Part of our work together will be framed around reflective narrative. Thoughts and words are central to our lives. We use them to remember our memories and our stories, to imagine, to dream and to plan and we use them to express what is happening right now.

The keeping of a journal helps to keep track of all of this and it can be a great stepping off point into the visual narrative we explored earlier. We journal to record events, to keep track of new ideas, to answer searching questions and sometimes to step into other forms of creativity when we write poetry or prose.

Words hold deep meaning and can evoke strong feelings. We may notice that we often use the same phrases when we are in situations of stress or surprise. We create patterns with words and the patterns that we use go to shape our bodies and our expression of ourselves. Words have their impact deep within our subconscious and then we generate the reality we experience through those words that we are thinking and speaking, depending on how we perceive their meaning.

Our identities can often seem fixed, unchanging and even to have been chosen for us by others. Words can shame us and they can empower us. They can be shaped by us to fit our reclaimed needs as they are revealed. Reading books full of new thinking, witnessing through language the way a beautiful piece of art has touched us and general discussions with like minded people help us to develop clarity around our own identities and to better align our beliefs and values with our actions.

Looking at the given meaning of a word, deepening into my experiencing of the word and then exploring other possibilities of meaning gives me the opportunity to find and reflect the hidden and unconscious aspects of words.

One of the words I am interested in just now is ‘bewildered’. At first glance this word elicits feelings of confusion and uncertainty and perhaps a physical discomfort experienced as fogginess. However, when I break this word down, I get ‘be-wild-ered.’ This leads me to very different possibilities. What could it mean to be wild? This gives me a sense of being strong and comfortable in my known environment. I know how to live in the moment. I am capable and competent in my survival abilities. This provides such a different outcome for this word. A whole other way of being is hidden in plain sight.

Here are some words that you might like to explore yourself. Have a go at sensing what the word means to you and then see if there is some hidden way of experiencing the word, or what imagery the word elicits in you.

  • Emotion
  • Devastated
  • Remember
  • Self-centred

And here are some prompt questions if you would like to begin self-exploration with a journal.

  • How do you define freedom in your life?
  • What makes you feel motivated?
  • How do you react when you are challenged?
  • What opportunities have you created for growth and development?

If you are interested in sharing your journalling thoughts as part of a coaching process and want to learn more, please click below.