Today’s prompt is a continuation of The Times of My Life, the directions of which are posted here: https://catcharissage.com/2014/11/12/day-12-to-see-what-we-can-see-the-times-of-my-life/.
Now you’ve written in the major events of your life above the timeline, and then in two streams below it you’ve included events, strong feelings, and deep impressions in both your physical body and in your soul-life. Now’s the time to look at it and ask yourself some questions. You may want to write the answers either in point form, or in a stream of consciousness technique on the next page or on a page you will tape over your timeline.
What connections do you notice, if any? Have some of the eventful times of your body coincided with soul growth or sense of personal identity? Have you moved a lot in your life? Or travelled? Are there any patterns in how those events correlate with your physical, bodily experiences? Are there long periods of few life events, but lots of pleasant bodily experience? Where have been the barren parts of your life so far? What about “biggies” like first sexual experience, birth of a child, menopause? What about the times when your parents had a serious illness, or if they have died? Who were you nurtured by as a child? A parent? Or a little patch of woods? Or the nuns at your elementary school?
What other questions or connections can you think of? Can you summarize any personal insights that this has brought?
When you’re finished writing, be sure to include color, sketches, or symbols on your page.
If you happen to enjoy this work and have the time, something very rewarding to do would be to create a timeline of the events of each of your parent’s lives on separate timelines. Just fill it out to the best of your limited knowledge. Either don’t bother with the bodily and soul-life streams, or include what you know in the general “events” stream. At this point in time, don’t yet share this exercise with your parent —- glean your own insights first; you may not ever want to share your thoughts on this. When I did a variation of this exercise with a group led by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, many participants, including myself, became aware of generational patterns we had not seen before. Even if you have no “aha!” experience with this, just thinking about your parents’ childhoods and young adulthoods creates a little more understanding and empathy.
Please share any insights you might be having, or comments and questions. You can comment on the blogpost or email me at [my name] at gmail.com.
This is day 14 of a series of daily prompts for written, visual, or art journalling, or just for pondering. For more background information, see the Intro page https://catcharissage.com/2014/10/29/announcing-sixty-days-of-visual-journalling-prompts/, or this post on visual journalling: https://catcharissage.com/2014/07/12/talking-about-journals/.