What! What does journaling have to do with weight-loss or health? Hold on a minute, I just want the facts. I just want to know how you dropped 60 lbs.
Just the same, here it is; Step One: Journaling
I like to call it “morning pages”, from The Writing Diet Write Yourself Right-Size by Julia Cameron. Great read, by the way. Everyone has their own style and preference. You can put pencil or pen to paper, or you can tap on the keys of the keyboard. You could use a real old-style typewriter or go with a fountain pen, dipping into ink every few words. It’s whatever you choose. You could write in the evenings, last thing before turning out the lights, or at noon over a healthful lunch, or you could write first thing in the morning before your brain wakes up.
You can probably guess when I do my writing. Yup, first thing in the morning before my brain gets overtaken by stuff. I find that letting myself type freely for about 15 minutes, early in the day is the best thing for me. It’s here I am discovering what I truly think or believe or even want. I find out what is bothering me and work through the changes I’m thinking about making. I often find myself writing a great idea down or brainstorming ways to make life better, right here and now. In fifteen minutes I can type about 500 words, check it off my to do list and move on with my day.
When I was younger, I spent over a year in therapy. I was in a monthly or weekly patient chair which cost about $100.00 for a half hour. One day I realized that I was doing all the talking. He encouraged me to talk. “Go on.” he would say. So I talked for half an hour, all about myself. It bothered me that he got paid to listen to me talk about myself. I wasn’t bothered about the part where he got paid to listen, but that I was talking about myself. I was thinking that we should use this expensive time to talk about something really important. He should be teaching me something and maybe I should be taking notes.
Yet what could be more important than you? Just taking a few minutes at the front or end of the day to check in with yourself and find out how you are doing, feeling, thinking, focusing on hearing yourself talk privately about yourself for a few minutes. It’s like having a free therapy session, everyday.
I decided to put this as point #1 in the series because I’m convinced that this is of first importance. I have to take the time to listen to myself in order to know what I need and what needs to be done for me so that I can be the best possible version of myself. I need to take myself seriously enough to take the time to listen. To be invested in myself and interested enough to spend the time and attention to do this. We don’t all need the same things. We don’t all have the same situations. Sure we can learn from each other but we have traveled different roads and no one knows me better than myself. I just need to take the time to listen.
A daily writing practice takes some discipline to start with. But you are worth it. It will become an indispensable habit. From this habit will flow all kinds of good stuff. The discipline learned here will, over time, spill out into other areas of your life.
I hope you were not disappointed by the topic of this post and that you will make time to start a daily writing practice yourself. If you already have one I would love to hear from you. Let us know how your daily writing practice has helped you, and any helpful ideas you may have for us.
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ from Mark 12:31
– First you have to learn to love yourself. –