Stream of Awareness - Journaling Tool
All thoughts and feelings come to us for a reason. They each have a purpose and a meaning.
“We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.” – Robert Cecil Day-Lewis
Do you know how you think, create, intuit or learn? Explore your mind with the Stream of Awareness tool. This is the only tool many people use when they journal. Julia Cameron in ‘Artist’s Way’ highly recommends using it daily. She calls it ‘Morning Pages.’
There are two approaches to Stream of Awareness. The first approach has no
agenda at all. You simply write whatever comes to mind. It’s doing a mind dump.
“I hear…, I feel…, I see…., Is the stove on? This is a stupid exercise. I hope I
am doing it right. What if I do not have a thought? My desk sure is messy.
Wonder how work will go today? I hear a noise….” Capture every thought,
sensation and feeling on paper. Repetition is okay. Aim to keep your pen
constantly moving for at least 10 minutes.
The second approach is to create some intention to focus your awareness and then to write whatever comes to mind.
Getting predominant thinking and worries out of our heads and onto paper releases trapped energy from our heads, hearts and hands. It eases the repetitive worry routines in our minds. Once we have released the surface chatter, we then get to see deeper layers of our thinking. The subconscious mind regularly sends up thoughts, ideas, emotions, symbols and messages, but they get lost in our habitual self-talk. Now you have a tool to grasp these deeper messages and possibly make sense of them.
- Take 10 minutes and write everything that comes to your mind. This will require speedwriting – you may want to create your own form of shorthand but aim to get all your thoughts down. Once you complete a good 10-minute dump of your mind, review it. What do you notice about your thoughts and sensations and self-talk? Are there any common themes? If so, what are they? Any insights? Any surprises? Which of your five senses do you use the most? This may bring up more topics for journaling. Write these new topics in your Hot List for future attention.
- Create an intention to focus your awareness on your physical body. Do a stream of awareness for a short time by focusing on one or more of the following areas: body sensations, pains, discomforts, gravity, breathing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching or seeing.
- Create an intention to focus your awareness on your emotions. Do a stream of awareness for a short time by focusing on one of the following areas: desires, impatience, grief, defenses, addictions, anger, pet peeves, fears, depression, sadness, or feelings or emotions in general. Review your writing. Are you open to experiencing your emotions or are you blocking or denying them?
- Create an intention to focus your awareness on your mind. Do a stream of awareness for a short time by focusing on one of the following areas: guilt, resentment, judgment, self-centeredness, ineffective habits, worthiness, self-talk, etc. Review your notes to assess your predominant mental attitude. Is it primarily negative, with criticism, gossip, deception, illusion, excuses, manipulation, argument, blame, rationalization, etc.? Is it more positive, uplifting, optimistic, inspirational, loving, honest, inclusive, supportive, etc.?
- Create an intention to focus your awareness on your etheric energy. Do a stream of awareness for a short time by focusing on one of the following areas: overall vitality, psychic feelings, other people’s emotions, telepathy, pre-physical sensations or pains, your aura, etc. If this is a new frontier for you, don’t be concerned if you feel you are making up any impressions you detect. Persevere with your explorations.
“Our ideas are like our children – they must crawl before they can walk, and walk before they can run. Be gentle and forgiving in nurturing your ideas into reality. Our ideas are our teachers, too, and we grow with them as they lift us to new plateaus of achievement.” – Earl Nightengale
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