Writing Ourselves into Awareness

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
― C.G. Jung

Sometimes we get so confused.  We run this way and that way – searching for the thing, the answer, the lover, the teacher…

We forget to trust ourselves.  We forget to ask ourselves. We are so busy running and searching that we don’t stand still long enough to catch our breath and look inside.

Today, we are going to take that time. We are going to gift ourselves twenty minutes of  self-exploration, in the form of journalling. If possible, take a ten minute walk before you begin. (If you are unwell, or unable to go outside, take ten minutes and watch the video at the bottom of this page. It will help put you in that same energetic space of relaxation and connection.)

Then make yourself a nice cup of tea, or take yourself out to a coffee shop. (Maybe you could walk there!) With a beverage at your elbow, and a notebook and pen in hand, work through the following activity. You might surprise yourself at what you discover.

Journal Exercise:

Start by writing this passage at the top of your page.

Dear Universe, 

I trust that there is a part of me that already knows what I want most in this lifetime. I also trust that there is a Universal Wisdom that recognises my gifts and talents, and that understands what outcomes and adventures are best for my Highest good.

I am ready to embrace the possibility of a better life for myself.  I am ready to move from struggle into flow.  I am ready to embrace abundance, in all its forms. I want you to know that I’m ready for whatever wonderful experiences and opportunities you send my way. I am ready for my Soul to show me my heart’s true desire…

Now choose any of the following journal starters, and use it to begin writing.  Don’t judge what comes next, and don’t over-think it.  Just trust that what you write will begin to create a greater sense of personal and spiritual awareness in your life.

NB: If you feel that you are walking a path of spiritual awakening right now, and you’d like to explore that further, I suggest you do this exercise while holding one of the following crystals:

  • Clear Quartz – for connecting with Guides and Higher Wisdom
  • Fluorite – for understanding your creative path, and for clear guidance with writing
  • Sodalite – for answers about relationships and knowing your own truth
  • Amethyst – for connecting into your spiritual gifts
  • Rhyolite – for channelled wisdoms – showing you that inner truth you find difficult to access on your own

 

  • When I am relaxed, and feeling good about life, it becomes clear to me that the most meaningful direction for me right now is
  • If I was to remove myself from the things that cause anxiety in my life, and then sit quietly and listen to my body, I’d become aware that
  • I take a few calming breaths and close my eyes. Then I sit in the silent presence of my wise inner being. When I open my eyes again I understand that
  • If I could do anything, go anywhere, be anyone, then my heart is leading me to
  • When I am calm, and I take time to reconnect, I feel that
  • If my wise self could tell my weary and confused brain one thing, it would be this:
  • If God, my Angels or my Guides had a message for me, and I could finally hear it, it would be
The path to Awareness requires that we make the time to know ourselves.  And journalling creates a sacred space where we can do that, opening the way for a meaningful dialogue with our inner being. These questions can be used once, or you can return to them again and again to discover more about yourself.
Bless ♥ xx

 


Get yourself an ugly journal…

I have a special journalling quest for you today.  Are you up to the challenge?

Get yourself an ugly journal. A cheap one. One you can never feel fond of.

Trust me, you do not want to get a pretty journal for what we are about to do…

Today we are going to create a ‘Sh*t Book’, a ‘Poo Book’, a Craptastic Account of all that is truly suckful, petty and awful in our lives.

We are going to make a journal that will act like a giant word-thought-and-emotion toilet: a dumping ground for all the toxic waste that we need to get out, in order to start feeling better.

I love journalling. And most of what I write is positive, creative and exploratory. It’s the sort of writing I actually want to go back and read over when I’m done. (See examples of how to do that here!)  Even years later I can go back to those finished books and take inspiration and guidance from their pages.  Rainbows, butterflies, and all that wonderful stuff that dreams are made of…

But sometimes… you know how it is.  Life makes you mad.  You wake up with a great knot of pain or resentment or frustration. Or you get that mean pettiness, where everything is going to come out as a whine or a complaint.

Image by Inglgs at photobucket.com

That sort of thinking is no good to anyone. It’s like garbage. It just needs to be dumped before it pollutes the rest of you and spills over into your day.

Sometimes the toxic waste in your mind pollutes what would otherwise be a charming place to be – Photograph by Peter Cade, Getty Images

But we don’t want to go dumping that stinking thinking in the middle of our rainbows and butterflies! We need to dump responsibly.

That’s why we are going to create a special book just for rubbish thinking. We can happily write away in our ‘Sh*t Book’, recording every last detail of the sheer crappiness and horror, the drudgery and outrage, the blow by blow accounts of the things that depress us, upset us, tick us off, push us into ugliness.

You can even paint, sketch, collage and otherwise create. The thing that matters is finding a way to express the pain, hurt or other negativity within you.

Journal Activity:

Find your ugly journal. You can even make an ugly cover for it if you want. Use all those awful toilet colours – browns and blacks and nasty greens. Make it a worthy dumping ground for your terrible thoughts.

Then use any of the following prompts to get you started. Don’t worry about sentence construction, spelling or even what you say.  This is a dump, remember? So just follow the prompts and let it flow. Mind you, if you’ve already in that cranky space you might not need any prompting at all to get it off your chest…

  • I couldn’t be more angry about…
  • It is totally miserable that…
  • I can’t believe that he/she could…
  • The feeling eating a hole in me right now is because of…
  • If I’d had my way I would have told __________ that…
  • It’s Dumb! It’s so dumb that…
  • I hate…
  • Just the thought of ________ right now makes me…
  • Grrrrrr! The thing about all of this is that….
  • Hey! Let me tell you what I REALLY think…
  • I have never felt more __________  since…
  • It’s just not fair that…
  • I could scream right now because…
  • All I want to do is cry. I’m at the end of my rope and…
  • Here is a list of EVERYTHING that is pissing me off right now…
  • This is totally (insert favourite expletive or explanatory term). I had wanted to…
  • And yet again, cue drumroll, I am…
  • I feel like I’m never going to be able to…
  • It’s the same old thing –

There is only one rule with your ‘Sh*t Book’.  Don’t read back over it, and don’t share it with anyone. Ever. No-one can play in toxic wastegrounds safely.  You just get in, dump and get back out of there again as fast as you can.

