• Dr. Jill Bakke

Living in a Shattered World (Part 2)

Zombie days and times refer to those spaces in our lives where we follow our instincts, doing what pleases us. During zombie times our activities don’t require us to be critical thinkers or to be on call for others’ requests. The term also refers to repetitious actions where we zone out, relaxing into what we are doing with total focus. Examples included not only a bubble bath but chores like washing the dishes or scrubbing the floor, when we immerse ourselves entirely in the flow of our actions. We rest our minds and inspiration and solutions smoothly flow in.

Everyone has his list of activities that activate zombie time. I shared some of mine last month. What I didn’t mention was I have an accompanying “friend” for these times. It is my journal. During the zombie time, I write in my journal.

I record the insights, knowledge and pleasure the times offer me. The common thread of what occurs is knowledge of my life which I didn’t have before, and it is important to write (or draw) it in my journal as memories do not always save all the important aspects of our lives. For example, dreams often open up after zombie times. I’ve learned to write my dreams down quickly before they escape. Dreams’ words of wisdom inform me of important goings on in my life. Writing the information given, then adding the experience gained by taking zombie time often helps resolve the dream’s meaning and determine how the dream fits into daily life. Sometimes dream information will unravel quickly. Other times it may not come clear for extended periods –even months or years.

It is essential our journals hold this information because it helps us find the things most satisfying. And seeing the patterns that exist in our behaviors helps us live more fully and make the changes we need to make. Free will and choices of what we do are always ours.

A journal gives us a safe place to relate the changes we are making and what is effective and what is not. As we live consciously (note the emphasis) and use the knowledge given us, we will become more content, wiser, and healthier. Ultimately, what occurs is a record that builds trust in the actions of the creator spirit.

I don’t write in my journal daily, but I do write in it often. In addition to other uses, I keep quotes and phrases in mine, and if they come from a written source, I record the page, title, and author in case I wish to use that information later. I occasionally draw or doodle and sometimes paste material into my journal. If you record spending, it can also go in the journal. It is a safe place to work out relationship problems, find forgiveness for self and others, and temper anger.

You may want to look at my book The Magic Theater: Your Personal Journal for exercises on these types of uses. Amazon has the eBook and the soft-cover reasonably priced.

"Remember what it was to be me: that is always the point.

It is a difficult point to admit. We are brought up in the ethic that others, any others, all others, are by definition more interesting than ourselves; taught to be diffident, just this side of self-effacing. ... Only the very young and the very old may recount their dreams at breakfast, dwell upon self, interrupt with memories of beach picnics and favorite Liberty lawn dresses and the rainbow trout in a creek near Colorado Springs. The rest of us are expected, rightly, to affect absorption in other people's favorite dresses, other people's trout."

"And so we do. But our notebooks give us away, for however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable 'I.'”

— Joan Didion, "On Keeping a Notebook," Slouching Toward Bethlehem

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