Monday, June 16, 2008

Daisy the Spotted Cow

So I'm working with The Intensive Journal Process, which is described in Ira Progoff's book "At a Journal Workshop", which I picked up years ago and have only just now started reading.

I'm still trying to figure this thing out.

Rather than the rambling, several pages long Morning Pages (for those of you familiar with Julia Cameron's work) style entries, my daily entries, called Daily Logs, are supposed to be a concise listing of factual information--events and emotions--of what comprises "the movement of my day," a concept I am still trying to wrap my head around.

Apparently I am supposed to cultivate an awareness of my dreams and my feelings upon waking ('s morning already?), and follow the inner movements of my day. Which would be all right if I was a drama queen of sorts, riding waves of emotion all day and every day, but I fear that this stage of my life is fairly quiet and calm. I don't have stellar arguments followed by world-shaking making up with my husband. I stay away from family politics and relationships I find too stressful. My mother-in-law is doing well in the health department, my children are home on summer break so there are no homework struggles...

All in all, my daily emotional life is about as exciting as that of Daisy the Spotted Cow, who wanders out to the field every morning to munch on nice sweet grass and ambles back to her stall every evening 'round about sundown for a nice restful sleep in a pile of fresh hay.


The most exciting decision of my day usually revolves around which pair of underwear I should wear (they're all a bit tatty at the moment...I need to get some more...perhaps I can parlay that into an emotional crisis?) and which salad dressing I should put on the table at dinner.

Thus my Daily Log entries have been rather vanilla so far, and not very inspiring. No that I'm suggesting I need a dose of high drama, oh no, we can do quite nicely without that, thank you.

I'm just saying, that's all. (Moo.)

Writing Prompt: Daisy the Spotted Cow is not the only character floating about in the primeval stew I call "Brain." My critic, the part of myself that rags on everything creative I try to do, looks like a disembodied brain with bright red duck feet and horn-rimmed glasses. And my creative self is a small swamprat sort of thing with long whiskers and ever-so-fluffy ears. And of course, there is little-girl-me, who I talked about in my post about nursery school.

What other aspects of yourself are you aware of? What do they represent? Have you named them? What do they look like?


Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Jazz,
I, too, haven't read that book in decades and can't remember why I read it all those years ago. Maybe I was more into "journaling" than I remember.

Actually, I think it's great that there are no big dramas in your life. I've had enough ups and downs with this illness to last a lifetime.

The image of Daisy made me smile. While I don't think I could stand the lack on intellectual stimulation if I was forced to stand in a field and chew my cud all day, still there must be a Zen feeling about chewing nonstop for hours.

P.S. I just brought new underwear at Target. It was cheap and not bad at all! Sorry if this info averts your crisis (smiling face).

Gianna said...

and follow the inner movements of my day. Which would be all right if I was a drama queen of sorts, riding waves of emotion all day and every day, but I fear that this stage of my life is fairly quiet and calm.

Well, I don't have the book to look at but it seems to be that following the inner movements of your day could conceivably be something extremely subtle and have nothing to do with being a drama queen. It seems to be an opportunity to really listen to yourself in a profound way. We all have vicissitudes of emotion even if we are not having dramatic emotions.

I think you might try by sitting with yourself...almost like a meditation and see what arises. That is if you want to try the exercise. I imagine if one sits and listens there is always a deep richness in all of us that doesn't have to be about drama.

Jazz said...

Actually, just setting foot in Target causes me a sort of existential crisis, so perhaps I should just make shopping part of my daily routine!

Seriously, I'm glad that there are no big dramas in my life. This may be a time to focus on the quiet gratitudes of daily life.

Jazz said...

You are right. It will be a good exercise in mindfulness, to follow my awareness and see what arises out of deep silence and stillness. Something that is hard for me to practice in the midst of crisis.

And I'm not complaining...not's just that it's only recently that I've learned to separate myself from everyone else's drama and not make it my own. So having long periods of tranquility is something I'm still getting used to.

I feel "settled" in my life now, in a way I have never felt before. This is a new feeling for me, and I need to soak it in and discover what it means. Drama is always fairly obvious...peace is much more subtle.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

It used to bother me as well. I willed myself to not let it do that. I just go to the department I'm interested in, buy the product, and leave.


iHanna said...

Jazz, found my way here from susan-wellnesswriter and I'm adding you to my blogroll ASAP! Love journaling and people writing about journaling. I adore the little Moo-cow walking around in your brain (I can see it very clearly) and I wish I had that calmness too! :-)

Mine is well known as Monkey Mind, jumping around everywhere, sometimes evolving into a dolphin that dives deep into the sea... I want to be a dolphin! :-) yes, I am.

Jazz said...

Hello, ihanna, and thank you for stopping by! Hope you like it here. Journaling has been with me for a long time, and I'm hoping I can show others what a great tool it can be.

As for the calmness, well, I imagine there are a number of sharp-toothed coyotes and dinosaurs and other unpleasant things out there just waiting for Daisy the Spotted Cow to make a wrong move, and then *poof* she's dinner!