Monday, May 18, 2015


My Birthday Present to Myself
My history with journaling and keeping a diary has resulted in a colorful collection of blank books containing three to five entries, followed by still-gaping pages that have been awaiting ink for years, even decades after they were started.  My journaling has typically devolved into the kind of internal quandary debates that are sure to bring such disciplined activity to a full-stop. 

Yet this time around I am doing much better.  It’s “Journaling for Dummies” if you will.  Or perhaps it is more like “Compassionate Journaling.”  Inspired in part by the “Cure for Sleeplessness” chapter from the late Maeve Binchy’s Chestnut Street, I have been journaling for almost three weeks. This is a personal best for me.

I keep it simple: one thing a day that I feel blessed by.  I write one page only.  If I don’t write all the way down to the space between the last line and the edge of the page, I do not fuss. It has not been continuous. The “compassion” part comes when I forgive myself for missing a day and don’t simply throw in the towel, but pick up where I left off.  That has been a lesson all by itself.

Blessings have ranged from concepts (learning, friendship) to actions (laughter, tears) to actual physical objects (trees, rain, birds).

Here was my entry for today: WISDOM

"What do I know about “Wisdom”? What have I yet to learn?
Hoot Owl from
Wikimedia Commons
(Public Domain)
** "Wisdom accumulates over years of living attentively and provides insight that is a blessing.  In its infinite wisdom, the universe also endows longevity with memory challenges which keeps those wisdom-blessed from becoming too thoroughly obnoxious. (i.e. ALL wisdom, ALL the time)

** "Wisdom cannot be taught, one person to another, as wisdoms can vary from person to person.  It must be gained by relevant experience and be viscerally retained.

** "(My biggest challenge) 'Telling' wisdom when it is unsolicited just comes off as acting superior, not being wise, no matter how well-intended.

** "The best kind of shared wisdom is a gift to both the person offering it and the one receiving it.  The person uttering it realizes that they are speaking it more for themselves than for the person listening, so the path of wisdom is not traveled singularly and grace is allowed for individuality to flourish. 

"That last is the kind if wisdom I want to be a part of more often."

(c) 2015 by Judith Cullen


  1. Interesting. Very recently, you offered me some unsolicited wisdom. You offered and I accepted in ways that allowed me to hear it as wisdom, not as bossiness or superiority. For the record, I have never perceived you as a person who thinks you are "better than." Of course, I have only known you a few years and we have not yet met face to face. I suppose you may have aged well and you might turn out to be a very different person in the flesh than you are in avatar. I doubt that though. I think you are wise and kind and generous in all your various guises.

    1. You never can tell, being human and all that. Thank you for the incredible compliment. That is who I strive to be, but the a fore mentioned human-ness often trips me up. And while me ego is rarely in evidence, it does exist. Always feels like a balancing act between self-confidence and ego. Thank you for this, and for all your generosities.