I have taken the time the past few months to review some of my old Progoff-style journals and actually was a guest on Exceptional Wisdom Radio talking about the Progoff method with Kay Adams, the Director of the Center for Journal Therapy in Denver, Colorado. (If you want to hear this interview, go to Kay Adams Archives. I was taped on Nov. 13, 2008.) Kay has taken several National Intensive Journal workshops herself over the years, and though she oversees the Journal to the Self training, she agrees with me that the Progoff method is a great foundation for any serious journal keeper. It was a casual one-hour interview and I haven't shared the link before because I've been a little embarrassed about my hemming and hawing when she asked questions. I was very nervous. In re-listening and reviewing my guidelines to teach the method, I discovered I had a few inaccuracies as well. But, because both of us urged people to explore taking a workshop or two of the National Intensive Journal, it served its purpose.
Frankly, I'm at a crossroads in my life. I've been partially retired now for 3 1/2 years and I love my part-time archiving job and I love the freedom I have to do "what I want" the other four days of the week. But--frankly--I've been procrastinating about what I really want to be and what I want to do with the time left to me. I've become a human doing once again and I swore I would try to live my life as the Buddhist Evening Gatha instructs us:
"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! This night your life is diminished by one day. Take heed. Do not squander your life.”
I've been preoccupied with the aging process and why bad stuff is happening to so many good people. I'm at that age where I visit a lot of sick folks and attend a lot of funerals. I feel like I've lost my spiritual core.
Voila! The National Intensive Journal has gotten me back to some depth, structured journal work a little bit at a time. Most of my recent writing had been brain dumping or something akin to Julia Cameron's Morning Pages. Art journaling is fun, but I need to sort some stuff out. I'm at an intersection in my life.
The National Intensive Journal is a highly structured method, but there is no method like it to explore one's life in depth.
It is an integrated system using writing exercises in a setting of privacy and quiet to help you:
More than "journal writing", the National Intensive Journal method is based upon principles of psychology, providing you with unique approaches to develop your life. At the company's website which is linked in my first paragraph, you'll find lots of information and a schedule of workshops and retreats through the summer. If you are serious about exploring your life, check this out. I have now set up my own National Intensive Journal as I was taught in the late 1970s and I feel like I've started to till some very hard soil I had seriously neglected.
Don't hesitate to e-mail me privately if you want further information I can help with, or call Jon Progoff, Ira Progoff's son, who directs the program at 800-221-5844. It's rare I give a pitch so directly, but I feel very passionate about sharing this information with you. You can also get the information you need from Dr. Progoff's book At a Journal Workshop, but a group workshop is the best way to learn it. He always referred to the work as "the solitary work we cannot do alone."
I hope I am not preaching to the choir. I usually write about whatever it is that I need to learn.