Monday, July 06, 2009
Automatic journaling is a very beneficial tool for recovery & self-growth. I utilize it with all of my patients, as well as for mySelf. I've been journaling in this way for several decades, always finding new ways to integrate it into my life. When I began journaling, it wasn't uncommon for me to sit in front of my notebook with a blank stare. This was a form of writer's block & one that made me very uncomfortable. How could I have nothing to say to mySelf? I soon came to understand that my mind was so disorganized in this area of my life that it literally locked-up. It was also clear to me that I was somewhat frightened of what would come off of my pen. To this day I only journal with pen & paper, not on the computer. The main reason for this is that it takes longer to write than to type, thus giving time for the subconscious mind to kick in. I've tried both ways & even though I prefer to type, the results are much better in long hand.
For those of you who are new to automatic journaling, here are a few things that I do & that you may find useful. I tend to choose the early morning for journaling, even if it means getting up a bit earlier. In a way, it's a form of early morning prayer...honoring yourSelf with a special meeting. I meditate for about five minutes. That seems sufficient for clearing the mind of early morning chatter. As I mentioned, when I started to journal, I didn't know what to write. Sometimes I wrote just that. "I don't know what to write." That was all it took for the subconscious mind to take over. "Why don't you know what to write?" And so, the conversation took off. There are times when I have something very specific to discuss with those Higher Parts of mySelf, perhaps things I don't understand, fear I may have, obstacles in my life, areas of my life that I know need some improvement, things I may want to attract, including better management of emotions, or clarifying my value system. In this type of journaling, just about anything is possible. I've had conversations with images or symbols in my dreams, wanting to know why they appeared & how I could benefit from their messages. I've even had conversations with my car engine & was surprised at the rather accurate suggestions. Now, I know this may sound a bit off base, but it isn't. If you have interest in this particular realm of communication, pick up any book by Jose Silva.
Today, I'm going to share some personal interactions I've had with my early Addictive Self. I've been in contact with that part of me for decades now & our relationship has been instrumental in keeping me at a high level of health & performance. But first...
A NOTE TO NEW READERS:
This experiential blog/workshop is based on my new book, "How Many Cookies Will It Take to Make Me Happy?" If you are new to my writing, you might want to read the earlier mini-chapters. They are available on FaceBook, The PublishersMarketPlace & at the following link. Remember to scan down to find the earliest chapters & work your way up. http://beyonddisorderlyeating.blogspot.com/
A bit of background.... we are working with creative Interactive Self-Hypnosis imagery, planting suggestions directly into the creative subconscious mind as you read along. What appears like a story is a series of self-hypnotic sessions, designed to bring about desired lifestyle changes. The inner mind is creative & rather child-like, loving to play with images, especially when they are emotionalized. Just like the saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words", well-planted mind images, can be worth hours of therapy. We can actually change or motivate in 1/200th of a second. So come along & look forward to some lifestyle-changing events.
MY ADDICTIVE SELF - JOURNAL ENTRY 1991
I had been afraid of this part of mySelf for many decades. My childhood fear of this part of me was somethat different from my adult fear. When I was a child I was simply afraid of getting caught eating things that belonged to others. I remember calculating how many cookies I could eat without my mother noticing. I was about five years old at that time. I do remember the Addictive Self trying to goad me into eating beyond that amount, but my fear kept me in line. As I got older, the fear didn't work any longer because I was freer to get my substance of choice....food. Of course, this meant more hiding & secret behaviors, but in a way, I enjoyed them. This part of my behavior was exactly the opposite of how I appeared to others. The secrets in themselves were exciting & addictive.
Today I've decided to invite my Addictive Self to come out of hiding & meet me on my journal page. It's interesting that she has no fear of me & is already conversing through the end of my pen. I'm surprised at how friendly she is & eager to engage me. There is no mention of our secret life together. It's almost like we were very old friends & now have time to catch up. She's very interested in what I'm doing & why I'm doing it. This is good because it shows me that she is caring. I needed to know that. Part of me is expecting the manipulation, but I'm not seeing that yet. I'm going to try not to anticipate that behavior, because I know that I might just get what I don't want. I want to trust her & to have her follow me, instead of taking over my life. I tell her this & it seems to relax her. I'm coming to understand that she wants me to lead. I ask her about this & she tells me that she never wanted to harm me, but was helping me to relax in my very tense life. She's not apologetic & I'm ok with that. After all, she was trying to be helpful & having no leadership, she simply did her best.
I have a lot to share with her because of the seriousness of my addictions & how sick I've been, knocking on the door of adult onset diabetes. She doesn't seem interested in this & while I wish she was, I do understand that she is part of my "lower Self"....a childSelf. It would be like expecting my young daughter to understand the seriousness of a medical condition when all she wants to do is go out & play. However, I do want her to recognize some of the big issues that have become habitual for her, such as wanting to binge in the car on the way home from work & to wake up to eat in the middle of the night. Those are dangerous & unacceptable habits that will stop immediately. I tell her some of the other things that will also stop....carefully listing them, but presenting them in a quiet, assertive manner, that of a good leader. I also ask her to repeat these to me & show her mind images of healthy behaviors. She wants to know if she can help.....that's a good sign. All in all, it's been a good meeting today.
Copyright 2009 Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
May not be copied or reproduced without permission of the author.
Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht is author of Sugar...the Hidden Eating Disorder & How to Lick It. She is also the writer/producer of over 350 mp3/CD programs in the areas of medicine, health, prevention, addictions, self-development & sports for adults & children.