Pursuing Simultaneity by Peter Allan
A story about journaling, connection and more.

Have you ever noticed how sometimes with a person you have a deep connection with, that you seem to be thinking the same thoughts at the same time? Or your partner shares something and you finish her sentence? An old friend says I was just thinking about you, that’s so funny I was just thinking about you! The human brain is such a vast empire with so many sparking synapses, that it should be an improbable thing two human minds would be thinking the exact same thing at the same time.

In his achingly beautiful song Night Moves, Michael Franks sings “love is like two lovers dreaming the exact same dream“. This is a beautiful thought and it turns out that folks actually speak of mutual dreaming. You may have had this experience of hearing from a sibling or your life partner or your very best friend about a dream that sounds eerily like your own. This speaks to a deep emotional closeness of course, as you each appear to be operating literally on the same wave length and are deeply embedded in one another’s subconscious. You are connected through shared experience over a very long time and even just the day before, and you have similar ways of being and coping in the world. You are two people sharing something that cannot be scientifically quantified and explained in any rational way. Thriving as human beings requires us to recognize these deep connections and to cherish them.

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, responsibilities as parents, as a son or daughter, as a colleague in the workplace – all layered into daily existence in the frought world of war, pandemic and climate change, it is as Marvin Gaye sang… “It’s enough to make you wanna holla and throw up both your hands.” Having deep connections builds resilience as does striving to have a conscious strategy for self-care, for looking after your own personal well-being. Now, perhaps more than ever, we need to look after ourselves in order to be in any shape to look after each other.

Yes, bubble baths can help. But my wife Lynda, who has worked in the burnout prevention field with helping professionals for many years, will tell you that to truly prevent burnout and buffer your nervous system against the onslaught of this crazy modern world that there is more we need to do. I know it, you know it. The great yogis and spiritual leaders implore us to take time to simply breathe. Breath in. Breathe out. Deeply now: breathe in. Breathe out. Take time to reflect and practice gratitude. Take time to pause and simply be. Develop personal rituals of quietude. Nurture a sense of wonder and curiosity. Journal. Yes journal!

Readers of this Journaling Blog, you will know what I am talking about. You know how journaling enriches one’s life and its role as a wellness experience. Lynda has shared on the pages in the IAJW, the power of journaling on a personal level and the synergy of a journal writing community. She has also shared that robust scientific research has demonstrated that a journaling practice may have significant wellness outcomes.

Recently I took an overnight wellness break to Victoria to see a hockey game with an old friend. Getaways like this can be a real shot in the arm to a depleted dad. The next morning I set up a comfortable arm chair on the deck of my hotel room with the rising sun coming over the BC Legislature dome. It was such a beautiful scene that I texted a photograph of it to Lynda (see blog graphic). In return she sent a photo of her journaling on our deck at home: simultaneous journaling. Writing alone, together.

Journaling Prompts for the pages of your journal…

  • What is a recent experience you have had of “simultaneity”?  Sharing the same dream, thinking of someone and then seeing them later that same day…
  • Where do you experience a deep sense of connection?
  • What do you do for your own self-care?
  • What stories are you noticing in your life? Peter and I noticed this “simultaneous journaling moment” – what stories, moments are you noticing that speak to you?


Peter Allan is a member of the IAJW team, an artist, a Dad, and a life-long entrepreneur.