May 21, 2015

Not Flatlined ... by Jocelyn Faire

I am like a little pencil in God’s hand. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it.
~Mother Teresa

The breathings of the heart.
For this months prompt ... I would like to share an excellent resource that was recommended to me in
my current Creative Writing course.
The book is called Writing the Mind Alive, The Proprioceptive Method for Finding your Authentic Voice, by Linda Trichter Metcalf and Tobin Simon.
I have fallen in love with this method of reflective journaling. For many of you who also journal your way through issues, this will be a resource you want in your library. Initially when my mentor suggested this method of writing, I did the google search on Proprioceptive Writing (PW) and had some reservations, thinking this sounded new agey. (And old fundamentalist habits want to steer clear of new agey.)

A lot of my own writings and journaling have been the conversations God and I have. This PW method added a steroid boost to writing the breathings of my heart. What Metcalf explains as the difference between journaling and PW is the reflective nature of the writing. The writer is instructed to ask the question—“What do I mean by ______” and then fill in the blank with what is being triggered in the writing. It is structured in a clear methodical way which includes the use of music, blank sheets of paper, a candle (this was where I thought it to be wonky). I veered from the method slightly to accommodate my musical tastes, I selected my own background music, and began with one worded song by Steve Bell—The Lorica, with lines that invite the Trinity to be present in the writing. I have been doing this for a month now, they recommend trying this five times a week, for half an hour each day ... and I must say there are times, 45 minutes passes without notice. I think because of my journal practice this deeper level of writing has been a fairly simple but exciting way that has
opened myself to hear the spirit.
If any of you have practiced PW I would love to hear from you. And if you haven't tried it, check it out ... it has been like the spring flowers to bring fresh breath into the breathings of my heart.

God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'” Exodus 3:14 NIV

From a recent writing at the end of my session:

You hold my right hand.
The longing, the aching I felt on Mother's Day as we sang
Better is one Day in your courts than thousands elsewhere.
Brittany has had ten years of one day in your court
And I have had thousands elsewhere ...
And yet, the longing to be with you, to be with her
Help me Jesus ..... I AM
You answer with I AM?
When I say help me, you say I AM
When I say walk beside me, you say I AM.
When I say Live in me, you say I AM
When I say Are you listening? You say I AM
Your name says it all, is that what you are trying to tell me? I AM
Thank you Jesus, that brings me a smile, Me too.
And when I can already hear the doubts, the unbelief question on this experience,
this feeling, and I say Help thou my unbelief, and you say I AM.
And I say Thank-You and you say ... Your welcome.

Jocelyn blogs at
 She is the author of Who is Talking out Of My Head, Grief as an out of Body Experience. 


  1. Jocelyn, this made me smile: "And old fundamentalist habits want to steer clear of new agey."

    But oh my, your writing with the Lord and "I AM" brought shivers, and then tears. How beautiful. I have used this method by accident in past journalling, but never dissected it to understand I could do it consciously. "What did I mean by....?" This is a great help. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I did some of this style journalling before, reading this has helped me give a better structure for reflecting on the ideas that come through. Blessings!

  2. the piece at the end is very moving

  3. So encouraged to try this type of journaling. Thank you. I would also be interested in knowing what writers course you are taking :)

    1. Creative Writing Certificate through U of C ... an online program through the continuing ed department ... you can take as many or few as you want. It's been excellent!

  4. Oh, dear, Jocelyn, a good friend has lent me this book and it is still sitting neglected on my shelf. I have been sidetracked lately, but I may have to ask my friend for an extension on this overdue loan. Thanks.

    1. I think you will like it ... it did not take me too many sessions to see the immense value in processing struggles through the exploration of ideas and thoughts. Great spiritual value!

  5. Jocelyn, your "I AM" journal entry has me in tears. Could it be any more beautiful? Could it be any more true? That's pure poetry, and I hear His voice clearly in it. I'm excited to get that book, and take my own journalling to the next level.

  6. I've already ordered the book and while I wait for its arrival, I've begun reading the online sample. I will be substituting Gregorian Chants for the Baroque music suggested. :)

  7. Linda, I started with what I was initially told as the steps ... but with the book, some of the insights and triggers, it has been almost magical ... keep me posted as to how you go with this proprioceptive writing ... I had to practice the title first ... a lot to twist my tongue ... but oh how it has helped my heart to express! I think you will love it!

  8. So sweet for you to share your journal entry, Jocelyn. I'm always interested in any journal that guides us to greater communication with the Lord, I'll have to check this out. God bless and heal you in his perfect way and time.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.