Resolve to ‘just write’ for the next 10 minutes. Set the watch and start. As you write, don’t worry about what to write; ‘just write’ whatever comes to the mind. But remember an important principle: let the pen or the keyboard not stop for the next ten minutes, and even if you go blank, write that you are going blank but don’t stop the pen!
How did you feel? Restless, joyful, or indifferent? In either case, you have slowed down your life for ten minutes and inadvertently, as your life is rapidly speeding by you’ve just pressed the ‘pause’ button.
While sitting in a fast-moving car, the scenery outside may appear blurred, but if you slow down the car, you could clearly see the outside setting; the trees, bushes or the buildings appear more visible. Similarly as we rush from morning to night at a break neck speed, the mind’s landscape is unclear. Try journal writing in general or ‘Just write’ in particular and experience the car of your life slowing down; and this gives you a chance to see the mental setting more clearly; your thoughts, desires, and stressors become more obvious to you. Besides, you’d also discover amazing solutions to your own problems in life. But don’t plan for it; ‘just write’, and experience rich realizations springing forth from the inner depths of your heart and consciousness. Mental peace is a by-product then.
I discovered amazing therapeutic benefits of journal writing in 2008 after a friend gifted me ‘Writing down the bones’ by Natalie Goldberg. The author confesses how during the various challenges she faced in her personal life, journal writing helped her remain mentally stable.
A sample of my recent ‘just write’ journal entry is pasted below for your reference. Hopefully this will encourage you to ‘just write’ your own thoughts and discover yourself better….
6th October’ 2013, Sunday, Borivalli. Time: 12.15 pm
I now resolve to ‘just write’ till 12.30 pm. Let my mind say what it wants today but I am determined not to get up from my seat till I write satisfactorily. I won’t stop. Oh my mind do what you want, but I am on a writing spree for the next ten minutes. Hari bol!! . I just don’t know why you play truant always. Krishna please help me! Krishna please save me!
Right now, just out of nowhere you say, “ Get up and copy the latest data to the hard drive”. Can’t it wait? Please don’t talk to me all the things that have no connection to Krishna. Yes I now hear you say that I need to write well so that my articles are appreciated by many. Even if I believe you, I know you don’t’ believe yourself. You are rushing to yet another ‘important’ idea; oh is there no end to your proposals.
How long will I torture you? Will I not release you? No looking at the watch, sorry! Don’t tempt me ok.
This is our jogging session. Just like I keep jogging daily for twenty minutes to keep my body fit, I now jog ten minutes to keep my mind fit. This is ‘pen jogging’ and its fun isn’t it my dear mind? I know you won’t slow down but I am assured of one thing; I can see where you are dragging me. Even as I am writing this, oh my mind you are suggesting I get myself a new pair of dhoti kurta.
Oh what speed and agility you have. This ten minute ‘pen jogging’ will certainly help me increase my mental awareness. Once my ‘awareness’ is high and I am conscious of my mind’s notoriety, it will be easier for me to ‘accept’ that my mind is my enemy. Increased awareness helps internalize acceptance and that leads to a more meaningful shelter of Krishna. I can now depend more on Krishna as I see you Oh rascal drag me away from pure devotional service. ……..
If you haven’t done the ‘just write’ exercise, I suggest you do it now, and feel a breadth of fresh air…!!