Dialogues of Discernment: channel your wisdom with this journaling technique

Since childhood, I have been an avid longhand diarist. Eventually, last month, I gave myself a temporary ban on writing curled up in bed with pen (Jetstream Uniball SX-210, my tool of choice) and notebook (Oxford Campus A5), to see what would happen if I broke the cycle of the private conversation with myself. I think this new blog/site is the answer to that question: the words will come out of me, via one crevice or another – and I now realise it’s nicer to be in shared conversation than in solitude.

So today, I’m going to share my preferred journaling style, which I call ‘Dialogues of Discernment‘. These exchanges have both protected my sanity over the last 10 years, and been a catalyst for my interior growth. In a Dialogue of Discernment, I speak on the page with the parts of me which ‘know best’, and are wise (yes, they speak in the plural), to pick up clues as to how to orientate myself in the next steps of my day, my phase, my journey…

Last weekend, when I finally side-swiped my self-imposed diary ban by writing on my laptop instead of in a notebook, the ensuing Dialogue of Discernment encouraged me to ‘share what I really learnt’ and to ‘love your truth’.  This has significance because I have struggled psychologically and spiritually over the years and have, over time, made major positive breakthroughs, the journey through which I have been coy to share – for fear of ‘outing’ my struggles.

But I am now becoming earnestly, sincerely convinced that, despite the initial discomfort I feel in so doing, sharing my journey of healing was, is and will be the actual purpose of the healing…. Crazy, as I had felt all along that I was ‘getting better’ to be able to mop up my unhealed past, cover over all traces behind myself and fit in with the ‘well crowd’ like nothing had ever happened.

Only, it transpires as I get closer to what I thought was the ‘well crowd’, that the ‘well crowd’ is more of an illusion of my own imagination than I had suspected. Actually, as our post-2016 external ‘realities’ get more taut, more surreal, more bifurcated… there are more people re-evaluating what wellness really means to them. We are all being somehow reborn by the events unfolding around us.

So, I am going to start sharing my healing journey, in the loving hope that even one or two people might find these words useful, and in honour, deep honour, of the wonderful people who wrote from their point of truth and, by doing so, helped me in my healing process so profoundly.

Here is my Dialogue of Discernment from the weekend, which I guess actually led me to set up the blog within which it now finds itself posted. I was feeling overwhelmed and stuck – see how the Dialogue loosens up tight circular ‘thought’ and fosters movement, action forward, and habits of self-care. I hope you will try out Dialogue of Discernment journaling for yourself if it feels right for you – just tune in and start the conversation. You might be amazed at what you hear.


8apr17:  Uncocooning


What? What already? I am exhausted, largely by frustration and paralysis. Bust me out, for Heaven’s sake.


Good to see you again!


I stopped writing in my diary [paper notebooks, for the last month or so] as it felt like I was just going deeper and deeper inward into my own private world. I am LONGING for connection with the world, with people, with action, with giving, with companionship.


And so here we are.


I missed you.


We are always with you. In perpetual dialogue with you.


That gives me a sense of relief… But honestly, Lord above, what is HAPPENING?




It hurts. What is your message for me? Your insight, and guidance, today?


You are in a heavy and grumpy state. Try to lighten this by activity.


I have had ENOUGH. I am serious. Have mercy upon me. I am sick of my own secrecy, of my duplicity; of my pretending to care for x when my heart is in y, yet secretly harbouring prejudices against y and fearing outing myself. Of whom am I living in terror? I keep dialoguing with you like a child moaning about the playground. When will I shift from exhausted seeker to…?


Avatar consciousness. Whenever you are ready to say ‘go’.


Go! Really, I mean it. Let’s do this. I call upon All Beings above and about me to hold my hand and LEAD me forward. Let’s do this. Open thou the door, and I will walk through it.


The door is open. The draught is real.


Then, help me order my internal landscape, enable my sense of hara, that I might step forward. Step forward. Step forward. There is something in those words.


With what am I associated? Maybe the day will come when I actually tidy away old signs of my dalliance with my material life – wouldn’t that be a reversal of fortunes, after decades of parking my spirituality in the underground bunker?


Ok. I have a question. How can I get closer to You?


Just listen better. We are in constant contact with you. We hear your heart, and we soothe it, comfort it and allay its concerns. Talk with your heart in order to talk to Us. Our purpose is merely to draw all creation forward. This occurs not in the material realm, so much as it is issued forth from the internal spheres to manifest itself in the material realm. In other words, when you turn inwards, you will meet our artistic team ready to weave plots with you. Join them there, now.


[I go into a relaxed meditation.]


(This artistic team is like a backstage crew in a theatre! Headsets, costume-fittings, technical, design, management…)


(They are telling me this is a play about self-worth. Losing and rediscovering. Must be true bcs my heart could weep.)


(Ahhhh, so meditation really is like coming off stage and out of the glare of the lights, the tumble of the dramatic action and the stare of the audience, to be met by the stalwart, steadfast crew and my fellow actors, behind the drapes…for an internal ‘reset’, a group hug, a pep talk from the director and a check of the script, before going back on.)


(Ergh…’self-worth’. Ok. Let’s go back into the meditation and see how this play of mine turns direction towards it happy ending. I feel as though Act 2 has run long enough…)


….Ok….so…ehem….go inside! Now is not the time to be clearing old documents from your laptop. Be determined. Close the computer. Shut out the exterior. Connect with your glorious interior. Trust us. Truly trust us.


[One hour of meditation later.]


What did you hear?


I held it in my mind as ‘To S.W.I.R.L.’ – Share What I Really Learnt.


Can you do that?


You know that MY idea of that makes my toes curl, so I am ready to listen to yours.


I also want to express my thanks for the deep experience of ‘loving and being loved’. Wow. It made me cry. It was so awesome to feel seen, loved, watched, held, cared for, adored…


Adoration – that is the heart’s natural state.


Yes!!! It is, isn’t it?! And this physical plane is set to ‘tolerate’ such low frequencies that ‘Adoration’ is seen as weird, suspect or pathetic. No wonder our days feel disjointed and lifeless. Let this era of low frequency fold itself up, now. Thank you.


So, SWIRL… It will feel like a risk, won’t it? But an exciting risk…. A ‘better out than in’ risk….


The relief will be seismic. You have done so well to ‘hold it all in’ – yet in doing so, you have generated a vortex of freakery… Your powerful, self-negating ‘negative ego’ really has fuelled a whole circus of odd-bod experiences. You can let go of that now.


I thought that ‘this’ [Dialogue-writing] was the odd-bod factor.


Your highest knowledge is always going to be your subtlest. Subtle is not odd-bod. Your ‘real life’ world is the really odd-bod world – and getting odder by the day. Let it go, dear soul. Let it go. Love your truth. Love your truth. Love your truth.
Thank you. So much.



Thank you so much for reading this. I feel, in sharing my words after so many decades of comforting yet maddening privacy, that I have finally overcome my vertigo and dived off a high cliff into the ocean, and found the waters to be warm and welcoming after all. What a thing is the internet, is readership, is community. I hope you will try writing your own Dialogues of Discernment if you feel inclined to do so. With love, Arabella.



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