“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi
Ever since the pandemic lots of people talk about this as the time of our great transformation. The question in my mind is “What are we transforming into?”
The typical answer is something like: “a kinder gentler world.” The next question is “Whose kinder gentler world?”
Quantum Physics teaches us that there is no objective truth except for the fact that THERE IS NO OBJECTIVE TRUTH.
So since everything, including science is influenced by the participant observer, any attempt at transformation must START. WITH. YOURSELF.
So, the first question to ask is “What do I want to change into?”
A better person? A happier Person? A stronger person? Nicer? Richer? Kinder?
Answering that question alone will start you on your way!
THE STORY OF ME JOURNAL:
“Writing is the way we learn what we’re thinking.” - Professor Virginia Berninger
If you just read that and groaned, “Everybody says to journal!” There’s a reason why everybody says it. Because it works!
For us humans, there’s always a certain amount of resistance to change and especially if that change requires one to look inside oneself for the answers and to take responsibility for one’s own actions without blaming someone or something else.
THAT’S HARD TO DO AND IT CAN BE SCARY!
It’s so much more comfortable and easier to think the problem is outside of us or to focus on all the things other people are doing that hurt us or hinder us. That’s why journaling is so helpful. You do not have to share it with anyone, you just must be honest with yourself, often not easy either.
So, start with FREE WRITING, put pen to paper do not edit or stop, just keep writing whatever pops into your mind answering the question “What do I want to change about myself?”
Pick a set number of pages, usually 3, as recommended by Julia Cameron in THE ARTIST’S WAY. Ms. Cameron also recommends doing this first thing in the morning, I find that very effective also, though if that time doesn’t work for you it’s better to write your pages at any convenient time, rather than skip them altogether.
“I don’t have time!” is the number one excuse we humans use to procrastinate. I can attest ti this I am a world class procrastinator!
Lately I’ve been keeping this quote in my phone to give me a little push when I need it (and truthfully, I need it often.)
“THE MOST REGRETTFUL PEOPLE ON EARTH ARE THOSE WHO FELT THE CALL TO CREATIVE WORK, WHO FELT THEIR OWN CREATIVE POWER RESTIVE AND UPRISING, AND GAVE TO IT NEITHER POWER NOR TIME.” – Mary Oliver, poet
You can also pick your own way, but it’s important to start trying to answer that question rather than suffer through staying stuck. Writing out your thoughts is one of the best ways to clarify them. Writing, especially in long hand, helps you focus and really listen to your own voice. My personal experience is that it connects my mind and my heart. I think of it as the voice of my Soul.
The good news is THERE’S NO WRONG WAY TO DO THIS! YAY! This is for you and you alone and you have a record you can refer back to and over the course of time to track your thoughts and the progress that you’ve made! Honestly, just the act of asking and answering the question once will lead you to a whole new way of being in the world.
DOODLEY DOODLEY DO!
Believe it or not, I find doodling helpful too. Mine is a kind of mindful doodling where I draw circular pictures called Mandalas, but I also draw vines and flowers and trees and while I’m drawing, I listen and as soon as I hear the answer to a question I start writing, mine comes out as poetry, who knows how yours will turn out, but the experience is always fun and enlightening.
MAKE IT FUN!
Creativity is your connection to the Creator. Tap into that childhood sense of joy! There are so many beautiful journals to choose from, lined and blank. If you don’t want to spend lots of money, find a notebook, discount stores often have them for as little as 25 cents.
This way you can pick one in your favorite color or be even more creative and put whimsical stickers on it. You can find inspirational journals with quotes or make your own. Look up quotes by people you find inspirational and put them at the top of each page. The more creative you are with your journal the more committed you’ll be to continuing.
As with anything, the important thing is to get started. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Or in this case, the first word.