In case you were wondering, my new blog design is inspired by and contains excerpts from my journals. Several years ago, I took a class on visual journaling (among other things) which totally changed the look and feel of what had previously been volumes of my thoughts and feelings spewed onto the page.
There’s not a lot going on in my world today, nothing new, anyway. But I thought I would share with you what was happening four summers ago, courtesy of one of my journals. One of the strategies the teacher of the journal-writing class gave us to take our writing to the next level was incorporating visualizations.
Here is one example. It was written just before Hubby began his arduous job search, the final hurdle before starting fertility treatments and adding to our family of two. I have always had a fear of the unknown, of a future I might not be entirely prepared for. I was not prepared for how long it would take. But I didn’t know that then. What I did know was this:
I’ve entered the woods and found my copper sculpture. Now I continue, knowing the obstacle is fear, to find out how to overcome it. I don’t know yet what I’m looking for, but have confidence I’ll know it when I see it. So I make my way deeper into the brush, the trees becoming denser, hoping that somewhere I’ll stumble onto a path that will lead me where I need to go. I travel farther, the canopy becoming thicker, blocking out the sunlight, so that I have to concentrate to see where I’m going, trying not to stumble on the tangled undergrowth. I find myself looking at my feet instead of paying attention to where I’m headed, caught up, as usual, in the minute details instead of the bigger picture.
I stop suddenly, take a breath. Trust yourself, [Daryl], don’t think about your feet. Look up so you can see where you’re headed, knowing that your feet will follow, even if they get tripped up now and then. I lift my head, focus my eyes on a point in the distance (though I can’t see too far ahead) and start again, one foot in front of the other, slowly, but I’m making progress, and I can now see where I’m going. After just a few feet, I can see a narrow stream up ahead. I can hear the gurgle of water, and I know I’ve found a landmark that will lead me where I need to go.
I stop for a moment at the water’s edge. The stream is shallow, and I can see the pebbles in the bottom sparkling like jewels in a single ray of sunshine. Tiny silver minnows dart about in all directions. I follow the flow of the stream, the surrounding forest sparser now, allowing more light to lead the way. The stream widens slightly and takes a few sharp curves before I realize its final destination–and mine–a cliff, where I now have a view of the surrounding area that goes on for miles. The stream flows down the side of the cliff in a beautiful waterfall. I can see a small rainbow in the mist and a clear lake far below. I know that this is where my fear ends. If I jump, dive down to the crystal waters below, there will be no more fear, and I will emerge a clean and radiant being. I don’t hesitate.