Journal page with story and illustration.

“Just-So” Stories (part 2)

WAIT! Have you done part 1?

Important: Please do the activity described in “Just-So” Stories, part 1 before reading this post!

Please take as much time as you need for part 1. You may want to spend more than one journaling session working on it, to give yourself plenty to work with in part 2.

Please resist the temptation to read part 2 before you do part 1.  If you read the questions and activities here first, you’ll take yourself out of the creative flow and start doing too much directing and planning. If we really want to tap into your creativity and intuition, we need to quiet our (waaaay overdeveloped) tendency to  want to “be in control”.

Try to let things emerge spontaneously  until you feel your focus wane. That may be a signal that you are falling out of the creative flow and you’re ready to mine your work for insights.

You might also find yourself feeling restless because you are getting close to something that makes you uncomfortable. If you feel you are just giving in to distraction to avoid something you need to stay with, then gently bring yourself back, or allow yourself to complete the work in a separate session.

But at the same time, don’t force yourself to continue working on part 1 just because you feel like you haven’t spent “enough” time. Your unconscious mind might have just needed one big shout! If you feel it’s time to move on, then go with the feeling.

Okay! Let’s mine our work for insights!

After you have at least the bare bones of your story down, take a step back and reflect on both the story and on how you felt while telling and illustrating it.

Who does this person feel like? Who do they remind you of?
An aspect of yourself—

Is the person in your story an aspect of self, perhaps one that you are very aware of, perhaps one that has been quiet lately? Perhaps one from your past, or one you hope to bring forth more in the future?

  • What does it mean that your attention has been called to this part of yourself right now?
  • Is this a part of yourself that you’ve been forgetting to use, or denying you have?
  • Is this a part of yourself that is a bit overly dominant, causing problems because it doesn’t yield the floor often enough to other parts of yourself?
  • Is this part of yourself in conflict with another person or another part of yourself?
  • Is this part of yourself heroically trying to rescue another part of yourself from doing something dangerous or destructive?
  • Is this part of yourself coming into being or coming out of hiding? Is it a tentative or triumphant emergence? Do you welcome it? Fear it? Want it, but doubt it’s really possible?
Or do they remind you of someone else in your life (past or present)?
  • How does your relationship with this person feel?
  • Is the character of the person in your story a dead ringer for the person in your life, or is it an aspect of them that come to the fore in certain situations or relationships?
  • Why has your attention been called to this person right now?
  • Where does this person fit into your life? Has their role in your life changed over time? Do you want it to? Do they?
 What is this story all about?
  • Is it a past hurt you need to heal?
  • Is it a reminder of a strategy you can use to deal with a current problem?
  • Is is a warning not to make a mistake again?
  • Is it a story you are just beginning to live? If so, how do you feel about living out this story this way? Do you feel excited, fearful, filled with dread, filled with hope?

Again, you may (probably will) get additional insights as you reflect further. If something doesn’t seem to make sense right away, it’s okay to just say “Hmmm. I don’t know what that means yet.” Spiral back to it later. In a week, or a month, you might see something that isn’t clear right now.

You might also use other journaling sessions to interact with this aspect of self or person differently. Maybe you’ll discover more by having a conversation with them, writing them a letter, making a mandala for their energy.

Remember, creative energy journaling is nonlinear. You can revisit a page many times—I often gain new insight about pages from months or years earlier.  And sometimes I’m also amazed at how far back some recurring theme goes. Or how much insight I had “way back then”.  And sometimes also wonder, why haven’t I done anything about it yet? Why does this come up again and again?

But, some things remain a mystery. We live with mystery and open questions all the time. Mystery makes life exciting, juicy and interesting, so don’t be in too big of a hurry to tidy up every detail.



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