I’ll never forget the night I sat down and decided that there was much more to keeping a journal than 30 days of Gratitude. Don’t get me wrong, that is absolutely what started my goal of journaling for an entire year. In 30 days, I saw more progress in my outside world than I had in a long time. Starting a daily journal practice absolutely will change your life…if you commit to getting to know your subconscious mind.
There was a chasm, a freaking chasm, between who I wanted to be and what my thoughts were telling me. I was not living up to my full potential and the 18 years of living with invisible diseases had worn away the once shiny coat I saw of life. It was dull and bitter. This wasn’t what I saw my life looking like, I would think through the hazy fog of pain. Why bother getting out of my pajamas? My subconscious would tease me. Get under these blankets and rest. You deserve it. You have 7 invisible diseases. No one blames you for sitting here. You are just trying to survive. And that’s when it hit me.
I wanted to live, not merely survive. I wanted to change my thoughts, my world and help others like me. I wanted to be an inspiration to my children and I wanted my husband to stop feeling so helpless about the physical pain I was in. I wanted my dad to stop looking at me like he broke me by passing on the genes that made me different. And one night, it all came to me on how to help others with this.
7 Ways Starting a Daily Journal Practice Will Change Your Life:
- Journaling clears your head. As you begin the “getting ready for bed” routine, your brain has probably been on some sort of tech. Your brain still thinks it’s play time actually, so it’s time to start clearing our heads, and start putting our brains to bed so to speak. It is time to reduce the scattered thoughts that so much information available to us at one time (the internet) provides us. As we get ready for bed, it is time to increase our focus on a few specific things and start to recharge. We are now providing the bridge between our subconscious and our conscious waking thoughts. So much information can just flow if we let go!
- Your intentions become more clear. A few weeks ago, you would have thought I asked people to throw away their phones. I simply suggested getting an old-fashioned alarm clock and stop relying so much on your phones to wake you up in the morning. I merely pointed out that the tone with which you start your day stays with you (and that link is even a few years old, it is much greater now as it points out in the study). So if you take 5-10 minutes to think about what your wrote the night before, and how to utilize the first 10 minutes of waking up as pure visualization, gratitude practice, and goal setting, you will start to see tiny changes in your productivity during the day. New opportunities will arise.
- Abundance in your life will increase by your ability to be very specific with what you want. Last year, I paid off a very high credit card bill because I wrote about my monthly goals every single month until that thing was paid off. I was not in a good place financially at the time due to me leaving work to have my “sabbatical” of healing. This is a true story. I was driving a mini-van that was falling apart, and I knew that I wanted a new vehicle. The funds came in for me to pay off the credit card bills, and have money left-over to get the vehicle without worry or fear. I also renewed my passport and traveled overseas where I had been invited to speak at a conference. It was exactly what I had written out. I was specific on some things I wanted to get done and each month as I started a new month, I would plan out that month’s goals. I got very clear and things changed.
- How do you want to feel each day? Why is it so frustrating that as we live our lives, we focus so much on what we DON’T want to attract?? Why is it that we don’t ever take a minute to connect to how we actually want to feel? To live? What do we really want to experience on a daily basis? I am by no means saying that there aren’t wonderful people out there who can help you figure this out in therapy, but I was spending my co-pay ($25 a visit at the time…now up to $30), trying to get “unstuck” from the depression caused by the diseases when I finally had the Epiphany that if I wrote just a little bit each day on how I wanted to feel, and what I wanted to create, that I could make more progress through the mental jungle in my head than the lady sitting there listening to me could. I was holding back what I told her anyway (note, you can also use this in addition to, so just letting you know. There are many ways to use journaling).
- Gratitude starts to increase as you notice the good in your life. Do you ever think that someone in your life could use more thoughts of gratitude? I did too. But trying to change another person is like changing a light bulb using the Force (unless you truly are a Jedi and I am mistaken). You can mentally torture yourself about this other situation that you can’t change, or you can start focusing on the good you already have in your life. As we think about the good in our lives, and we seriously raise our vibration to one of thankfulness and gratitude, things start to take on a whole new perspective. Trust me, I know. I will never forget the day I got to stock up my refrigerator with good food because surprisingly, gluten-free items are way more expensive than things with gluten…as well as things that don’t have additives. I was so very thankful that I lived in a time when I could find the food I needed without getting sick.
