Written By Christy Mills
When I was a young girl, I either had my head in the clouds, or in a book. My favorite way to spend summer days was lying in the grass with fascinating books & words that transported me to another time and place.
Starting a journaling practice was a natural extension of reading books, but it never really took off until I started my yoga teacher training in 2012 and has grown into a daily practice ever since. I remember the beginning being so awkward – I didn’t know how to start or what to say. Having a conversation with myself almost felt too intimate, as though I might be scared of what was going to show up on the pages.
Taking courses where I’ve been prompted with what to write about helped immensely and took the pressure off of coming up with my own ideas. A shift started to happen the longer I wrote, in that instead of being prompted, I was relying on my own intuition to guide me into what to write instead. Our ego likes to protect us, and once I learned how to set that part of me aside, I found so much more freedom in expressing myself.
When Taegan asked me to write a blog post, I immediately knew what topic I wanted to write about – journaling!! If I had to summarize the biggest learnings I’ve had along the way these are what have helped me connect the life dots:
The Power of Discernment:
Oh judgment – it used to be one of my best friends. Just ask my Mom! Shameful situations from my childhood propelled me into trying to create a perfect life. I thrived on compliments that were given to me that sounded like “you make everything looks so easy, how do you do it?” Through the practice of reading books by authors like Brene Brown and writing about my experiences, I realized that EVERYONE has rights and EVERYONE is doing the best that they can. Judging someone else’s life was none of my business. Ever. I still catch myself today, and when I do, I spend time reflecting on the why realizing that the situation is usually bringing up feelings of inadequacy in myself – it typically has nothing to do with the other person. Learning the power of discernment has allowed my thoughts to mature, to let go of judgment and the need for perfection.The Power of Observation
Becoming an observer of my thoughts and actions was first introduced to me through the practice of yoga and let me tell you, I could not wrap my head around the thought of “you are not your thoughts.” Writing about how I could be an observer of my life allowed me to become more objective with my thoughts, my actions and to learn to let go of judgement. I also snuck in the question of WHY. When I started to include this question to my observations I could see what the motivation was. When I knew the motivation then I could see if the motive was in alignment with my goals and my personal values. Taking this objective step back was a huge way to bring personal power back into my life, in the sense that I could feel soul having a human experience.
The Power of Connection
Spending time connecting with myself became a daily priority for me in 2017. It was during this time that I decided to start a daily meditation practice that included gratitude journaling. Writing down what I was grateful for each day started to connect me to the world in ways that I hadn’t seen before. I became more appreciative of the little things in life. It set the ground work to look for even more things to be grateful for. I found myself taking numerous pictures of things that brought me joy. And that joy connected me even deeper to my soul. And those soul findings connected me to myself on a whole new level.
The Power of Mindfulness
Writing for sure, 100 percent, hands down, has helped me to become more mindful every day. Being mindful was also introduced to me through the practice of yoga, and was extremely powerful for me. The idea of choosing my thoughts was not something I had spent alot of time thinking about. But when I started to explore this idea even more, it made so much sense!! I could show up in the world how I wanted to show up in the world. Mindfulness is an extremely powerful process of self discovery. It gave me permission to choose me, honor my decisions, and be ok with it. Journaling helped me discover the parts of me that I had forgotten about, and mindfulness helps me celebrate all of those forgotten bits.
The Power of Right Action
As a human, we all come into this life with lessons to learn and natural talents and skills to share with others. Fear is also something that comes out to play when we feel pushed into uncomfortable situations. Journaling has helped me realize when healthy fear is at play or not. In these moments I’ve learned to decipher the ego code or the intuition code. For such a long time I couldn’t tell the difference – and there are still soooo many times when I don’t. But the whole listening to the heart thing – there’s something to it. I know there’s right action involved when I can see it in black and white and when I can feel this gentle nudge saying, you’ve got this.
Perfect learning isn’t a thing. I really REALLY needed to learn this AND remember it, and I still remind myself of this often. We all need to start somewhere, and when we can use tools like journaling to get to the real bottom of the barrel, roll around with the nitty gritty, then stand up, and brush off and take action with a little spring in our step then we know that the work of writing was worth it. What comes out of us is necessary for our own personal growth, development and connecting the dots. Reflecting and celebrating the person we were, the person we are now and the person we are becoming is also necessary!
What magic will you write today? I would love to hear about your journaling practice and what works for you 🙂
Are you inspired to start your journalling practice?
Visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/hhgatherandgrow/?ref=share to join her online journalling workshop in collaboration with Home Hardware Building Centre Lloydminster. It’s 4 days long and online so you can join from anywhere! See you there!