Now I get it, the big deal about journalling

Adigo Atabo

7 January 2021

You know when a person’s name is on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t quite remember it? Then, some time later it comes to you. I imagine, in the interval, an army of workers rifling through filing cabinets in the mind, to find the exact reference. Yesterday, I took part in Clare O’Sullivan’s journalling workshop. Two stand-out messages were to let go of expectation, and a nod to the magic of journalling. Magic? Yeah, right! More like a chore, has been my impression.

In her first TED talk, Elizabeth Gilbert tells the tale of the American poet, Ruth Stone, who on noticing an idea passing through her, would run across the hills to make it home in time to grab a pen and write down the idea before it was gone. And so I sat during the workshop, putting my attention on capturing my thoughts and feelings as they passed by. At the end, I felt a profound sense of self-care. More striking, I noticed a circling of themes revealing clarity and understanding of the issues at hand.

An insight, that the workers in the mind not only rifle through cabinets, they move them around towards greater order, as happens during sleep and the integration of learning. A subset of nature’s innate order. Magic? An automated ordering, directed by a higher intelligence, accessed through intersecting stillness and writing, bringing a sense of wellbeing. Where previously I would run away from journalling, this morning I woke up yearning for it. Ah, yes, magic indeed.

image credit: Samuel F Yohanns from Pixaby