Exploring Week Five , Of Walking In This World, Through The Journal Writing Process

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I am now delving deeper into Walking in this World. Week five is all about discovering a sense of personal territory, about saying no to others and saying yes to our creative selves.

As I read and did the exercises I explored my connection with the people in my life. Those people that drain my energy, depleting my creativity, and those that support me, energise me and encourage my creative spirit. One of the things I learnt in the Artist’s Way, is to watch out for those energy draining people. I think this book explores it a little more. It addresses those people that don’t mean to harm us. Yet it is still important to have boundaries and protect ourselves.

It is also about saying yes to the things that bring me joy and no to the things that drain me.  Examining the activities and situations in my life, and noticing if I am doing things that bring me joy, that challenge me in a good way, and that I secretly really want to do. Life seems so busy with so many demands that it is easy just to react to what is happening around me. At the end of the day it is important to live the life I want to live, not the life other people want me to live.

Journaling time allows time for me to reflect, explore, and examine what is really going on. Time to ask the question do I really want to say yes  this, or do I secretly want to say no and do something else. The hard part about saying no is often other people don’t like it, or they will try to make me change my mind. There is a difficult side to saying no. I really struggle with this.

Saying no to others is important, so I can say yes to myself. Saying yes to my self, enables me to give more to others in a way that I can remain full and overflowing. Saying yes to others all the time will deplete my energy and make me far less effective in helping anyone. I really struggle with this and find myself saying yes way to much. I enjoy helping others and find it very rewarding, I just need to understand what my limits are. That feeling of overwhelm, and tiredness is a very good indicator that a no or two needs to be said to others.

This weeks journal question to ask myself was, am  I being selfish enough?  I feel bad being selfish, so it will take some time to see the positive side to it. This is a good question to journal about and to ponder before making commitments. I am now aware and more committed to considering what my self needs and giving it to her.

Journal Prompt: Am I being selfish enough?

This week Artist’s Date was Journaling in a cafe, and spending time in gift &house decor shop, and  buying some candles. It also meant starting my photography course, and going on a walking adventure in a part of my suburban home town.

Taking photo's on my adventure walk and trying new things out. Whilst working on getting my photo's to tell a story.

Taking photo’s on my adventure walk and trying new things out. Whilst working on getting my photo’s to tell a story.

It has been a week of commotions,  a late buss one night, a meeting that went one hour longer than I anticipated another night, and a last minute venue change another night. Whilst my ability to say “No” is being tested out again.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

FRAN DISHON

Feeling Stuck In Life~ A Journal Prompt For Stuckness.

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Morning coffee, journal and pen in hand. I allowed the words to flow onto the page. This morning I was feeling stuck ,like life is still and I am going no where.  I seem to go in and out of this feeling of stuckness. So I explored this feeling in my journal and  some crazy inspiration showed up on the page for me. It made me laugh! So I would like to share a glimpse of my journal writing with you.  It is not a poem, but rather some heart felt words of wisdom, and a journal prompt to explore.

Stuckness

A stillness exist, it is called stuckness.

A breeze is required.

A breeze to inject energy into the stillness.

As the breeze blows, the trees begin to sway, the leaves drift though the air, and a boost of energy is created.

Movement creates energy that relieves the stuckness.

Some days the breeze will be soft, and other days it will be blowing a gale.

However the balance makes for a perfect day.

What actions will I take to generate the breeze in my life today?

Stuckness

One action I am taking today is to start a free course on Study 2, The Art of Photography. I really like to improve the quality of the photo’s I take.

I also did some Yoga today, this quiet movement really does help to give me an energy boost and the motivation to get more done in my day.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Exploring Week Four , Of Walking In This World, Through The Journal Writing Process!

The soul thrives

“Deprived of adventure, our optimism fails us. Adventure is a nutrient, not a frivolity. When we ignore our need for adventure, we ignore our very nature.” ~Julia Cameron

This week I have been exploring Discovering A Sense Of Adventure, chapter four, in Walking In This World, by Julia Cameron. I think we really need that sense of adventure in our lives to experience fun, joy, growth and expansion. The idea of adventure is noticing what makes us feel good and being curious about what is happening in the now. Discovering our sense of adventure also includes listening to our intuition and taking risks, and getting uncomfortable at times.

This week I explored this idea of living a more adventurous life everyday. As I journal on this idea what came up for me was that I don’t currently embrace a lot of adventure in my life. I could potentially bring more adventure into my life. I do love going out exploring new places, and I love my walking adventures. I love the adventure I am having with this blog. I acknowledge that a sense of adventure makes me feel more lively and joyful, where as lack of adventure makes me feel stuck and feeling down about life.

