Emerging from the pages of my journal

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Who am I?  I was really struggling to define myself and confused myself even more by trying to answer this question!  This question does not concern us too much until we reach a stage in life when we do start pondering our place in this vast universe and the role we play in it.

Sometimes we are asked to describe ourselves and who we are.   Okay, so like most people I would have probably said  “Woman of Indian origin, Reiki Master,  I co-own a business, I love to read, paint, write , journal daily , collect umpteen vintage fabrics, quilt, can’t resist buying books,  did volunteer work for  a  domestic violence organization etc.”      In other words we use labels, jobs or actions to define who we are.  So, back to the question “Who am I?”

Determined to venture another try, I needed a starting point. I started to keep up a daily journal.  First I decided to see other people and situations as they really are versus how I “think” they are.  Ergo, I also started to work on seeing who I really am.  Let me tell you that what I saw when I was honest opened up a new and liberating world for me.  Vistas that revealed themselves were startling at first, and I discovered that so much of myself had been hidden from me.  I think I hid it.  I mean it was always there, but I never opened that door!  It was best to ignore it for I did not know if I could handle the truths that would be revealed or have the nerve to follow the dreams I had locked away.  When I mustered enough strength to keep that door open and look around, it gradually made me comfortable in my skin and love what I saw.

Now, life is richer, my plumbing my depths deeper and the big picture filled with possibilities.  I am honest with myself and realistic about others.  “Perceived truths” about me by others are not really “my truths” and honestly what are those also?  They are perceptions of others integrated into our thinking and then distilled and refined into a sort of “personal truth” of our own.     The tool which enabled me to discover who I am, was my journal.

How I started is another story.  One summer I was visiting my sister.  Seeking reading material, I was looking through her collection of books.    As my eyes roved through the various titles on the book-spines,  they stopped at one which grabbed my attention … “The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron”.  I was   steeped in the pages right away.  You see I love to read anything which fosters my growth and gently spirals me to a higher awareness, motivates me to acquire new ways of thinking and achieving my goals.  Contrary to what the title suggests, it is not a book relating to artists.  It is a method of turning you into a more productive whoever you are … a better artist, writer, housewife, mother, engineer and many more identities you can think of.

The very first practice suggested is the Daily Morning Pages which is basically stream of consciousness writing on three pages, first thing after awaking.   It was afternoon, but I grabbed some paper and started right away.  For some 20 minutes, I was suspended in a space and time that was so uniquely my own, my pen effortlessly skimming the page with reflections, dreams and lots of bitching!

When I got back home I continued this daily (well most times!) morning practice noticing that it set my mood for the day. It proved to be a great way for me to have space on the page to explore my strengths as well as areas that needed revisions or tweaking…notice I did not say weaknesses.  Be kind to yourself!       I chose daily journal-writing as a means of revealing myself on the page and then planning how I could improve those areas and make them strong.

The woman who emerged from these papers was, at first, a stranger to me.  It was me thinking these thoughts, writing these observations and I did not believe this until I saw the words on paper.  My words, my thoughts, my opinions, my likes and peeves … finally ME!  I witnessed this through my journal-writing.  It gave me the courage to slowly make necessary changes, without fear of repercussions, disagreements because the words on the page were my support.  They were my truth.   Have you found your truth?

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