I thought I’d share a few things that I use as tools when I’m off my center. But that I mean, in a huge reaction: angry, sad, scared or any combination of those. Feeling judgmental, frustrated, lost or unsure. I hope that some of the things that I use regularly will help you work through some of your frustrations!
The first is probably the newest thing – journaling. It’s been recommended by so many people SO often. I’ve definitely journaled on and off for many years, but it has always been to air my grievances when I kept a diary in the past, not to move past my frustrations.
When I read back, I realize it’s all whining and complaining for the most part. Not really very productive! And I certainly wasn’t interested in changing how I was looking at things back then!
Now, don’t get me wrong, getting all that whining and complaining out and into a journal (or, if you’re worried someone might find it or you really want to let it go, keep reading for a suggestion I recently heard about) can be VERY cathartic! But stopping there isn’t the point of really journaling.
It’s about digging in and looking at things in a different light.
For now, I’ll just suggest some simple prompts to get you start. Some ideas on how to just get stuff down on paper and go from there!
1. If you find yourself spinning out on a situation or several situations and you can’t seem to shift your mental chatter, get it out on paper. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, just let all your crazy talk out. And if you really want to change what’s going on, one thing you can consider doing is to write it out on a piece of loose paper and then you can burn it or flush it away – in a mindful, “I’m going to let go of this stuff” way.
2. Once you feel your mental chatter is a bit out of the way (and believe me, griping it out in a journal or on a piece of paper is very helpful!) let’s bring it back to you: List 5 strengths you feel you have (or how ever many you’d like to, but at least 5). List them quickly or go into detail – it’s your journal! Do it in any way you’d like!
Roll them over in your head and on paper. Look at how those strengths have helped you in life and consider how they will help you in the future…. What would life look like without them? What did life look like before you learned them? Or have they always been a part of you? Write down the amount that feels good to you….
3. List 1 weakness you feel you have. This can be a limiting belief, a habit that you have, something that you are unhappy with, but would be open to shifting – either feeling more peaceful with or letting this issue go completely, if that’s possible… Stick with only 1 “weakness” or it can feel overwhelming. Look at where that weakness affects your life.
Close your eyes and get still. (Remember that chatter we started to get out earlier? Go back to step 1 if your brain won’t get still. It’s okay!) Now look at that issue… Really roll it around….
What if it never changed? What would your life look like? What could you do to shift the way you perceive it that would allow you to be peaceful within what already is part of your life? Write this out.
Now close your eyes again. Get very still (and hit step 1 again, if you need to) and see that weakness dissolving away. Really feel it in your bones. Let your brain run wild with the possibilities without that limitation in your life. Feel it in your heart… Now write out what your life would be like without that standing in your way. How would your life change? Would you truly be happier?
Or is this limitation you have trying to teach you something?
—> Don’t worry about what you write! It’s for you and only you… It’s YOUR journal and YOUR journey!
If you have tears or anger or fear come up, dive into it. What is the source of that emotion? Relief? Grief of letting go? Anger that you feel powerless… Include this in any observations!
Now, you obviously don’t have to share on here what you wrote in your journal, but if you chose to do this exercise, I’d love to hear about your experience! Was it helpful? Too hard? Cathartic? Uncomfortable? Are you planning to do it later?
Feel free to share here or on Facebook – Exposing the Light!
Good luck with your journey to journaling and I look forward to hearing from you!