Flow and the Dark Side of Journaling

A kayak near a still  lake shrouded in fogWould-be authors are often advised to practice their craft by journaling every day. This can be a helpful tool, particularly if the focus is on playing with specific writing styles or techniques. Simply recording facts, experiences, or ideas from the day, however, can quickly lead us into the “dark side of journaling.”

I was lucky with  my first book, which was a memoir, because much of the experience I was writing about had been recorded in an Internet work space at the time it happened. Later, when I went to write the book, it was all there waiting for me. It doesn’t get much better than that.

I was also aware that I would be writing a sequel one day, so I began trying to capture that same level of detail in my on-going life through journaling – and that was when the dark side began to get its hold on me.  Continue reading

The Fine Line Between Teaching and Healing

A leaf in sharp focus in front of soft focus leavesWords have the power to heal. In shamanic traditions, this is sometimes called “word doctoring.” It can refer to spirit-given words or phrases which the shaman transmits to the patient, or it can be a “healing story,” often associated with other shamanic work on a patient’s behalf.

Story-telling, when it comes from the spirits, can also carry healing power for an audience. I believe this goes beyond “teaching” Continue reading