The Surrender Box — A Goldmine of Story Ideas

I subscribe to Daily OM, which arrives by e-mail each day with a short thought for “Nurturing Mind Body and Spirit.” I generally skim it, letting the wisdom sink in on some subliminal level, and move quickly on.

Today’s item about keeping a surrender box rang a louder bell than usual. The idea is to write down the items swimming in your head on slips of paper at times of mental gridlock, and sticking those slips of paper in the surrender box. You can read about the benefits on the article’s webpage.

The idea especially resonated with me in connection with lifestory writing. While I’m quick to recognize the value of a surrender box for calming my mind, I also recognize a potential gold mine for future story ideas. I think it takes a certain orderly personality to keep a journal on a regular basis. I don’t have that type of personality. I’m generally too involved in the challenge of the moment to take the time to journal. To reconstruct my past I must rely on old calendars, occasional scribblings, old e-mails, and my own leaky memory.

The prospect of digging through a collection of something resembling large fortune cookie inserts describing potently emotional moments, ten years after the fact, gives me goosebumps. After completing several decades of life, I realize that situations which appear to be a matter of life and death at the time often look trivial years later, perhaps even humorous. This lesson is worth passing on, complete with examples that we may forget if they aren’t recorded in some fashion.

3 comments :

JoJo said...

The first time I heard this concept, it was called "The God Box," a recepticle for putting all of those mind disturbing issues for God to fix. Intention is so much of any action, and the Surrender Box is an excellent suggestion to get those tapes that are running rampant in my head out and into a place of rest to develop and hatch!

Walks Across said...

Two thoughts-I regularly get rid of things I am ready to release by forming the intention and blowing it out with my breath. Good by. Works well for old emotional stuff.
Things I want to release, BUT SAVE, so it's not cluttering my mind, go on different colored index cards: ideas, quotes, visuals that I may want to use later. I'm just starting this practice of saving somewhere other than my brain. Whew, what a relief! I find it easier than journaling cause I can do brief notes, one liners or single words and file them away.

Ritergal said...

What a neat idea, to have an index box full of old thoughts. Not only is this easier than a journal, but much more searchable. Bravo!

Are you including just enough description that someone else in sixty years could make any sense at all of your index cards? Not to say you should, just that you could. I've looked back at old jottings of my own and not been able to make sense of them....