A Memory of Cabbage, Reprise

I posted this journaling prompt a couple weeks ago on my old site. I haven’t used it myself but I did have the opportunity to introduce it at a workshop with three lovely ladies this past week. It is from Natalie Goldberg’s Old Friend from Far Away:

Do a 5-minute writing sprint on… a memory of cabbage… Go!

When I told the workshop attendees that they were going to write for 5 minutes about cabbage they laughed. They especially chuckled when I then read an entrance meditation which urged them to ruminate on the green, stinky veggie. But then they began to write. And write. The results were wonderful. Memory and philosophy was pouring forth. They were impressed by the exercise over which they had originally questioned my sanity.

Earlier this month I had a similar experience. At a meeting of a fledgling writer’s group we wrote from the prompt, “when I think of apples…”

The six of us scribbled for about 10 minutes. When we shared our musings we were all amazed by the humor, beauty, and depth we had reached in so short a time. My writings went to a place I was not expecting and touched on memories I had not given much concern. But a fuse has been lit and new  writing projects are smoldering with possibility.

Even if it’s not cabbage or apples, look around you. Is it a tennis ball, a coffee cup, or a dust bunny (a few of things within my sight at this moment) and just write about it. The memories or connections you will come up with will astound you!

I’d love to hear from you about your experiences with these journal prompts. Feel free to leave a comment (anonymously if you prefer).

Journal du Jour: Finding Flow

Mihály Csíkszentmihályi writes about finding Flow. Flow is that experience of losing time while doing something you love or by which you are challenged and learning something new. Csíkszentmihályi believes the more often we experience this state in our lives the happier we will be.

When we are in Flow we are our most authentic self. For me, I am in Flow when writing and that is one of the reasons I know I am meant to be a Writer. But I have also experienced Flow while drawing and balancing the checkbook!

I mentioned in my last post that I believe we are here to achieve our potential, to use our talents. Well , it is while using our talents and gifts that we are most likely to experience Flow. Therefore we are happiest when doing what we are good at and learning how to be even better. True Success has nothing to do with money.

Think back to when you were 10 or 11 years old. What did you enjoy doing the most? What activity made you lose time? Do you ever experience Flow in your life now? If not, what you are NOT doing that you could be?

Get out your journal:

I am happiest when…
I lose time while…
I love the challenge of…

Jour du Journal: Who are You?

It may seem like a simple question, Who are you? But we are obviously more, much more than our name, our address, social security number, and line of work. We have personal likes, dislikes, memories, opinions, hopes, dreams, and hurts. Usually we reveal a certain amount of this personal information to our family and friends, but how much more do we keep inside? Even hidden from ourselves?

I believe we were put on this earth to achieve our potential, to use our gifts and talents, and if you are unable to for whatever reason, then you are unhappy. Fulfillment = happiness. Think of the times in your life when you were most relaxed, most content, and lost time doing whatever it was. (This is called Flow. But more on that another post.) This is your authentic self and the key to your potential.

If you are to achieve all the things you have the potential for you first need to get to know yourself; where you came from, where you are, and where you are going.

Today I would like you to get to know yourself a little better. Using these three questions that Christina Baldwin asks in Life’s Companion:

I used to be a person who…
I am now a person who…
I want to be a person who…

Write for as long as you need to.

Jour du Journal: Serendipity and Purpose

Yesterday on my other blog I wrote about Serendipity in my life. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.

I choose to take this definition a step further and say that these “agreeable” things that occur do so because we are consciously or subconsciously – looking for them. Purpose. I had a (conscious) purpose: I needed people in my workshop. These two ladies had a (subconscious) purpose: they needed to write and comfort each other. When one put an ad in the paper during the previous week and the other showed up for yoga at the same moment as I walked in, they did not know they were reaching out. We had purposes that aligned.

Our purpose for that day was to come together one evening in a sunny room and write. It was not sought for but turned out to be valuable.

Christina Baldwin writes,

The sacred waits for us to recognize [the] call, to step forward and assume our purpose… this recognition happens occasionally when someone [or an event] enters our lives and our first response is recognition, that we have somehow been waiting for them.

Today, think of a happy “coincidence” that occurred in your life. Rethink it.

When I had purpose…

Please feel free to leave a comment – either about your journaling experience or to share your writing… I’d love to hear from you!

Jour du Journal: You WILL find something to say!

In workshops I facilitate and ones I have attended myself, comments similar to this are usually made:

I didn’t think I’d have anything to say.

I thought I would sit here not knowing what to write.

You have to trust your pen. It wants to write. It loves to run across the page in a frenzy of words. Give your pen a time limit and it will want to prove itself. Five minutes. Sprint!

Here is your starting block:

I’m proud of myself for…

Ready. Set. Go!

Please feel free to leave a comment – either about your journaling experience or to share your writing… I’d love to hear from you!

Jour du Journal! Getting to the truth.

Yesterday on my other blog I wrote:

…I almost feel angry at my innocent children for stealing them from me. That’s a feeling I try not to give voice or credence to…

That was a difficult statement to put into writing, for the “whole” world to see. But it is the truth – an uncomfortable truth, but nevertheless the truth.

Your journal is the one place you can face your own truths, where no one else will see them or judge you on them. You are completely free to say whatever you need to, to express it, to get it out. When you see your own truth in black and white in your own handwriting it is powerful. Once out in the open you can choose to accept it (rather than have it fester deep within) and take action – to make the changes in your life you may need to.

Kay Adams tells us that 5-minute sprints, where you write very quickly in a timed session, will allow you to “get to the truth faster.”

Set your timers. 5 minutes. Paper. Pen.

A truth I have been hiding is….

Go!

Please feel free to leave a comment – either about your journaling experience or to share your writing… I’d love to hear from you!

Jour du Journal:Envisioning the Future

So, what did you think of Alpha Poems? I think they are a fun and unexpected way to access your inner wisdom while also discovering the creative genius hidden deep within. Please feel free to leave a comment telling about your experience (or share your poem, if you like).

Now, back to manifesting your future.

In order to create a path towards what you desire you have to first envision what that is.

In the process of making a commitment to discover our purpose, we need to dream. We need to make images, try on various fantasies, explore… Vision starts with a vague sense of something desired, something missing, a hole we want to fill…
Christina Baldwin

So, let’s start dreaming.

There is a path(s) before me. On my travel along it/them, I see…