Secretly I would love to

So for me my journal prompt for this week was one of the exercises in the book. The journal prompt was as follows: Secretly I would love to……………. What I loved about this exercise was just identifying the things I would love to do, without judging it. Secretly suggests some venerability, it is secret, there is risk to it, of failure, rejection, ridicule, being laughed at, and even being put down. On the other hand, surprisingly there could be a lot of support. Secretly one of my answers was I would love to create a magical garden.  Now I am no gardener, I enjoy my garden, and it is a pretty basic garden and I don’t spend a lot of time in it. Over the past few weeks I have been thinking about my garden. This week after journaling about this idea that I have felt a strong pull towards creating a magical garden. I have been noticing other peoples gardens, especially the ones I like. I have been also taking clippings and trying to grow them. Today I took advantage of the local council plant giveaway and went and got two native plants for our garden. The vulnerability in it, is when I mentioned I was out planting my plants in the garden. I was laughed at, and it was suggested I was out planting weeds, because I am such a bad gardener. This made me close down, and question if I have a right to be out in the garden. When I was out in my garden, I felt good. I might not do it perfectly, and I may even have a reputation for killing plants, but that should not prevent me from my gardening adventure of creating a magical garden.

There are many other things I would secretly love to do. For me it is being brave and not worrying about what other people think. It is about listening to my intuition.  I can give myself permission to explore these things and who knows what might happen. Yes there may be risk. Yes I may do them badly. Yes and maybe it will all work out amazingly. There is adventure in following what we love, and what brings us joy. Intuitively it just feels right,  and logically it may not make sense. Secretly I want to live my life adventurously.

Overall I did my morning pages 6 out of 7 days. Indulged in a lovely hour-long walking adventure. Went on my Artist’s Date with a walk in the park and coffee, pen and notebook at a lovely coffee shop. I did not do the sketching activity, feel a little overwhelmed that I can not do everything Whilst I discovered a useful journaling prompt: Secretly I would love to……………… What I learnt most is that my life is active, alive, and colorful. I can choose for everyday to be an adventure.

Try the prompt: Secretly I would love to ……………………………………….. Spend some time in your own journal discovering your own sense of adventure.

It you are exploring this book, I would love to hear your thoughts on this chapter and exercises.

Wishing you a wonderful week!

 FRAN DISHON

Walk, Notice And Be Grateful!

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This week I really took time out during my walk to just really notice my surroundings, to notice what I saw, what I smelt and how I felt. I also took time to be grateful, and there is so much in my life to be grateful for, and my walking adventures quickly remind me of that. Walk, notice and be grateful.

I find my walking adventures a way of really getting in touch with the now.  For example Monday I went for a solo walk. The sky was dark, and I could smell the rain. I put on my big black coat and headed out the door with my pink umbrella. That day I walked noticing what was happening around me. Appreciating the gardens, trees, birds and the lake. I noticed the way the lake looks on a cold cloudy day. It had a different type of beauty, with its stillness and the reflection of the trees on the water.  The weather did not stop the birds coming out.  I noticed a lot of birds plus I also saw pigeons. I have never noticed the pigeons before. I also notice the wild flowers; the white fluffy ball flowers that I love to blow and watch the white particle float off into the air. For some reason I felt I should make a wish every time I blew on one of them. Around the edges of the lake beautiful wild yellow flowers could be found. As I walked around I took my phone camera out and shots some photo’s to capture the moment. My walk continued with me finding a small rock. I put the rock in my pocket and started a gratitude practice of holding it in my hand and saying thank you. I was also a little naughty taking some small cuttings of some overhanging plants on the side-walk. I was hoping to grow them and plant them in my own garden. Just as I was almost home the clouds opened up releasing large raindrops from the sky. I finished my walk home in heavy rain, protected by my umbrella and raincoat. The rain brought out the intense colours of the gardens.  The rain sounded beautiful, it made its own music on my umbrella, and in a way was soothing creating a sense of peacefulness. Walking Adventures can be enjoyable even in the rain.

For me recording my walking adventure in words and photo’s helps me to notice more of what is happening in the present. Julia recommends having a sketchbook, and taking some time to sketch something each day, and noticing the adventure that already exists in our lives. The sketchbook thing was just something that didn’t happen for me.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

 FRAN DISHON

Exploring Week Three, Of Walking In This World, Through The Journal Writing Process!

Collage work

This week discovering a Sense Of Perspective, art is not therapy it is about creating something and having a forward moving focus. Reading this chapter I identified myself a person who doesn’t practice public art, but rather a person busy making an artful home and artful life for herself.

