felt, I cried, and I pushed so hard, in case I died too before I completed it, that now I’m drained. From those weeks spent in the RV until publication was five years of what felt like, a fanatical focus. Five years of living a one-track-purpose, to finish my book. There are very few creative muses left today to work with so 2019 has been my time of healing, of marketing, and of wondering, reflecting on what and where life will take us all in the new year.
Which brings me to Journaling. I’ll share a bit of what I teach in a six-week class entitled, “Journaling With a Purpose!” Because it’s that time of a year, if you are someone who finds writing therapeutic, rewarding and insightful.
One Way to Journal
Toward the end of each December I buy a college ruled three-sectional spiral bound notepad. And on the inside cover or first page (we are have quirks and preferences) I write my intentions for the coming New Year, in this case 2020. Just before the New Year (and I mean most often New Year Eve) I’ll write one more page to close out 2019 and review my intentions for the year. I found over years, that Five Reachable Goals are much better than fifteen flamboyant ones.
The idea is to empower myself for the New Year and move forward in accomplishing what I set out to do for a change! Plus, it’s kind-of fun looking over the years intentions to see what we REALLY did, and what we only imagined we would do. Often life takes a hard-left, or extreme right-turn and plans resemble little of what we thought they would. Journaling with imagination and thoughtfulness softens life’s expectations and opens the door to new goals and intentions!
One week curricula we work on is Therapeutic Writing. This is what I continue to do and have done for twenty years when I journal.
For anyone with an addiction, it is safe to presume that on some level; they are an A-type personality; driven, over-work, over-drive, and over-think, obsessive-compulsive creatures. Writing gratitudes with the intention of reaching down deep to resurrect positive attributes about us is the beginning of a change in perspective.
One definition of a change in perspective is to view things in their true relations or relative importance.
Therefore, if we want to know how we REALLY FEEL from a positive position of power (our great wealth of power within) gratitude is where this all began for me.
EXAMPLE: I am grateful for the rain because IT MAKES ME FEEL (what?) fresh? Happy? Awakened? Contented?
TO HAVE GRATITUDE IS to DESCRIBE, FEEL AND ARTICULATE THE WORD OR WORDS THAT BRING GRATITUDE TO LIFE.
When this happens, a shift takes place in our brain, a particular recognition or honor for precisely how we feel is acknowledged, and it has importance. We remember, and although not always recognizable in the moment, inside we feel a bounce in our step
So we write five things different each day we are grateful for and before you know it? We walk as if in the Sunlight of the Spirit because we find and feel gratitude in everything.
We write this section identical to Section One above except we write it with the same anger, loathing, disappointment felt when we experienced the personal assault.
- There should be no holds-barred. No “thinking” to consider the gentleness of the explanation.
- This is a section to facilitate the movement of what is being felt from our heads where we internalize and harbor resentments, down and out of our fingers, to the paper. This is an exercise in letting go of resentments that occur each day.
- We don’t go back two or three days ago. We focus on our 24-hours only!
- We don’t make judgments here or excuses, we don’t minimize what is. We write without examination of what is right or wrong. There is only writing.
- We write about what happened and how it made us feel at the moment.
- We address resentments to get daily relief, so that were they left unattended, they do not become risky, death-defying acts of rage a month or a year from now.
- When we’ve exhausted our writing and emotions, we close with a prayer of our own making to remove these resentments.
Section Three—Prayer and Meditation
For those of us who care to, this is an area devoted to the conscious connection to our source. This, as with these sections, is sacred designed for our eyes only and no one else. Here we invoke open-ended questions as we write about our day, using examples of why, when, where, what and how.
- Here we develop the ritual of letting our pen flow. Of not editing. There is no critic over our shoulder, as you are writing to your maker.
- Hold nothing back.
- Allow yourself to be honest and open in your questions.
Writing with sheer emotion and unabashed passion opens our hearts and our minds to our highest-self. For those who experience the joy of connecting to their inner-self and power this way, it is a pure experience not to be missed
Writing prepares us for deeper intuitive understanding of ourselves and our world when done in this manner. If you wonder what I’ll be doing New Year Eve, I’ll be right here, walking through my own journal and all that I’ve shared here in anticipation for the coming year. I hope you’ll join me, and I wish each of us sustaining peace and wonderful health and awareness in the coming year!