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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Journal with Impact: Personal Reflection “Who Am I?”

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began.” Mary Oliver

“Who Am I” (b)

As we all know, time is elusive. Regardless of our age, we reach points where we stop to ask ourselves who am I, and what am I doing, and why? There are some major markers such as changes in relationships, or education, or jobs, that clearly require a deeper than normal evaluation. But sometimes even the chosen daily patterns can create situations where we need to stop and evaluate our goals and priorities and passions.

Just as we schedule maintenance checkups for our cars and our health, it’s good to examine whether we are en route personally, or if somehow time has swallowed us up in its own snowstorm.

In her book Just As I Am, author Virginia Hearn suggests three different approaches to the time questions and the possibilities that journey with us through all the threads in our lives.

What Time

1.     “What time is it in my life?” Write a paragraph or two in response to this question.

What Season

Another variation on time would be “what season of life am I in?”

2.     Make four lists—each on a separate piece of paper with these titles:
a.     It is too late to….
b.     It is too soon to…
c.      The time is right to…
d.     I need time to…..

What Priorities

3.     Another three-question list.
a. What do I want to accomplish in my life?     
b. What do I want to accomplish in the next three years?
c. What would I do if I had only six months to live?

Or for those of you who are visual observers, map out a set of clusters using any of the starting points above. Follow it as far as it goes, then pick out different ‘branches’ to write about. If you are not familiar with the cluster brainstorm, below is an example from a fiction workshop as an example. The center word begins the topic. Then draw lines to each main category. Then within a category connect sub-categories. Follow the threads for one or more until you run out. Then examine where you have the most material and where you have questions.

  Photography                   Dance                  Painting

                                                                 Art                                                     Collage

Music                              Sculptor                             
                                                                                                 Novelist                Literary    
                                               High fantasy             Urban         Paranormal

Action Steps:

1.     Over a three-week period set aside a block of time to process each of the exercise questions above. Begin with whichever one draws you immediately.

2.     After you complete all three approaches, note where you were comfortable in your reactions and where you struggled.

3.     Take the one that was the most difficult to consider and write down the reasons why. Then after another week tackle it again.

4.     Did anything change for you? Process why, yes or no?

Share: Which question did you instinctively relate to first?

                                                            Read deep, marcy

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