Clearing the clutter from your mind...
Love. Kindness. Compassion.
We need these more than ever right now. Events in the world are intense…climate change, disease, politics, the economy. These all have one thing in common: fear. The opposite of fear is love. Fear /fir/ noun: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
The opposite of fear is curiosity, trust, courage or calmness. It is understanding and acceptance, the true essence of love. While it is sometimes hard to have these positive emotions and outlook, the more you practice them the easier it is to recall. Being mindful and noticing how you are reacting to and feeling is key. Now more than ever we must be a little kinder, a little more forgiving, especially to ourselves. Let your heart be your guide, what does it say? That voice deep down inside. Trust it.
Remember no matter what is happening, we are all humans, we are all here for a reason, and we are all roomies on the same spaceship Earth. Practicing ways to get your feelings out can help. This is where journaling comes in. It can be a lifesaver to work things out. I think of it as journaling for well-being.
Can you write your way to feeling better? You bet! I have been journaling my whole life, since I was in elementary school going into middle school. I still have that diary. Even then I would write when I was happy, when I was frustrated and confused. It helped me make sense of the world. It helped me clear the clutter from my head. It still does.
As an adult I journal for well-being by doing morning pages. The exercise is from author Julia Cameron's The Artist’s Way Book. It has been two years and I write more than the three pages she suggests. I did it for 12 weeks and it stuck, so I kept on, three pages each morning with a pot of tea. Now I write till I get it all out. It is a sacred time and one I don’t feel right if I don’t do. It only takes a few minutes and the benefits are numerous.
You can also try gratitude journaling. Write down three things you are grateful for each day. Do this at night before you go to bed, do it in the morning with your morning pages, do it at lunch, the key is to write it down and keep doing it. Dedicate a journal to it, keep it by your bed or on your desk. Make it a family activity over dinner. Get your child or grandchild to start, you will be giving them the gift of a lifetime. Fancy notebook, a spiral bound everyday notebook, or a pad of paper, just get writing. You can find three things, no matter how small they are to be grateful for. I promise you.
Whether you haven’t journaled in a while or you are just starting, it just begins with one entry. It has changed my life and it can change yours if you let it. I hope you make time to put pen to paper and find the joy in each day. Be well and journal on!
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