Tag Archives: inner wisdom

Beyond ranting – the necessary authenticity on the other side

Our journal writing workshop last evening was yet again a wonderful opportunity to share insights and learn new perspectives. My gratitude goes to workshop participant Elinor who shared a wonderful phrase that somehow landed quite forcefully with me. She said: “Necessity has no emotion.”

The reason why this hit me with such a clunk is because it seems to account for what I have found in my journal beyond the ranting. Once I’ve stripped away the whining voice of my inner critic or the exclamation marks of my ego; when I’ve named and shamed the stuck-on-repeat stories with which I’ve been comforting myself, and once I’ve come to terms with my main vulnerabilities, what’s left is a calm, balanced narrative in which I’m finally able to speak my truth. There are no exclamation marks here. No over-blown claims about my own brilliance. No excuses and convoluted reasons why I won’t/shan’t/can’t. Just calm, logical, plain, straight-forward truth. Well hello.


Inner wisdom and authenticity are the pearls I’m constantly encouraging my workshop participants to pursue. These are the buried treasures that our journals can reveal to us, but from whose scent the decoys and false trails of our inner critic, our stories, excuses and egoist self-justifications often throw us. How easily we become distracted and displaced! But every pearl needs its grit. It would be foolish though to¬†mistake the grit for the final product!

In Elinor’s insight I’m seeing that authenticity is akin to necessity. Our authentic self is who we necessarily are – who we cannot avoid being, no matter how many layers of negativity, self-judgement and self justification we heap on top. And when we hear its voice we find pearlescent¬†peace, quiet and truth.


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Filed under Journal Writing, Reflective Writing Practice, Self-Awareness

Rediscovering our natural goodness

Yesterday I was having a fabulous conversation with a journaling friend and colleague. Of the many things we discussed, over our two hour long coffee, one was the way we lose our natural creative and intuitive impulses as we go through life, bowing and succumbing to the conditioning we encounter from our culture and society.

Everything from media advertising, education, industry, what our parents and peers tell us, what our religion tells us, what our own inner critic tells us: gradually, slowly but surely, our individual spark of self-direction and actualisation gets dampened.

My friend explained how she uses her ears not just to hear but also as crap-busters, filtering out the insidious messages that might serve to overturn her positive outlook and oust her from her self-determined path.

She and I agreed whole-heartedly that we each have an inner wisdom, a natural goodness, which we can use as a resource to guide us and keep us mentally and emotionally healthy. In our own chosen fields, we each use our journals to access it.

A more striking example of how humanity has drifted away from benefitting from our natural goodness is in the infant malnutrition statistics from the developing world. This month, Feb 2013, Save the Children has published a report emphasising the importance of breast-feeding a baby in its first hour of life, stating that 95 infant lives could be saved every hour if this was the case.

Disturbingly, as countries in Asia and Africa take on more modern and Western practices, the rate of breast-feeding is falling dramatically. This is due, the report states, on cultural pressures, a lack of maternity nursing, and inappropriate marketing by milk formula manufacturers.

Why is it that humanity should turn its back on its innate natural goodness, in this case a mother’s breast milk, in favour of artificial and unsustainable products and attitudes? It doesn’t make sense that women should feel pressured into doing something other than what comes naturally to them, which is completely sustainable, highly beneficial and above all free.

As the world becomes increasingly short of food, energy and financial reserves we need to rely more and more on our own capabilities and resources, be they physical, economic, mental or emotional. We each have an innate natural goodness. It’s high time we each rediscovered it, and started making the most of it. It can save lives.


Filed under Current Affairs, Self-Awareness