Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Journaling and Self-Care

There are so many benefits of journaling, but one of the main things it gives me is a sounding board for how I feel. It's a place to check in and do a quick scan - mood, physical body, spirit health, sense of presence, absence.

Sometimes I write down my dreams first thing so I can remember them later and try and figure it out. Sometimes it's a huge Wah! to the universe - feeling stuck, confused, not sure how to get out of this one, no solutions in sight.

Mostly though, by the time I get to the bottom of the page, I've found something - a shift in mood, an answer to a question, a softening, a little more hope. Usually, I find it helps me take stock of where I am and what I need right now.

I also write affirmations - something I'm beginning to put more faith in. The more I read (all over the web, O Magazine, blogs) the more I hear about the neuroscience of positive thinking - using your words carefully to call to you more of what you love, what you want to receive. I am creative, I am loving, I am resourceful, I find answers to my challenges....

Someone on facebook recently admitted they had a swearing problem, and I know I do that usually in the car at other drivers, or when I stub my toe or bump a hip into the pointy part of the table (moving too fast around those corners). Then I read, that instead of cursing the other drivers, you should send them blessings, for the words you speak boomerang back to you. Since I need the patience and blessing of those around me, I think this is a good practice. Just another way to practice affirming my good...

I know how easy it is to let the inner critic take over, if you're not careful, and write yourself into a self-critical rut. Don't. Just back up, and start over. You can find something nice to say....and if you can't, if everything seems rotten and dumb and you've lost your mojo, reach out to your Inner coach, (imagine a best friend or make-one up) who would be totally non-judgmental and supportive, and let her respond to the critic - If you were your own best friend, what would you say? "I know you had one too many pieces of chocolate, Jennifer, and your scale is telling you that Super Bowl extravaganza of chili, chicken wings and Bavarian cream was too much of a good thing, but look - you got outside today and walked one extra kilometer in the sunshine!"

Make your journal a place to dialogue with that inner friend, or higher self, or Inner Wise Woman and fire the inner critic. Another way to do this, is to imagine you are eighty-five years old, looking back at the you of today - and write yourself a letter. You'll be surprised at how much wisdom you own already.

Take good care of your Self,

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