Running, hiding, and being busy…really busy! Doing anything to distract myself from what was going through my mind on a moment to moment basis was the goal. Looking on social media, playing games, doing make work projects, online shopping, creating unrealistic ‘to-do’ lists, planning and replanning were just some of the daily habits I had adopted in order to disappear from my reality. Reflecting on how and why I had gotten here was the furthest thing from my mind.
I had reached a point where all I wanted was to run away, start again, or pretend I was someone else. I wanted to avoid myself completely because there was nothing about myself I liked anymore. Being in my mind and body was becoming extremely painful. My thoughts destroyed my confidence, my body was unhealthy, and my soul…well, I didn’t think I had one anymore.
Taking "me-time" filled me with guilt but was all I wanted. I was never active, I was binge eating daily, and I had no sense of self, direction, or purpose. Good thoughts were far and few between.
Worse than all of this, was that my attitude toward myself was affecting the way I behaved and interacted with my family. Thoughts like “I am worthless and a bad mother, my family is better off without me”, “nothing in my husband’s life has changed and I resent him for that”, or “people only tell you to have kids so you can be as miserable as they are” seemed to rule my world.
This was not the way I had imagined motherhood, this was not how I wanted to live my life, and this most certainly was not the way I wanted to feel!
Knowing I needed guidance, I hired a coach. One of the tools, she suggested was journaling. What she taught me changed my life.
Journaling was something I had always thought about doing. A daunting idea because it seemed so time consuming and detailed. Plus, I was not a fan of myself, so why on earth would I want to spend time alone with my thoughts? Reflecting on who I had become was extremely scary and was not an action I was thrilled to be taking. After all, the very thing I was trying to do was run away from myself and my reality, not face it.
I began to journal when I understood that there is no right or wrong way to do it, no special book, pens or paper, and no specified amount of time to spend on the task. It became easier and easier to journal, and harder and harder to go about my day without it.
Writing in my journal has become moments of time where I can engage in self-love (insert sigh of relief for having guilt-free "me-time"). This little daily practice has changed my perspective on everything. My opinion of myself, my appreciation and love for my family, my outlook on life, and my belief in what I am capable of.
“How you start your day, determines how you live your day”
~ Robin Sharma
I write 9 point form phrases (totally doable in 10 minutes) each morning with the goal of setting my intention or purpose for the day. This is when motivation and clarity are said to be at their peak.
To access the Journaling Worksheet associated with this blog please click here.
Remembering and tracking the things in my life that bring me joy, no matter how small, is extremely humbling. Knowing what I already have, helps me to see how far I have come (yay for progress!). Challenges that arise during the day are easier to face when I have already made a point of acknowledging what makes me happy. I may not be within reach of my journal for reference during the day but the thoughts and the visuals of seeing it written earlier are easily found in my mind.
Anything! Big or small, it does not matter. Even on a bad day I can come up with 3 things. My family, health, friends, work, a warm cup of tea, a comfortable bed, easy access to food; are all things I have written.
Mini daily goals are extremely motivating. Choosing tasks I know I will be able to complete (this is the key) each day. These action items began simply and have progressively grown in complexity as I have become more confident in my ability to succeed.
Everything works! For example ‘I will make my bed’, “I will drink 8 glasses of water”, or “I will play with my children”. I like think of these as the 3 things I will accomplish today and if nothing else goes right I will consider today a win.
It is so true that what I say about myself, I believe. Whether I make these statements quietly, out loud, or in writing, it seems that I create what I am thinking about; good or bad. I strongly agree with the quotes “What We Think We Become” and “What We Focus on We Manifest”.
Telling myself who I want to be or who I know I truly am is what I write here. Repeating it allows me to become it, or believe it. “I am beautiful”, “I am a good mom”, or I am patient”, are some examples. Note that these need to be written in the positive. Saying things like “I am not _____” focuses on the thing I don’t want and does not have the effect I am hoping for (often it does the exact opposite and makes the behavior worse).
“A goal unwritten is only a wish”
When I began journaling I did not believe most of the things I wrote. The thing about putting pen to paper for just a few minutes a day is that the physical action of writing helps the ideas feel real. For me, journaling makes the positive thoughts have to repeat themselves because then I am thinking it, writing it and seeing it!
Journaling on regularly has helped transform the way I speak to myself on a daily basis and changed the way I view myself. In turn my life has completely changed. I am more able to be the HAPPY HEALTHY MOM and role model I aspire to be. I no longer want to run away from myself or my reality, and I have found my soul!
Now I embrace life! It’s easier to see the good, easier to recognize my accomplishments, and easier to let myself off the hook when things fall apart.
I often find myself telling people that I love my kids, their leisurely pace of life, and their enthusiasm for it. I think to myself “I love my husband; he plays with the kids all the time and supports me no matter what”. And perhaps most transformational, I think positive thoughts about myself, my appearance, my ability to support and help my family, and my worthiness of it all!
Journaling can help us create anything. It is unbelievably powerful. I highly recommend you give it a shot ☺.
Now that you have these journaling tips, does it feel less daunting? What areas of your life could benefit from journaling?
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and share your thoughts.
With love and gratitude,
If you would like to know more about the journal I use, visit http://dailygreatnessca.refr.cc/rockabyebalance.
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