Don’t look now, folks, but summer’s half over. Oh, my! Of course, I had to go and bring it up…which makes my stomach turn just a little. Sorry about that…but just stay with me while I ramble for a minute, and we’ll see where the yellow brick road takes us this time. I’m pretty sure it’s that cellular thing we talked about in the previous Journal post. And I so appreciate those who lock arms with me on this wonderful, sometimes unnerving, road to discovery. So…thanks!

The Wizard of Oz comes to mind again, for some reason. I just love that movie, don’t you? Well, except for the talking trees and flying monkeys, the wicked witch and wizard head, and the less obvious hourglass. Funny how certain things stand out to us when we’re young and make an impression that sticks with us longer and stronger than we could have imagined. Like that hourglass… Seriously, I have not thought of that in years! But, suddenly there it is, plain as day, running through my mind in black and white, while my stomach churns. Because… guess what? Time’s running out, just like it was for Dorothy!

“Oh, my!” reactions tend to sneak up on us. Coming out of nowhere, it seems. But…they actually make sense once we notice what’s going on inside and pinpoint why it feels so familiar. The reason we react inappropriately at times is often connected to a past experience that impacted us more than we realized. Powerful emotional responses have a way of staying with us long after our adult minds have “forgotten” them as insignificant. But the gut-level imprint remains for the “child” who first experienced it — and it can feel every bit as real as it did at the time…regardless of the number of years that have passed.

It’s a fascinating phenomenon. One that can be unnerving without the outside perspectives of fellow travelers…so be sure to lock arms with trusted companions. Of course, I find journaling helpful when something unnerves me, and I highly recommend it if you’ve never tried it. For those of you who have tried it – maybe once a long time ago or repeatedly through the years — I’m hoping this may inspire you to give it another go. And here’s why…

Because there’s always more to the story. And timing is everything when it comes to discovering the bigger picture…whether it’s your own story or L. Frank Baum’s classic tale. There’s a reason The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stood the test of time as more than a passing child’s fantasy. It continues to stand as a tribute to the wonders of allegory with layered meaning that speaks to all ages. Sometimes, a child’s version of things is just what we need when we’re exploring deeper layers of our own life experiences. Without the context of our early chapters, how can we expect to fully understand the rest of the story? Like it or not, childhood experiences impact the chapter we’re living now…and the sooner we revisit our beginnings, the sooner we’re able to appreciate all the elements and layers and twists and turns that make the story uniquely ours. What’s a good story, anyway, without munchkins and flying monkeys and hourglasses?

Here’s another reason I believe journaling is worth another try. Because there’s something about writing — and I’m talking about the actual mechanical process of forming letters, connecting words, and watching sentences flow across the page.* Writing unlocks something inside that opens doors to memories of life experiences we may have “written off” as insignificant. It reconnects us to ourselves, to our formative years, and to a bigger story that offers the freedom to choose the people and perspectives and paths that shape the rest of our story. And with time, we discover that it’s all the elements combined that, in the end, make our personal story a classic, too.

And oh, what a wonderful discovery that is!

Love Julie

*Scroll down to the 4th video for Jake Weidman’s beautiful Mile High TEDx Talk on writing and penmanship.