Journaling from the heart: a look at the Progoff Intensive Journal Workshop


I attended last weekend’s Progoff Intensive Journal Workshop at St. Paul’s Cathedral and was pleasantly surprised by my exhaustion at the end. Sign of time well spent. We worked it in the Guild Room!

Cathedral staff had set up the room so each journaler had her own clean, well-lighted place to work complete with an individual table and a small vase with a few flowers. We looked out on Balboa Park as we wrote. A beautiful setting.

The Rev. Mike Russell led the workshop, which was a delight, as Father Russell always is.

We worked through our own personal “nows,” our current moments in our life histories. We looked at life patterns and crossroads, and the interesting, maybe stalled, relationships with others. Finally, we exerted ourselves writing about where we are headed. Making use of intuition, or reason speeded up, we allowed twilight images to come to us and show us their truth and wisdom. All of our process was valued and validated as important because, as Father Russell reminded us more than once, “it is what is!”

Some chose to share what they’d written; most did not. Both were perfectly acceptable.

Probably the most effective tool I learned in the workshop was that of dialoguing. This is simply writing a dialogue with another person, your life work, or your deep inner wisdom. It’s really amazing what can come from a dialogue. Progoff advises specific methods to get your head in the right place to write a productive dialogue, including activating your empathy – pretty important!

I highly recommend attending this workshop. Yes, it’s a time commitment, but gaining tools that allow you to see your life from a healthy, nonjudgmental perspective is well worth the effort.

Thanks to the Cathedral for sponsoring this event, to Father Russell for leading it in his open, fun way, and to the other attendees for sharing in the journaling experience.

Hannah Wilder

The Ira Progoff Intensive Journal® Process, Part 2: Oct 29/30 This series is conducted by The Rev. Michael Russell on Oct 29 (9am-6pm) to Oct 30 (1-6 pm). Price $145.   Join us even if you haven’t taken Part 1. More info:The Rev. Canon Allisyn Thomas, 619.298.7261

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