Psychic Journal Your Other Self
Writing in a Journal is actually engaging in a conversation between your conscious self and the rest of you – the unconscious stuff that sometimes messes up your life and at other times seems to save it in some brilliantly unexpected way. Journal writing can also be a conversation with your ‘spirit guide’ or ‘guardian Angel’ – in fact it is one of the most powerful ways to open a line of communication with the guidance they are waiting to provide. In my last post I wrote that journal writing is a sacred act because writing by hand is the most personal form of communication there is. YOU are IN your writing; it is your energy being recorded on the page and it is there for you alone. In order for journal writing to work its transformational magic, we must feel totally uninhibited when we write. There is no point to it otherwise because if we feel constrained by anything – worries about ‘propriety’, fear of judgment, fear of our emotions – there will be no spontaneity in our writing and in journal writing spontaneity is the whole point. We write without regard for what anyone else would think. In fact, if that is a problem holding you back from journal writing, that is the perfect place to start. Who are you concerned about offending or revealing yourself to? Is Sister Agnes still censoring your every thought by telling you “Someone (meaning God or your ‘Guardian Angel’) is always watching?” That’s a great way to stifle human thought, isn’t it? Denying you even psychic privacy and managing to make “God” into a mental jailer at the same time is the ultimate in mind control and it’s time to reclaim – from whomever or whatever is holding you back – your freedom to think, to feel, to write it down, and ultimately, to BE who you really are. Because no matter what else journal writing does, it always leads to more authentic being, a freeing of the Self.
Psychic Journal Your Other Self
We all have a familiar “self”, the one we show to the world and we all have a familiar second “self”, the one we are when we are at home. The public self is really a ‘persona’, a somewhat artificial construction based on the social norms we’ve been schooled in. This ‘persona’ has been cultivated, revised, and adapted through each stage of life. This is the ephemeral identity that changes according to the needs of the moment. It is this identity that gets in the way of journal writing. When we pick up a pen, we give ourselves a very powerful tool – permission to reveal our inmost experience of life. It is the inner self who embarks on the journey of self-discovery. We have built up layers of identity that obscure the inner self, sometimes smothering it in an effort to be ‘perfect’ by only showing our ‘ideal’ self to the world. At some point in life, this ‘ideal self’ becomes a very heavy burden to carry. So many ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ have accumulated around the persona that our true self has become nearly invisible. Journal writing is much like archaeology in this respect. It is a process of scraping away the surface layers of the public self to reveal the outlines of the dwelling place of the real Self within.
Where do we begin?
Some advocates of journal writing suggest that one can begin by writing for only a few minutes each day. Their hope is that the habit of spending five minutes with yourself will lead to longer sessions. One writer and artist, Julia Cameron, maintains that the practice of journal writing is most productive when we write three full pages first thing each morning, literally Morning Pages. If that is a daunting prospect for you, just try it once and see what you think. The first time I tried it, I filled almost an entire page with a single expletive! It was a combination of frustration built up over years of struggling to find a ‘safe’ outlet for my creativity and rebellion against the idea that a fixed number of pages of writing was too arbitrary to be useful. As I neared the end of the first page, I began to write about what had made me so angry that I felt it necessary to ‘vent’ that anger by repeating the same expletive over and over again. And I made a discovery – the expletive needed to be repeated just to throw off the top level of anger that I had been denying existed for decades. It was like removing the lid from a car radiator that had overheated almost to the point of explosion. The steam had to be allowed to escape a little at a time until the pressure became more tolerable and I could begin to use my mind to read the long- buried secrets of my heart. I kept writing until I had three A4 pages of emotional excreta interspersed with glaring insights that would otherwise have been buried indefinitely. That first day of journal writing was a revelation. I could be brutally honest with and about myself and the world kept spinning. I didn’t die of shame or wallow in self-pity. Nor did I feel triumphant or somehow ‘victorious’. What I felt was relief and also that I had just taken a big step toward liberating myself from my self-made prison. Oh, yes, and Sister Agnes was last seen tearing off her wimple and running like the wind. Did I mention she was the track coach?
Image credit: Andy Lakey ‘s “Art, Angels and Miracles” and the books cited in today’s post are available in Delia’s “A List” Amazon Shop HERE.