 

I am feeling my creativity unfolding and unraveling onto the page as the weeks go by. During the week my morning pages revealed the details to my next speech. It was beautiful!  I had been dreading this particular speech project, it seemed so dry and boring. The creativity that poured out onto my journal page created a speech that was fun and quirky, in a way that was unique to me. I don’t know that I sold my sparkly cleaning products, but I felt like I sold my idea that cleaning should be fun and safe. What I had been dreading and putting off, I was finally able to throw myself into it with enjoyment and enthusiasm.

 

My reason for writing about my journaling process and this book is to share what I am learning, and also to create some accountability. I love self-help books, however my previous experience has shown that I am not so good at doing the exercises and applying the theory to real life. I acknowledge that this book can not bring positive changes to my life unless I am willing to do the work. Doing the work is the hard part. Doing the exercises in this book is challenging.

 

I know in order to create a significant creative shift in my life, I need to delve deeply into the teachings of this book, and really do the exercises. Week after week I will need to show up and continue on with the work. This week I worked through the exercises. I did the anger exercise, which required me to write down 50 things I was angry about.  Then I tried to write 50 solutions.   The one thing that screamed out loudly in my journal was to take charge of my life agenda, to value my time, and to say “no” more often. I discovered how anger was giving me clues about the things I felt strongly towards, and the changes I need to make in my life. It showed me that it is my responsibility to be more assertive and stand up for myself. Julia Cameron states in the book that,” anger asks us to step up to the plate for ourselves and for others. …………………. Anger signals us that we are being called to step forward and speak out. “  This also showed up for me, and re-affirmed the work I was doing on school council. If I want to make a difference in my son’s schooling, I need to actually being doing some work to make a difference.

 

I used the collaging exercise in my visual/art journal as my Artist’s Date. This exercise required me to get out some magazines, choose a theme, for me this was May Dreams, then create a collage with images I was drawn too. The images quickly appeared and jumped out at me. Then I had to journal about the collage. This exercise was about creating and discovering. It was about discovering and listening to my soul desires. I found the theme of garden, in particular succulents stood out to me. I found myself going out after this exercise and planting a couple of succulents in an ornamental pot. I was also drawn to the idea of using the pen more creatively with my writing, and my iPhone camera more creatively. The surprise was, the collage made me feel like winter is coming, that it is getting dark outside, and that is okay. My collage showed me that I can shine my own light on those dark winter days and nights.

 

This week was a struggle, I was disappointed with my efforts, I only did my morning pages 5 out of 7 days. My Artist’s Date was the collaging exercise. Disappointingly I only went for one walk this week, it has been a cold wet week. Overall I feel something is happening and that I am starting to feel a shift.

 

Share your thoughts about this book, I would love to know how you found or are finding this journey of exploration?

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

FRAN DISHON

 

Exploring Week Two Of Walking In This World, Through The Journal Writing Process!

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As I work through this book I am feeling more challenged and feel my beliefs, actions and thinking are really being tested. My journaling is full of juicy insights, frustrations and angers, dreams and desires. I notice there is room on the page for all of it, the good and bad. It has been another wonderful week of getting my morning pages done, and tomorrow I am going out on my Artist’s Day to see an historical home.  I did lots of juicy journaling about the  questions in Walking In This Word by Julia Cameron , Chapter two Discovering A Sense Of Proportion.

 

This week is about Discovering A Sense of Proportion, it is about building up a sense of a realistic self even when it seems difficult and discounted by others or even oneself. Also redrawing boundaries and limits so we can live larger lives and more fully. The author talked about believing mirrors, having those people there that support us, and being aware that some people will limit us and not want us to change.  As Julia Cameron states in the book, “All of us need and require Believing Mirrors. Believing Mirrors reflect us as large and competent creatively. They mirror possibility, not improbability. “ It was interesting how she talked about unexpected ways we may come across this encouragement like from a passing neighbour or magazine article. Personally I find lots of unexpected encouragement around me, I never thought of this as a way of building inner support. It also challenged my beliefs that I was never supported in my creativity. When I think of the hours I spent doing fashion designs and playing my guitar I realise I was surrounded by believing mirrors. This was a huge insight.

 

I love the idea of walking on things; it is a little like sleeping on things. Walking on things just allows space to open up to other possible answers to the questions. It quietens the mind from the noise of life and distractions, and heightens the volume of the inner voice of the soul. It gives us an opportunity to dream and imagine revealing what our soul wants for us.  As I walked on these questions I discovered deeper insights, and unexpected answers. Just answering questions is revealing, but something about walking, that allows the answer to come from a deeper and more soulful level. From this I was able to create more questions to explore in my journal, including:

  • Was I limiting my possibilities?
  • Was I making up excuses so as not to grow and get out of my comfort zone?
  • Where do I find my encouragement and believing mirrors?
  • What does my larger self-look like? What are her big dreams?