- Comparison starts to melt away. I was once friend with someone who always wanted what other people had. Nothing in life made her happy. At all. This kind of stuff melts away as you focus on your monthly goals, your monthly intentions, your happiness and what you have. Who cares what person x “appears” to have? Truth bomb. They are faking it too sister. Yup. Marriage might be rocky, job might be stressful, and they never have time to just breathe. Don’t focus on their fappiness. <<< My word for Fake-happy I made up one day. That’s another story before the healing process…read later if you are there.
- Journaling gets you closer to self. Head is where your thoughts are and they are things you really don’t want others to know. Heart is actually where your self lives. The two don’t always agree. In fact, they often argue. Your head is like “Let’s be practical with this money.” Your heart is like “Oh my gosh. I need a pick-me-up today. Going to shop.” This is just my example as I couldn’t put 2 thoughts together the other day as it was a bad news day for 2 friends, so I listened to my heart and stopped working and left the house. AS I let go of that fear though, and learn to write about it, I actually visualize things working out. Not just for me, but for others in my life as well. Self is my essence and I know that it distinguishes me from others. In this instance, I am not talking about the ego. I am talking about who I was before I let all the labels of disease try to take over that essence. For me personally, I had to find my way back there and that journey will look different for each and every one of you, but whether you write two lines on a page, draw art therapy photos under quotes, bullet journal, or just jot down monthly goals and intentions, you can find your way back. Trust the process.
For more information on what came to me one night while I was journaling, see this link on my Mindful Coaching. If you want some guidance on this process, with no strings attached, you can leave at anytime, click on the word support on that page and find me in my closed group. The Head|Heart|Health Club would love to see you this month!
Did you know that our thoughts really and truly shape our destiny? I am sure by now you know that you have more power over your future than you give yourself credit in having. Many people think that what happens next is out of their control. I know that I was once one of those people when I was very ill.
I made it a habit to change my thoughts daily and it helped improve my life tremendously in many ways. I still have to remind myself to keep focused on the positive and to constantly re-direct myself to the best possible things that could happen and not think of the worst. It really is a work in progress daily, which is why I am inviting you to the One Minute a day challenge right now!
Each day I want you to think of one thing you want out of life. Maybe it’s the same thing each day, but truly envision it, see it, smell it, and imagine what living like this would be like. Next, I have these 5 tips for you to get what you want out of life.
5 Steps to Get What You Want Out of Life:
- Accept that you are in control of your life. Your life equals your mistakes. I know that you want to be able to blame your boss, your co-worker, maybe even someone else, but don’t. Start living with the thought that you are in control and only what is good is coming your way. This does not mean I am saying think your prayers aren’t heard if you pray…just don’t blame anyone else. Know that what goes on in your head can be changed by you and you alone.
- Get clear on what you want. Do you know what type of life you want? Where you want to be in 3 years? What you want your day to look like? Get clear on everything you want to come into your life. The good stuff only. See the big picture! If this is difficult for you, see the Head|Heart|Health tab on group coaching.
- Live your truth. I am not saying quit your job today; however, if it is not something that really ever made you happy, admit it. What would it look like if you worked somewhere with people who made you happy? What would your ideal job/boss/office type situation be like and what can you do to work towards it? Be aware of your truths as you work and do what keeps you on your path right now so that you might have a chance to go down another path in the near future.
- Believe that it is possible. This part is really key! What does your belief system in yourself look like today? Is it not very good? Do you lack self-esteem? Do you accept challenges or tend to shrink from them? If going through a tough spot meant you could change your life, how would you react? Just believe that you have the abilities to accomplish your dreams and keep on saying it.
- Act on your dreams! When it comes time to do it, whatever it is, don’t back away from it because you are afraid it might not work. We all have failures sometimes, but the leap of faith that we take to try to do the impossible encourages us and boosts our confidence for the next time something great comes along. We can’t be afraid to say yes once again!
