Yesterday was a good day — a day full of healthy choices at every turn and much accomplished!
One activity in particular that helped energize me and bring balance was taking 35 minutes in the morning to sit down in a coffee shop and write in my journal. Yes. Writing…just for me…things that no one else gets to read! What a change!
I went through a workbook a couple of years ago called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron — AMAZING, INSPIRATIONAL, LIFE-CHANGING just FYI — and one of the daily activities suggested was “morning pages”. Morning pages consist of three pages of writing (handwritten, not typed) in which you simply express whatever comes to your mind/heart, no holds barred, and eventually (usually by the third page) you are able to access your true self and discover things, big or small, about you that would otherwise sit unearthed. After one week of morning pages, I was being reminded of dreams and desires I had nearly forgotten about as they had been crushed and buried down deeply by the weight of my life at that time. Writing like that on a daily basis really connected me to myself again and helped me to recognize that I am ALIVE, that I am not here to simple survive, that art and beauty and dreams are real and important and worth fighting for, and that I DESERVE to be happy and living out what matters to me.
There are times when I get overwhelmed with the hardships of life, when I’m working too much, feeling unhappy, lacking motivation, etc, and I forget about that deep self again. I’ve felt disconnected from myself in some ways for the past month or so, and that’s why I decided to do morning pages again yesterday. I felt a sense of relief afterward, having taken time to hear my thoughts, the real ones that live deep down inside, the ones I don’t share with anyone. A burden was lifted.
Being a hyper-thinkalator (my own term!), it is very important to have a place just for me where I can process my thoughts and feelings, however scattered or discombobulated. Talking to a person in this way would be overwhelming for us both, but when I am journaling I can say whatever I need to say, in whatever order I want to say it and somehow in the end it’s all valid and it’s all accepted and I don’t feel a sense of over-indulgence or embarrassment, just peace and catharsis.
I would encourage any of you who feel consistently stressed and disconnected from yourselves to take some time over the next week each morning to write three pages (or more if you like!) of whatever comes to your mind and by doing this, gain a greater understanding of what you actually think and feel! Blogging helps us do that as well, but there are many thoughts and feelings that are private, that are very deep and need to be kept safe — journaling is the place for them to safely exist!
My older sister is in the process of working towards her master’s degree in teaching. SO PROUD OF HER. She sent me a quote last night from one of her classes that said “to blog is to teach yourself what you think”. It is a very poignant quote and really hits the nail on the head. Especially where it relates to weight loss blogs. We need to understand what we think in order to CHANGE the way we think if it is dysfunctional, or EMBRACE the way we think if it is transformational. One way or another, we need to understand ourselves. We need to know what’s really going on inside the head, the heart, the soul. Blogging publically and journaling privately has been the winning combination for me in accomplishing that understanding of myself.
So after doing some “just for me” writing yesterday morning I had a great day. I ate healthy food in healthy proportions all day. It’s the healthy proportions part that really makes a body feel good! I drank loads of water and rehydrated myself after getting slightly dehydrated the previous two days. I did my workout routine and pushed extra hard, which really made me feel strong and alive and powerful! I went shopping after work and got a bunch of yummy healthy fresh produce (and it just looks so beautiful too when you set it all up in the fridge!). I made a great salad for dinner and watched a couple episodes of The Office by myself at the kitchen table (my favorite comedy of all time!!). To finish off the night, I did some meal prep, had a chance to hang out with M and feel the love, then it was off to bed listening to some soothing ocean sounds on my new Sleep Machine app for iPhone (highly recommend!). Zzzzzzzzz…and here I am feeling alive and well the next day.
It never ceases to amaze me that having just ONE really good day can completely realign your focus and give you a huge boost in motivation.
Well, I guess that’s where the saying “one day at a time” really starts to mean something. 😉