Walking and Writing – The Soul’s Work

June 2, 2010

When I blogged last week about The Walk I mentioned that I was almost finished with the book, but I had no idea I would wrap it up within 24 hours. I guess my longing for a novel was stronger than I had imagined! Here’s both the funny and frustrating part– when I noticed (on my Kindle) that I’d read 99% of the book, I thought to myself, “That’s impossible, he hasn’t walked that far!”  Then, I came to the last page which read, “Coming April 2011, book 2 of The Walk series.” What??? That was the frustrating part. The funny part was when I shouted out loud, “I have to wait until April??” Yes, I had been suckered, and I wanted more!

I was looking forward to taking each and every step with Alan on his journey to Key West, but I guess I will have to wait a bit longer. So, for those of you who are used to my four posts per book, sorry, we’ll have to pick this one back up in April!

However, there is one thing I didn’t mention about Alan Christoffersen, and that was his journaling habit. It all began when his mother gave him his first diary for Christmas at the age of 8, a little over a month before she dies.  As he states once he reaches Key West (we do know he gets there!):

“After a few minutes, I go back and sit cross-legged in the sand next to my pack and do what I always do at the pivotal moments in my life: I take out a pen, open my diary, and begin to write. My writing habit began long ago– long before this diary, long before my walk. It made me feel important to have something in my life of such consequence that I needed to lock it up from the world. (It would be) a habit I would continue for the rest of my life.”

He tells us more:

“I started writing in my diary because my mother told me to. After her death, I continued because to stop would be to break a chain that connected me to her. Then, gradually, even that changed. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the reason I wrote was always changing. As I grew older, I wrote as proof of my existence. I write, therefore I am.”

The Walk IS Alan’s diary.

It seems to me that Alan’s writing habit– his process of purging his soul on paper– prepared him for the moment when he could no longer keep his thoughts and feelings under lock and key, but take them out into the open, exposed, open for nature and the unknown to do with them what they wished. Alan’s walk is his ultimate release, his vulnerable soul’s trek toward transformation.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Sandy Grason, author of Journalution. Sandy defines Journalution as:

  1. the act of revealing inner wisdom through writing
  2. the act of cleansing emotional blocks through writing
  3. journal writing to produce or further radical change from within
  4. a process for becoming free from confusion or doubt
  5. a process for discovering or shining in one’s passion and purpose
  6. a journey from one place to another (i.e., from where you are now to the life of your dreams).

Makes you want to grab a journal and write, huh? Who doesn’t want a little (or a lot!) of any of the above?

Not many of us will experience the kind of loss that the main character of The Walk does. And, not many of us will ever embark on a 3,600-mile trek on foot. But, we can certainly use his lifelong habit of journaling and his new way of life, walking, in small bits daily to help us live more lightly, creatively, and spiritfully (I may have just invented this word!).

I don’t journal daily, nor do I walk daily, but I have a feeling that if I were to do both daily, mindfully, I would more deeply and meaningfully tap into my inner wisdom, cleanse any blocks, produce radical change from within, become free from doubt or confusion, discover or shine in my passion and purpose, and journey from one place to another.

Blogging certainly helps me achieve many of these.

How do you or can you use writing or walking to do your soul’s work?

Happy Trails…on paper or pavement. 🙂


My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.

4 Responses to “Walking and Writing – The Soul’s Work”

  1. Mom Says:

    Another great blog babe!

  2. Bob Says:

    I found this by accident your energy and passion amaze me!!

    • Being En Pointe Says:

      Hi Bob! Thanks so much for your comment, I truly appreciate and am grateful for your feedback. I hope you stop by again soon.

  3. […] so cool knowing her because she’s the only other blogger I’ve met face-to-face.  Click here  to see her Being Enpointe blog post on The […]

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