I have always written down my thoughts; it is therapeutic for me to put a pen in hand and that pen to paper. My first journal/diary dates back to 1990-91. I was 7-yrs-old. I used a pencil, resulting in faded entries, in addition to the messy handwriting most of us had at the age, they are difficult to read. I eventually learned to use a pen, and my handwriting had undergone MANY changes. In fact, it doesn’t stay the same, even now. I’ve never had that perfect, cute handwriting. I’m OK with that, I’m able to tell my mood based on the slant and script, cursive always slants to the right, print is straight up & down. One entry can contain both cursive and print (see image above). Also, I am not a strong speller; “know” & “now” for some reason elude me when I’m writing quickly, or I’m adding an “-e” onto the end of words that don’t need it. I like to write stream of conscious style, so it explains some of it. I used to try to make sure I was spelling words correctly but I would end up losing my train of thought. I decided I wasn’t being graded on spelling (sorry to ALL my English teachers), now I try to spell the word the best I can and put ‘(sp)’ after the offending word. It reminds me I tried and realize it’s incorrect. (I blame word processors and text correcting technology!)
My newest journal project, in addition to blogging, is a stream of conscious journal. No edits – at all – not content, spelling or grammar. My goal is to look for patterns in my thoughts and compare them to my past thoughts. The motivation came from this blog post I read last week and this quote is what struck me: “Mindfulness challenges me to accept emotions and situations as they are, not as I want them to be. I’ve learned how to “observe and describe”: to state the nature of a problem with facts, not judgments, so I can determine how best to solve it.” It’s time for me get past my judgmental (negative) thoughts and start creating positive actions and solutions, by staying mindful and in the present.
Mindfulness challenges me to accept emotions and situations as they are,not as I want them to be. I’ve learned how to “observe and describe”: to state the nature of a problem with facts, not judgments, so I can determine how best to solve it.
I’m curious how my actions and thoughts match up. The adage “actions speak louder than words” has me curious to what my actions say about my underlying beliefs. As I re-create the habit of writing daily, I plan to flow my stream-of-conscious thoughts onto the paper, then list the actions I took. I do better writing at the end of the day, although the book “The Artist’s Way” encourages writing first thing in the morning. I feel it’s more important to write whenever you can. Get those thoughts out of your head!! Look at them objectively, from different perspectives.
For example, in the morning, I usually have the thought “I don’t want to get up.” But I eventually do, it’s a common battle (those with depressive tendencies might understand). Currently, I’m creating unnecessary struggle for myself in the morning. I need to redirect my thoughts and actions first thing in the morning to set myself up for a more positive day. One idea, is to think “I’m grateful for my comfortable bed. It will be here again tonight.” Another idea, is to have something exciting to get out of bed for, like a cup of coffee or tea (I don’t drink either) so I’ll have to keep chocolate milk in the house for awhile to create an enticing morning habit.
I don’t have all the answers. I’ll continue to share as I learn. And I think the experience of chocolate milk every morning will be enjoyable.