Purpose: How to find your own way.
This journaling technique helps you take a snapshot of what your life looks like right now. Are things flowing the way you want them to? Or do you feel stuck? Have you lost your way? Where are you in the flow of the river that is your life? This section helps us take a snapshot of what the river looks like right now. It will help you find your way.
Ask Me, by William Stafford
Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.
I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.
William Stafford, “Ask Me” from Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems. Copyright © 1977, 2014 by William Stafford and the Estate of William Stafford. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Graywolf Press, www.graywolfpress.org.
Get comfortable. Have your computer/pen and paper handy. Close your eyes. Breathe naturally. Watch your in breath, your outbreath. Do this for a few minutes until your mind quiets. Try to feel yourself in the flow of your life, flowing down a river. This is the river of your life at this moment.
Write down at the top of your page: How does the current flow of my life feel? Imagine yourself a reporter standing by a river and in two or three sentences, record a visual image of what this river looks like. Is it long and wide with a calm current? Is there a bend ahead? Is it choppy with whitecaps? Can you see to the bottom? Is it clear? Cloudy? What’s on the bottom? Describe what it looks like, feels like, sounds like, or tastes like. Whatever image comes to mind, capture it on paper.
Mapping the river
What is in the portion of the river right now, that is your life? How are your relationships? How is your body feeling? Health Issues? Is there something going on, you having? Are there new truths? What activities are you involved in? What are you anxious about? Worried over? Do you havc\e a decision to make? Are you at a crossroads? Whatever comes up, write it down. Go as long as you need to.
Close your eyes and return to your imagined river. Now, sink down into the depths of your river. How does it feel? What does it look like? Is there an image? An idea? When something comes to mind, open your eyes and write it down then close your eyes and imagine yourself again, at the bottom of your river. Record the soundings as fully as you can.
Where does this lead?
Write this down. Now, review your list of mappings and soundings. For each one, think a moment. Where does this lead? We are interested using our new knowledge to help us take the next step in our life.