Outside the Lines

journal and penI’ve written in my new journal almost every day for a month.

And the pages are still blank.

They have no lines.

Seeking a Boundary

I went into a minor panic when I opened my new journal and saw those really blank pages. I opened and closed it again and again as if I could do it just right and make the lines magically appear.

I was pushing against an edge that made me very uncomfortable.

I like lines. Boundaries. Boxes.

To cross. To push. To expand.

I did not like this journal.

It’s not just about the journal.

But it was before dawn, I was on vacation in an unfamiliar place, and I wanted to write.

Stepping Out of Bounds

So I began to fill the stark, blank pages.

At first, the words were aligned so precisely, it’s as if the lines did exist and they vanished as I wrote.

Given the opportunity to expand beyond a boundary that didn’t really exist, I acted as if it did.

Where else does that show up in my life?

If this journal is really a tool sent to help me learn to work outside the lines, then, by golly,  I would go as far outside them as possible.

I drew pictures.

Pictures that still crack me up, because they look like fake versions of what a three-year-old would draw. Not necessarily my inner three-year-old, just some cliché version of kids’ drawings.

I had abandoned the boundaries and pushed so far beyond the edges that I created something inauthentic, something that didn’t reflect me.

It’s about way more than the journal.

So I wrote some more.

Finding a New Framework

And ever so slowly, I began to move beyond those invisible lines.

A few columns here. A sketch there. A couple of mind maps.

A word or phrase circled in red. Purple. Green.

A series of small, subtle changes over time and I’ve outgrown the lines, the boundaries, the same old box.

I already bought my next journal.

It doesn’t have any lines.

And it opens from the top.

 

Ready to start pushing some of your edges? I can help.

To find out how, email me to schedule a free, 30-minute check-it-out call.

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