Let the voice of your inner critic fall on deaf ears

Creative journaling goes through stages and one of those stages is not unlike adolescence. I call it the ugly phase.

There is a period with every journaling page where it looks ugly. But this is simply a sign that you have not finished yet. This phase of a page can be quite off putting and can make you feel really fed up. This fed upness is caused by your inner critic spotting the opportunity to bring you down with its snidey one liners such as ‘who do you think you are trying to be creative?’ ‘You were never any good at this at school what makes you think you can do it now?’ “You are not seriously trying to tell me that creativity is the gateway to your soul, have you lost your marbles?’

Here you have to watch yourself carefully and not allow this voice to drag you out of your practice or worse force you to abandon your practice altogether.

Here we need to stay with our awareness more than ever, we need to breathe deeply and gaze at our page as if it had been produced by someone we love. We need to bring real loving awareness to our work and to ourselves.

I can tell you that all my pages go through this phase and often, it isn’t until I have been working on a page for quite some time that beauty arises from it. This is a fantastic metaphor for the REST Practice itself, you have to go through the discomfort in the surrender phase to come out the other side. I always say that you have to do the same in your journal work through the ugly phase and you will come out the other side.

The funny thing is after a while, when you get used to the twists and turns of your practice, when you know your page will be fine no matter what, the ugly phase does not seem so ugly anymore, and when this happens not only does the voice of your inner critic falls on deaf ears you begin to find a quiet acceptance of whatever happens in your practice.