June Challenge: Journaling!!

June’s Challenge:  Journaling
Expected Benefits:
Putting thoughts in writing make them more concrete.
Concrete thoughts are reworkable.
Changes to my thinking!
Sweet Release!
Expected Difficulties:
Making time to do it.
Making myself work those thoughts into concrete!
Your Challenge! Journal!!
As a part of my mind retraining, I’ve been reading a lot more blogs with encouraging positive messages. I’ve noticed the bloggers tend to be somewhere interesting while they are writing, have just finished being somewhere interesting, or are reposting a previous blog because they are on the way to somewhere interesting. Well, I am writing this blog at a picnic table outside my apartment looking at the lake. Lakes are calm and peaceful. They are in constant motion and filled with unseen critters yet their flow is steady. There is something relaxing about lakes. I find them to generate a little creativity too. They help you reflect on yourself just as well as your actual reflection in the water. This brings me to June’s Monthly Challenge-Journaling!!! I’ve decided that I should journal daily not only on what has happened that day but to genuinely reflect on “me.” What is it in my life  that I like? What is it that I want to change? What are some issues that make me uncomfortable? What have I encountered during the day and what thoughts or feelings did it trigger? It has been life changing. In fact, I even made what I call the “Stop” List and it’s opposite, “Go” List. I challenge each of you to do the same. Take this challenge of journaling this month to a whole new level!  In fact, while sitting at the picnic table overlooking the lake I felt a couple of raindrops—not where you want to be when you have your laptop with you—so I moved to the covered patio area by the pool. Now it’s pouring (no worries, I’m dry!). This situation is helping me keep to a new affirmation (something from the “Go” list) that I recently wrote for myself. “I stay right where I am and finish what I am doing.” So instead of taking a break, walking inside with my work stuffs and leaving a moment of inspiration and possibly losing my train of thought, I’m sticking with it, rain or no rain, dog or no dog (in this case a very whiny puppy is at my feet, though she too is dry as a bone!) I will finish today’s blog!! (btw, Callie is now on top of the table so she is a bit more content). So what is the “Stop” and “Go” list? I thought you’d never ask!! Here goes and it is your challenge for this month to come up with your own. It WILL change your life!
The “Stop” List is the hard part—not practically but emotionally. We’ve always been told not to dwell on negative things. Be positive! Repeat your affirmations!! (Note: Affirmations are statements we repeat to ourselves or read daily to retrain our brains and reprogram ourselves to be more positive people who can do anything. They are written in the “now” as if all your goals are already accomplished. Our subconscious mind-yes, this is science not hippie mumbo jumbo- can’t tell the difference from truth and reality or made up beliefs and fears, etc. When these statements are repeated consciously, the subconscious mind will work to make it truth and reality.) So making a “stop” list or a list of what your most deep seated negative beliefs about yourself are is not fun nor does it seem helpful. In fact, If you just stop at your “stop” list it can be very harmful. So this is not a list you will reread over and over it is simply a tool to help you get honest with yourself about the negative thoughts, emotions, and outright lies you believe about yourself without even meaning to. You will use this list to make your “Go” list and that is the list you will be concentrating on for a much further period of time. So, Write your “Stop” list. Here is some help. What are some things you try over and over again and never succeed? What fear or “reason” do you hold as you why you constantly “fail” at this? How about this one: What was your childhood or adolescent dream? What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you that now? What makes you think you can’t become that? Are you successful at what you do now for a living? Is it what you really want to do?
For example: Why can’t lose weight?
Your answers could be something like:
·         Because I have a slow metabolism
·         Because I don’t like the taste of healthy food
·         I’m too lazy to exercise
·         Every time I start and exercise program I flake out and quit
·         I can’t afford a gym
·         I don’t have anyone to help me
·         I don’t know what I’m doing
And the list could go on and on and on. Now go deeper and really get to the difficult questions. Things like, why do I hate my job. Why do I expect my marriage to fail? Why won’t my kids behave? Why don’t my kids do well in school? Really be honest. Put the blame wherever you think it lies. It may just be a bunch of lies, but we have to find those negative, untrue beliefs and bring them to the surface if we are ever going to surpass them, take them down, and blow them out of the water for good! Like I said, this is the emotionally exhausting part.
Now we get to the “Go” List!! This can be a bit more time consuming. You may have to make it in sessions, but that’s ok! You can take the time you need to do what is best for you to do. I give you permission! You need this!
Using our first example of losing weight, we are going to rewrite the script. We are going to write an affirmation (or several) to program our brains to believe what we want it to! Here we go!
·         I can lose weight and be healthy because my metabolism is just fine and healthy!
·         I love the flavor of health producing foods.
·         I love to exercise and I feel so great afterwards! Exercising really changes my body and mood for the better.
·         I am consistent in my excursive and wellness program.
·         I can exercise anywhere.
Do you see what we’ve done? We’ve taken negative thoughts and made them in to positive ones with emotion. Get emotional about what you want! Your subconscious will play along!
Since I’ve developed this tool for myself I have really begun to see changes in my life. You can use this technique in every area of your life. So get started and tell me about your progress!!  As I sit on the porch listening to the rain and watching a puppy stare at herself in the window I am content. Not everything is perfect, but it is in perspective. I believe that’s an important side effect of journaling. It really makes you think! Happy Journaling!!
Some tips:
·         Don’t wait for the perfect time-just do it.
·         You can journal at night about the day or journal the next morning about the day before!
·         You can just journal random thoughts! No technique or skill required!
·         Just put pen to paper and write. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you.
·         Be honest! If you have to put a lock on it or put the journal in a safe—do it!!
·         Don’t be afraid of what you’ll discover!!
·         Have fun!!
·         Enjoy the journey.
Stay tuned for more tips, ideas, and revelations!! Hopefully I won’t still be sitting in this rain by the lake!! Have a great day, Gorgeous!!


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