Julia Cameron states in the book,” allow yourself to walk into a new and larger identify in your imagination. It is often there that we first learn to comfortably inhabit a larger self.”

Round Walk on it

 

So if you have questions you want answering combine journaling with walking. Also consider where possible before making big or difficult decisions simply walk on it before making the decision. Yes, walk on it!

 

Another beautiful activity was to quickly answer, I wish……………….. 1-20, coming up with a list of small and big things. Doing the list fast, makes the answers more intuitive, more from the heart than the mind.  The idea is that this list reveals the place to start action from. It also a place to discover what you really want, and to start making small action steps towards making those wishes a reality. As Julia Cameron states, “ When we are active on our own behalf, we tend to feel less overwhelmed by the needs and wants of others.” What I discovered was an overall big wish, I wished I protected my time and energy more, so  I could attend to my own wish list. My wish list requires me to draw boundaries on my time and energy, so as there is plenty left for me. That is where I started scheduling in activities into the calendar, and making serious commitments to them.

 

There was much more to complete in chapter two, basically the whole chapter is around being your larger self, discovering and finding believing mirrors, making 20 amazing heart found wishes, and creating action steps for them. Discovering the power of walking on it.

 

Share your thoughts about this book, I would love to know how you found or are finding this journey of exploration?

 

 FRAN DISHON

 

 

 

Exploring Week One Of Walking In This World, Through The Journal Writing Process!

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 “You begin where you are, with who you are, at this time, at this place”~Julia Cameron 

 

The journey begins as I seek to discover more about who and what I am. I get out my journal and I start.

It has been a long beautiful week of Journaling, and really getting back into the practice of Morning Pages, each morning filling up three pages of stream of conscious writing. Additionally  incorporating some intentional journaling sessions around the exercises in week one of Julia Cameron’s book  Walking In This World, which is all about discovering a sense of origin.

 

The hardest part is not reading the book, it is doing the exercise. Like all self-help books you need to actually apply the information  to get the full benefits of them. I must admit I really have to stop, breath, and tell myself to do the work. Hmmmm how did I go? Well I was awesome at doing my morning pages(journaling)each morning. Went on a delightful walking adventure for 1-2 hours, enjoying the sunshine and snapping photo’s. Then I spent my Artist’s Date( solo expedition) admiring all the eye candy, at Robert Gordon Pottery. So many beautiful pieces, I brought myself some mugs, and also picked up a Mother’s Day gift.

 

Then to the exercises.  The first exercise was What The Heck I Might As Well, this required me to put a list of twenty creative actions that could be started immediately. This creates forward movement by taking and completing small actions. I listed my twenty activities. When I looked back over them I thought how safe. I could not help thinking a couple of them should be more dramatic and exciting. Anyway the whole idea of this activity is to get started, and actually do the work. I did five things as follows:

 

  • A photo afternoon which I combined with my walk. I also had fun editing the photo’s. See my photographic work of art above.
  • Collaging my boxes  and de-cluttering. I got carried away with this one.
  • Finally I got out in my garden, potted some plants and weeded the vegetable patch, and I think I am growing a pumpkin.
  • I took a photo each day, usually as I was sitting at the bus stop waiting to pick up my son. Now I have a bunch of photo’s about the boring Burbs.
  • I had lots of fun making green house cleaning products like my  pretty pink toilet bombs.

 

 The little things lead to the big things.

 The next activity is to express myself and write down ten qualities about myself, then write a personal advertisement which is as follows:  Join me, and experience insights from a mindful, reflective, and intentional journal writer.  Yes I know am quite and  people think I am quite, and have  this assumption that something is wrong. I  am just listening to the world and observing what is going on around me, like how spider webs magically sparkle and whimsically wave on a sunny breezy day. Being quiet is OK!  Plus I discovered I also like to take the safe options.  Hmmm what if I don’t like a quality about myself? This made a wonderful question to explore in my journal.  The hardest part of this exercise is not to get caught up in what other people think of you. I often get told I am hardworking, dependable, and agreeable. I enjoyed this activity and I am intentionally going to be more mindful about being true to myself, and express myself more fully.

 

Finally the third activity was to do nothing. I have already nailed this one, so good at lying in my arm-chair closing my eyes to a beautiful piece of music and allowing the thoughts to simply escape and pass by.  I do nothing really well!

 

As I worked my way through week one, I felt a little stronger about expressing myself, and getting stuff done. It reminded me to stop comparing and just be me, and be ok with that.  I would like to conclude with a final quote by Julia Cameron, “Stop striving to be more, and appreciate what it is you already are.”

 

Share your thoughts about this book, I would love to know how you found or are finding this journey of exploration?

 

 Wishing you all a wonderful day!

 

 FRAN DISHON