I went to a Journaling Workshop last night. Great experience. Pagan group of women. Knowledgeable group facilitator. Wow.
Not only did she teach me a great new method of getting something meaningful out of my writing, but we ended up having a short discussion about recognizing the difference between the voice of intuition in your head, and the voice of the chattering monkeys. At least, that's what we started calling it. See, the voice we are used to hearing is like a chattering monkey. Skeptical, gnawing, not supportive, telling you what to do. It just talks. A lot. And it tries to push you around. That "monkey voice."
The thing is-- it's NOT supportive. And we don't really get value out of harsh judgments and gnawing expectations. So the key is to turn down the volume on this voice. Maybe you can't shut it out completely, but you can turn down the volume, and recognize how different the monkey chatter sounds from the voice of your true intuition.
Intuition is the voice of wisdom. Peaceful. Friendly. Flowing like a deep moving river under your consciousness. It comes from the gut and the heart. Quiet. Not linear. Maybe not even seeming to fit with the general flow of your life at the moment you hear it. And that's one of the challenges. To trust yourself and your inner wisdom-- your intuition-- enough to heed its voice when you DO hear. One must be quiet to hear it. Serene. Vanessa, or group facilitator, stated it this way: You have to trust your own competence. You have to say "I'm worth it, even if I make a mistake." This is the bridge. This is how we begin to recognize our intuition as a unique wisdom in our life process.
And the writing technique? Well, free-write for five minutes. About whatever comes into your head or out of your pen, without stopping. Set a timer. Then go back and highlight four or five words or phrases that really seem important-- unsettling, wise, curious, interesting-- whatever they are. Pick one. Use it as the title for your next free-write.
With your new title as a starting point, the goal here is to get deeper into your writing. Stop your flow often and insert a dash "-- what I really want to say is...." and use that as an opportunity to deepen your focus and your writing this time. "--what I really want to say is..." Set the timer for seven minutes.
Stop and re-read what you wrote. What is it really about? Is there a theme or a lesson? Pick up your highlighter again. Select about five words or phrases that jump out at you or snag your attention in some way, as before. Select one and use it for the title or focus of your next timed writing exercise. For ten minutes, write deeply. Don't forget to set the timer. Use the dash to deepen your focus within your writing. "--what I really mean is..."
Great. Now read over and think about what you wrote this time. What did you learn? What did you write about? Is it deep and meaningful writing? Is there wisdom in your words? If you could summarize the experience of this writing exercise, and what themes/lessons you gained from what you wrote-- what would you say? Write that down, too.
It's amazing how meaningful of a life-perspective can grow out of a simple unformatted free-write, isn't it? I was blown away. It was just a great group and a great experience. Vanessa did a great job in putting such a meaningful and purposeful evening together for us, and facilitating it effectively. Thanks.