Posted by: Bruce Black | September 19, 2010

Note to Self

A few weeks ago I received a blank journal as a gift from a friend to encourage me to keep writing after a health-crisis over the past seven months had sapped my energy.

The journal’s 8 ½” x 11″ trim size is larger than the 6″ x 9″ journal that I was using, and it has a black spiral binding at the top of the pages rather than on the side.

On the shiny, olive-green front cover is the picture of an old typewriter with a blank piece of paper already set in the platen, as if waiting for someone to begin pounding the keys so that words can appear in a line across its surface.

Above the illustration of the typewriter are ten round keypads, each with a different letter, and the letters spell:

N O T E   TO   S E L F

I started the journal recently with an entry after my yoga class. My teacher asked us to think about gathering in all our energy–muscular, emotional, psychological, and spiritual–and directing it outward.

This process of gathering and sending our energy out into the world helps us make a deeper connection with the energy of other students in the class, and with the larger energy that pulses through the universe and which is always present, even when we are unable to feel it, inside ourselves.

After class I jotted down notes in my car in the parking lot before pulling away, and I thought about this notion of making a connection with that larger energy. That’s when I realized the words on the cover of the journal were leading me in a different direction.

When I write, I don’t feel as if I’m making notes to myself, but rather receiving notes from a larger energy pulsing through me.

Writing in this way–the process of connecting to a larger energy–makes the paper feel alive and the words feel as if they’re vibrating like the sound of om inside me.

It’s only when I forget my connection to this larger energy that I find my pen slowing down, coming to a standstill on the page, unsure what direction to take, uncertain what to write.

So, I crossed out TO and replaced it with FROM, and the title for my new journal now describes more precisely my effort to connect with this larger energy.

Writing in my journal before or after practicing my poses, I try to expand outward and link myself to the larger energy that pulses in the universe and, simultaneously, inside me.

Each time I open the journal’s pages, I’m reminded of the possibilities that come from making this connection.

Journal Practice: Put aside your journal and step onto the mat, and as you proceed through a series of asanas–perhaps a half-dozen sun salutes–think about making a connection with a larger energy pulsating through the universe and within your own body. After you finish your poses, open your journal and describe this connection. How did it change you? Do you feel different? Do you see anything that you didn’t see before?


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