Dialogues: A Journaling Exercise

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A journaling dialogue is essentially a conversation on paper between you and someone or something else in which you are writing both sides of the discussion.  This dialogue can be with absolutely anyone or anything.  Some ideas for dialogue partners include but are in no way limited to:

Any person, alive or dead

Someone famous you admire and whose advice you would love to receive

An illness

A part of your body that hurts or an aspect of your body image that is uncomfortable or unsettling to you in some way

Money

Time

An emotion or feeling

A creative project

Your job or career

Your creativity in general

Procrastination/Your resistance to taking action on something

Circumstances in your life

A material object

Your authentic self

This is your opportunity to ask questions and have a conversation with someone or something in your life that needs some insight or further exploration.  It is usually written in script format, as if you were writing dialogue for a play:

ME:  Asks question or makes comment.

DIALOGUE PARTNER:  Responds.

And the conversation continues from there.  Try not to rush the discussion, simply let the dialogue proceed in a relaxed and unhurried manner, as if you were talking to a good friend.  You may even experience some silence in between responses.  That’s okay.  Let the conversation flow as it wants to.

With that, please take out your journal and a pen.  Review the list of possible dialogue partners above and choose someone or something that you would like to gain insight from in some way.  Remember, this is just a preliminary list of ideas.  Feel free to choose whatever or whoever you want for your conversation.  Once you have a dialogue partner in mind, close your eyes.  Take a few deep breaths and let your body begin to relax, feeling present and open.  In your minds eye, picture yourself somewhere in nature that you find particularly soothing.  It might be the beach, the forest, the mountains….whatever setting calls to you.  Really put yourself there…feel the air, hear the sounds and smell the scents that you associate with your particular natural setting.  Take a few moments to really let this come alive for you.  Once you feel present in your vision, imagine that there is a path in front of you leading to a comfortable place to sit down.  You began walking along the path and take a seat, settling in to this space.  Imagine that there is another path on the opposite side of where you are seated that leads towards you.  You began to see that someone or something is slowly making their way down the path.  As they get closer, you begin to make out their appearance.  This is your dialogue partner.  Let them take whatever form they choose.  There is no right or wrong embodiment for this entity.  Simply note their appearance as they sit down next to you.  Take a moment to comfortable in one another’s presence.  Feel the energy of openness and honesty between you.  It is clear that this is a sacred space where you can say or ask anything that you want.  Once you are ready, open your eyes and begin having a conversation with your dialogue partner on the page.  Spend 20 or 30 minutes here talking to one another.

As the conversation comes to a close, thank your dialogue partner for the insight and wisdom they have shared with you.  If it a conversation you want to return to, let your partner know that and ask if you can return to this space to continue the dialogue at another time.

This can be an extremely powerful exercise that can yield surprising results.   Read through what you wrote with compassion and curiosity.  Underline or highlight any particular insights you received for further reflection.  You can always use the wisdom and insight from your dialogue partner as a prompt for your next writing session if you want to dive deeper into what you’ve discovered.

 

 

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