Why are visual journals more transformative than written journals? Some people will disagree with this idea, but let me explain. This picture below is some of my past subjective experience, and it became part of my healing process because I made effort to express feelings that are impossible to put into words.
Here follows an excerpt on this topic from my book “Harmonizing Consciousness- How the Acquired Faculty of Language Wreaks Havoc with Human Consciousness, and What We Can Do About It.”
“The Value of Written and Visual Journals”
Written journals have limited value in harmonizing consciousness.
“That’s untrue! Writing in my journal helps me understand how I feel and gives me insight into my process!”
I know this will be the response from some readers! A lot of people, women in particular, use written journals to cope with life. Sometimes our written journals feel like the only safe place to express our feelings. This becomes an important comfort to us. If written journals feel like a vital support to us, we must keep them! In this case, consider keeping both written and sensory journals. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. At the same time, lift one eye to the far horizon and remember what Albert Einstein said; “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
To harmonize consciousness, we want to find ways to connect with our experience before we attach words to it. Recall that words have become wired to our neurobiological processes, so our objective will be to bypass this artificial lens and connect directly with the source of our inner knowledge. This will be impossible to do while using the acquired faculty of language.
We will want to collect manifestations of our experience so we can study them later. Sensory journals can achieve this because language and words are not the focus. Images, movement, touch, temperature, sound, odour, and taste transcend language. They can communicate things we don’t even have words for yet—but we know what they mean anyway. We will benefit greatly by learning how to trust our silent information process again. We have successfully relied on this faculty for millions of years.
Written journals keep us mired in old patterns because our code is not only “limited, it is inadequate. Even if our language skills are advanced, the same response is elicited by our cells and body processes each time we use a certain word. We tend to use the same words from our word bank because words become hardwired into our systems. We become ensconced in words or phrases that resonate in a way that is familiar to us—and not necessarily in a liberating way.”
A final word on visual images. We can purchase paintings that resonate with us and ponder those, however it is even more transformative to create a journal of our own, even if the images in them are stick-figures in pencil or abstract swirls of colour. When they come from us and through us, they more truly represent an important piece of us.
The act of noticing our own processes is itself transformative.
(A description of how to keep a visual journal can be found in “Harmonizing Consciousness” by Sylvie Rosewood.)