Ultimately, if you expect different outcomes for your future, you have to start thinking like it, acting like it, and changing your path. Journaling is a powerful tool I use in my 4 Weeks to Wellness program and each day we work on one goal to get closer to what we want. You really can get what you want out of life!
Stop Listening to Fear.
Originally published last July 2014.
Procrastination. Excuses. Reasons why your path looks like Billy’s from The Family Circus when he had a job to do. I don’t want to hear it. We all know deep down what’s holding us back and usually it has one name. Fear. You need to pull a Bruce Willis on that thing and just go for it.
Things do come up. I know they do. But if you let these “things” get in the way of your goals, then your life will become a string of excuses. I meant to do that, but… We were going to, but… I’m not saying I don’t have my own fears because I do. I certainly do. It’s just that I am ridiculous when it comes to them and do stupid things to get over them so I can move on. Like the time I got bit by a snake, then was afraid of snakes for a while. So then I volunteered at the local Virginia Living Museum, and learned how to stick my hand in a pillow case and pull out a snake. Yes. True story. I also learned how to identify which ones were venomous in my area.
Quitting my job when I had no extra income was like sticking my hand in that pillow case. I knew when I went on my “sabbatical” I was never going back. I knew I needed more. Starting my business was that more. I love getting messages from clients asking me for help. That’s brave of them as well. They have tried lots of things to lose weight, feel better, get healthy, but for whatever reason, fear, they need a little extra help. And that’s ok. I did too!! I was afraid I was going to stay stuck at my old weight forever. When I got on the scale and realized how much I weighed compared to old me, I was shocked. At 5’2 I knew I needed to get a handle on it.
When I put all my research skills into formulating a plan that worked best for my diseases and body, I knew I was finally on the right track in December. I have now lost 15 pounds, but I am not done. I have 6 more to go, and the extra 21 will be gone. I am going to be adding yoga back into my routine again and I will also write about that. I have been being a taxi cab, so I made excuses why I didn’t make it to yoga. I sat down today and wrote out the yoga schedule so it was in front of my face!!! I know that going back worries me. I am afraid it will hurt because of my existing pain, but I know that it will help me. I have researched exercises for fibromyalgia and this is one of them. So, I’m going to pull a Die Hard and go for it. Stick your hand in that pillow case folks. Go for it!!
It never fails…you sit down at night to watch T.V. The kitchen is closed for the night. Closed. But you start to watch your favorite show, and you get distracted. You think you need food. Here are some helpful tips to help you determine if food is really what you want.
Ways to Overcome Cravings
- Remember your goals. Write them down and put them on the fridge. If you happen to go there, you can see your goals. Your brain will shift and remember your long-term goals and hopefully ignore the cravings you have.
- Drink a glass of water. A lot of people don’t realize that drinking a glass of water can be a great tool for making you feel full. Proper water intake actually helps you metabolize food and without the presence of water, your body might not be able to get the nutrients it needs. Many food cravings are based on your body’s need for specific nutrients.
- Get moving. If your craving triggers you to get up, why not pair it with something you want to get done. If you think you need a snack, tell yourself you can only have one after walking around the block. Or lifting the kettle bell for 10 reps on each side. You get the drift. It will help you form new habits instead of eating mindlessly just because it’s there.
- Take a hot shower and relax. Give yourself a sauna type shower so that it opens your pores. When you get out, you will most likely have forgotten your craving. Have a large glass of water by your bed or some hot tea and relax and get ready for the day ahead. If you are not in the area where food it…and your mind is then on bedtime routines, it really does help.
- Out of sight. This one sounds easy, but if you live with someone who is constantly getting up to fix snacks late at night and making all kinds of noise in the cabinet, you are actually going to want some of whatever they are having. I asked my husband long ago to help me stick to a plan. It was hard at first, but it gradually became easier. I also make sure that only veggies and fruits are there for me to reach.
Last but not least for me, I drink greens in my water to help me fight against sugar cravings. Yes, I swear by this product, but hey, It Works! To read more about how I help others get back their health, you can check out the Vitalize You tab on this blog.