Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Dialogue with the Body

Your body's wisdom can speak to you through metaphor. Writing dialogues in your journal can help faciliate the life lessons your body may be trying to teach you. Dialogue with the body is one of the six main types of journaling dialogues described in Ira Progoff's seminal book on modern journal writing, "Intensive Journal Workshop," first published in 1966.

First, choose a dialogue partner, whether it be a body part or organ, illness, injury or surgery, allergy, your sexuality; a body subpersonality such as thin self, fat self, addiction or habit; foods or nutrition; or pain, which always seems to be an important messenger.

Dialogue in writing, back and forth, with your dialogue partner. You will be writing both roles, of course! Your dialogue can be in the form of a thoughtful and direct "letter" or "instant messaging" back-and-forth dialogue if you thrive on fast-paced banter. If you feel like you're making it up, you're right. You are making it up, but it is a part of you. Don't be afraid of the unexpected or ideas that seem to come out of nowhere.

Having a dialogue with the body can be a form of healing visualization. Whether your dialogue partner is anything from an allergy to dust, a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer or the ache of a twisted ankle to an addiction to chocolate, the fear of hair loss or compulsion to wear too much makeup, your two-way dialogues can help you sort out the real from the imagined, the old you from the newer you, and help you decide what can be changed and how to go about it, or what may be inevitable and how best to face it.

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