Friday, 12 June 2015

The Power of a Question

{Warning: This is quite a long post but contains the best journaling tool I have discovered recently, and how you can use it too}

Well lately I've had a real case of the fuzzy-woolly head! I'm finding it difficult to focus, yet my head seems to be full of loads of stuff, but when I try to focus on any of it....poof! It's like a rabbit that's spotted an oblivious fox. Apparently it's been Mercury Retrograde, and while I would find it comforting to be able to blame it all on astrology I just cannot see a 'physical' reason for any of it which is making me even more frustrated. So I've been journaling A LOT to try and counteract....whatever it is that is going on with me. 

I've been writing more than arting because...well I'm finding that a struggle to, just like any of my bigger art projects, my classes, my shop, social media, this blog (I'd forgotten AGAIN that it was friday and so time to do my Weekly Ramble post and even as I'm doing it arrrghhh, it seems SO difficult to get my words out on the keyboard. Almost like there is a humongous block between my thoughts and me being able to acknowledge them). But thankfully I am having a wee mini break next week & plan on taking a big pile of art supplies and a picnic blanket with me to go find a park and unwind. I think a change of pace & scenery is definitely what the doctor ordered (if there were such a thing as a doctor for the fuzzy-woolly head syndrome).

Through all of my journaling though I have discovered something this week that has worked WONDERS for me, and I think it is most powerful tool when you are struggling with the fuzzy-woolly head. It is the Power of a Question. Not just any question, and unfortunately finding the question that you need to ask through a fuzzy-woolly head can be e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y exasperating, but if you persist something happens where you get over a hump and realisations you need suddenly start occurring to you, often in an avalanche.

I think this happens because a) to ask the question you have to take yourself out of your head, which is SUPER important for finding your revelations. As Albert Einstein said:
'We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them' 
b) When you give your mind a question it cannot HELP but try to find the answer for it. 
Here's a test, read these and try NOT to think of the answer: 
what's your name?
what colour is the sea?
what do you sit on?
Did you manage it? I'm guessing not, because our brains are answer seekers so if you turn your problem into a question it becomes something UBER POWERFUL!

So below is some tips on HOW to find a question from your problem/confusion/frustration/etc:
see, these hot tips are direct my journal!

1) Write at least two pages focusing on your 'issue', or if you don't want to do that just generally write about anything for 2 pages; you may find the issue naturally comes out. 

2) If you don't already use your journal like you were talking to a friend. Now imagine what a friend might say back to you after every paragraph or page - whatever feels right. This is to do that thing above and take yourself out of your head - try looking at what you have written from someone else's perspective.

3) Begin identifying your 'sore' spots, the parts of your writing that hits most to the heart of your issue & ponder what question or questions would a friend ask about this to a) make you open up more about it or b) to help soothe you about it. If you didn't write about your issue for example you could ask 'why did you avoid it?'

4) Remember the how, why and what's! I know it sounds silly but finding the question that will give you an answer, that will cause you to have your revelations can be really hard to come up with, as stated above it can be frustrating. So remember your 'how's, 'why's or 'what's, because as they are the beginning of a question, it can help prompt the rest of it while you are contemplating your page. Even try saying each out-loud - it can help.

5) Imagine you are a gold prospector and what you are doing is the digging part until you get to those big, fat, juicy nuggets! - it can help with the frustrating part mentioned in the last point. You are a prospector, and you are on a discovery!

6) If still stuck try on one of these how, why or what's as a pen-starter:
'How is this issue helping me right now?'
'Why am I reacting in this way & how can I react differently?'
'What use can I turn this problem into?'

and 7) OBVIOUSLY YOU NOW NEED TO ANSWER THE QUESTION. A question has zero power if it is not answered. Write another two pages answering your question, OR a page per question if you have more than one. You really do need to actually answer them babe, and usually the revelations happen right at the bottom of the writing so don't cop out and stop after one paragraph, you are only cheating yourself by doing so.

This is seriously the stuff that has helped me recently come up with the most shockingly beautiful realisations that I would never have identified had I not asked myself a question. Please try it, it's something that's magnitude of power can only be understood when experienced first hand. 
Warning: Expect flabbergasting eye-opening discoveries to occur!

Good Luck!
Love you lots!


  1. Jenny, what an enlightening post! I just finished the June challenge and I believe one section of my new handmade Midori style journal (made it from CEREAL BOX BOARD!) will need to focus on questions. I totally love this idea of talking to a journal like a friend and replying as a friend would. I always learn so much from you, Jenny! I appreciate you!

  2. Thank you Jennibellie♥️

  3. What a great post this was. Thank you for sharing it with us! (Hugs)

  4. This reminds me of how when you talk to someone about an issue or problem, and all in that same moment of conversation you follow up with the answer to your own problem. It's funny how the answers are there all along, but yet we sometimes don't realize them or accept them until we vent them out; either in talking or writing. Sometimes when I've been hurt or upset with someone who has wronged me I write them a letter and vent how I feel or speak my mind or whatever... and I always feel better after writing it out. Most times of course the letter never gets sent but, I use it as a way to get things off my chest and out of me.


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