The Slow Work of Change

My thanks to everyone who participated in the last week of Writing Yourself Whole. And thanks also for your generous contributions. I was happy to see that so many people participated. Your generous contributions will help many homeless families in Phoenix have clean and safe drinking water. Thank you so much for that, too.

Now what? Taking a course online doesn’t really lend itself to community. You might have felt that you were falling behind by the second day. Maybe it was hard to concentrate, or when you sat down, your mind went blank. If you thought, “I need more time to write,” but didn’t get started, you have encountered the most common stumbling block to self-care through journaling.

Like anything else, journaling takes practice. Writing down your thoughts and looking at them is hard. You want to avoid some hard thoughts. Pema Chodron, in her book, When Things Fall Apart, tells us to lean into the sharp points, but who wants to do that?

“…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.”

Journaling is hard work. It is not always fun to know our weak spots. It’s certainly not fun to work on the weak spots. But the effort itself can be invigorating, and the effort is always worth it. Stick with deep journaling and you will learn what you need to learn about yourself. You will begin to accept yourself and those around you. Your life will become brighter, and you will begin to enjoy the happiness you build.

Journaling takes practice. You don’t have to delve into yourself every day. There are other ways to journal–and you can mix them up any way you like. Tomorrow’s blog will help you with some ideas about journaling.

Keep building inner heroes. You are filled with sparks of joy and healing. With flashes of understanding and beauty. Gather them to you and build a fire that keeps your heart and soul warm and that lights your path.

—Quinn McDonald has returned to journaling with many emotions. She’s glad she did, though.

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6 thoughts on “The Slow Work of Change

  1. I was late on the last post as I was on a two day workshop and had friends staying . . . what a joy that was! I received so much encouragement as I pushed myself to do things I wouldn’t usually try, writing my responses to Day 7 confirmed how fortunate I am . . . all my choices have led me here. Thanks Quinn, and I hope the mail service gets a move on!

  2. Just wanted to thank you for this course. I was on vacation last week but have saved all the posts so that I can start this week. I knew that this was something I really wanted to do but knew that while on vacation…..well, you know. Plus, because I have saved everything, I plan on perhaps coming back to it once a year or so. It will be interesting to see what (if anything) changes. Thank-you again.

    • You are welcome–I have been wanting to try this for a while, and am happy that so many people participated. One of my best pieces of journaling suggestions is to go back and read your own journals from a year or so ago and see how you have changed, shifted or grown.

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