Journal Instructions

There are a total of three journals in this course. Each is described in the prompts below*.

You can respond to these prompts in any order based on which journal prompt relates to current life/work experiences.

All journals need to be at least 1-3 pages in length, double spaced (can be longer). You are also required to follow conventions of Standard English in terms of grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

When you submit a journal, please be sure to indicate which prompt you chose to respond to that week.

*Journal Prompts:

Prompt A: Journal on Patience and Nonjudgment

When someone says or does something that seems unreasonable, dumb, inappropriate, etc., it is easy to be reactive and impatient with them.  However, recognizing that everyone has a reason for behaving a certain way in any given moment can help us empathize and find productive ways of communicating with them.  When people stir strong emotions in you at your internship, try the following:

Recognize your emotions (perhaps in your body at first) before you become reactive.
Reappraise the situation. Remind yourself that person has a lifetime of experiences that influenced the current behavior.  Perhaps take a moment to empathize since you, too, have a lifetime of experiences that from time to time cause you to behave in ways that frustrate others.
Identify what you could do or say or not do or not say to make that moment productive and/or satisfying for those involved. Consider your nonverbal communication when you respond: your tone of voice, body language, and eye contact.
Write about one such interaction at your internship (closely after it happens, whenever it happens).  Describe the situation, the emotions sparked in you, your reappraisal, and your response as detailed above. What was the effect of your chosen response on you and on others?

Prompt B: Journal on Stretching and Sitting with Discomfort

During your internship, when you discover things you do or say that you do not like, approach changing these habits in a disciplined but gentle manner:

Recognize what you do that is not productive, or that you dont like, without pushing it away. Doing so will involve “sitting with discomfort.”
Identify how close you can come, currently, to behaving the way youd like to behave.
Dedicate yourself to living at that limit whenever you have the opportunity, and allowing growth to happen naturally. Again, this will involve the ability to sit with discomfort because you are living at the edge of your comfort zone. Over time, you may find that your “edge” begins to “stretch” naturally in the direction of positive growth and change.
Write about one (or more) of your habits related to work. Describe an instance when you made an effort to live at your edge in relation to a habit you would like to change. What happened when you behaved in this way? What was the effect on you? On others? Do you plan to continue working to modify this habit in this way? If so, why? If not, why not? Comment on the importance of recognizing your unproductive habits without getting caught up in self-defeating criticism, rumination, or catastrophizing.

Prompt C: Journal on Giving Your Unconscious Insight a Boost

At various points in your internship, you may find yourself particularly challenged or stuck on a task. Here is one way to invite insight, discovery, and breakthroughs: go back and forth from focused problem solving to a breath-centered meditation several times. In other words, use the following process:

Take a break and just breathe for a while, feeling your breath move in and out of your body.
Think and work at the problem in your mind. Really look at it in a detailed manner. Where are you stuck? Why? What have you tried? What other ideas do you have? Etc.
Go back to focusing on your breath again.
Repeat this process several times and see if an insight or solution comes to you without forcing it.
Write about a time when you felt stuck: describe the situation, why it was a problem for you, the meditative actions you took, and the result.

For more information about what one scientist refers to as The Eureka Factor, see pp. 44-49 in the  article below. Feel free to comment on this article in your journal:


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