Tag Archives: diaries

journaling – what works for you?

today, please visit marie at coming out of the trees.    about her blog she says

i’m passing along a collection of excerpts from my personal and therapy journals to whomever needs to read them. i’m sharing my story so that those of you who are on a similar journey can know that you aren’t the only one – and so you can know that there is a way through. it is my intention to tell my story with both authenticity and dignity.

the title of my blog comes from a phrase i penned in the fall of 2007:

“i feel like i am walking through a thick forest and i don’t know where i’m heading, i only know to follow the compass. i believe someday i will come out of the trees and into a clearing. i believe that, when i enter the clearing, i will finally know my primary life’s calling. until then, i have to walk in faith.”

marie gave me the great honour to comment on one of her journal entries what works for you?.  in that entry, she talks about her relationship with god; i concentrate mostly on the journal writing process – a topic, as you may know, that interests me quite a bit – see journaling for healing, creative writing: waking up from our routines,
women, therapy and blogging, journaling: a dialogue or blogging yourself home.

the intensive journal process

i haven’t written anything about journaling for a while, so i was very pleased when i got an offer to write a paid review for the progoff intensive journal® program. it was a particularly nice surprise because i actually own ira progoff’s at a journal workshop, the basic text and guide for using the intensive journal process.

this process provides active techniques that enable people to draw on their inner resources; it is, indeed, one of the early tools of personal growth.

progoff speaks quite poetically of the “tao of growth”, the intangible inner growth,

evanescent, like smoke going out the chimney. we now it exists, but its shape keeps changing. it has no shape that we can fix in our mind; we cannot contain it in any mold. we know it is real, but soon it as disappeared and is beyond us.

attempting to catch that smoke became like a zen koan to progoff. at this point, he says, he applied a procedure “of taking a problem we are dealing with on the rational level and converting it to the language of imagery. this is twilight imagery,” a technique that was to become part of the intensive journal process.

the benefits of journaling in this way are, according to progoff, not only of an intangible nature. thinking about this led him to recall

the phrase of william james when he describes the inner movement of our minds by saying that it is not a case of “i think it” but rather that “it thinks me.” the inner process works within the mind at the same time that it functions as a separate process and reaches beyond the mind into our actions.

i have never fully engaged with this journaling process; it sounds both intriguing and demanding. however, for a person who is at a stage where it seems necessary and desirable – delightful, even – to apply their time and energy to self-discovery, this is a goldmine.

the intensive journal process is an integrated system of writing exercises and therefore much more than a diary. it helps a person gain insights about personal relationships, career and special interests, body and health, dreams and imagery, and their own personal meaning and purpose of life. it brings fresh approaches to accessing creative capacities and untapped possibilities.

there are also rather inexpensive intensive journal inexpensive workshops available, in canada, the US and internationally. now i’m curious – maybe i should attend one …