You can choose to handle your ‘Sh*t Book’ in one of two ways. At the end of each writing session, rip out the used pages and burn them, shred them or in other happy ways destroy them. OR wait until you have filled the entire book and then destroy it.  Bury, burn, slash, mutilate, flush, dump, explode… Whatever works for you. You may also like the symbolism of binding your book with a cord or big bulldog clips to help keep everything safe until you can dispose of it responsibly.

This Photo courtesy of http://www.bradleygauthier.com

Art Journal Techniques:

Sometimes it’s easier to draw or paint, to rip and glue rather than to risk words.  Sometimes when you can’t even find the words, art can help you make a new language for healing.

I love this next clip! I was looking for something to explain art journalling to you, and this started out so well, because it’s about making messy art – ugly art even. Perfect for your ‘Sh*t Book’!

But you know how the Universe works.  There is something redemptive about clearing out the trash.  It always makes room for something new and brighter.

I was laughing by the end of this youtube how-to, because after the ugly start, she ended up painting…

Yep, you guessed it…

rainbows and butterflies…

Sending you lots and lots of love for the journey. Enjoy that ugly journal! ♥♥♥ xx

Writing your Dream Vacation into Existence

Swimming Pool and Sea by njaj

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Writing is a powerful summoning force – it commits our thoughts and emotions to the page in such a way that the Universe hears our clear call, and is able to respond.

One of my favourite journal activities when I’ve been working hard is to begin to summon the possibility and energy of a vacation.  We all need holidays – they provide vital breaks from our daily routine so that we can re-energise ourselves, discover the world around us, find ourselves and each other, and come home changed, refreshed and ready for our ordinary lives once more.

Most people will agree that there is also a deliciousness to planning any much-looked-forward-to trip, and to evoking that wonderful sense of curiosity, excitement and relief that a vacation can bring.

I have often been amazed at how after calling my dreams forth through the act of writing, they have then turned up in my life. Diving in the Solomon Islands, communing with the Elephants in Chiang Mai, eating gelati on the Spanish Steps in Rome, wandering the alleyways in Venice – life is constantly surprising me with new delights.

River Boat Trip - Chiang Mai, Thailand 2010

Journal Activity:

Begin by writing the following passage into your own journal.  Feel free to use coloured inks if you wish, or anything else that brightens up your page.  Then choose one or more of the journal starters below and just start writing.  Let the words flow from your heart.  Don’t over-think anything, and most importantly don’t censor anything or limit yourself.  You can use the same journal starter more than once if it really resonates for you.

Use the page to create, imagine, and daydream your ideal vacation.  Feel yourself there – exploring, creating, indulging, experiencing…

Dear Universe, 

This is such an amazing world I live in, and there are so many places that are calling to me.  I don’t know how I’m going to get there, or when I am going to go, but I want you to know that I’m ready for whatever wonderful experiences and opportunities you send my way.

Small adventures, grand escapades, delicious moments – all of them are good, and I say YES to each of them. I embrace the possibilities and experiences that are coming my way…

Choose from any of these journal starters and begin manifesting your dream vacation:

  • The best sort of climate for me is:
  • I’ve always wanted to go to
  • If I could speak the language I would
  • One of the things I love most about vacations is
  • Some of the activities I’d really like to try are
  • My accommodation would be
  • The best way for me to get to my destination would be
  • The minimum amount of time I’ll need will be
  • I’ll be dining on
  • The people I’d love to share my vacation with are
  • If I could take any expert with me it would be
  • Some of the places I’d like to stop off include
  • My dream destination is
  • A close runner-up destination would be
  • Other places I’d like to visit are
  • With my shopping money I would buy
  • One of the best things to come out of my vacation is
  • My favourite things would include
  • Some of the treasures I’d like to bring home with me are
  • One of my favourite surprises is
  • A skill I will learn from this is
  • By the end of my vacation I will be
  • One of the coolest things about this holiday is
  • I had never dared to dream that I could
  • And the absolutely best part is

Tasty fresh coconut drink - Karon Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Dream Holiday Folder:

Make a folder on your computer, and create one to hold physical things like maps and brochures. Add images and information that feed your dreams.

Tumblr image from fateloves.blogspot.com

Every so often, go through your Dream Holiday folder. Step into the images, and let your mind bring them to life for you. Engage each of your senses as you see yourself right in the middle of the most incredible experience. You may even want to start learning a new language, renewing your passport, or getting that warm coat or bikini!

Trust that as you energise these images with your emotions you are drawing these experiences into your life. ♥

Silver Lining – A journal exercise for finding the upside

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.  ~Buddha

Writing is a powerful tool for self discovery, healing and expansion.  In fact, it’s one of my favourite things to do. Today I’m sharing some journal starters for exploring things I have considered to be negative in my life, in order that I might mine that situation or relationship to find the positives and gifts within it.  I’ve found this activity to be a great comfort over the years, and it has enabled me at times to radically shift my perspective to one which is much more positive.

The one thing that is non-negotiable in this exercise is that you MUST look for a positive – that silver lining on the thundercloud in your life.

One of the things that still stands out for me is the day I heard that a dear friend had been badly injured in a parachuting accident (from which he later died). It marked the beginning of a series of terrible and unforeseen events in our life.  But it also gave me an insight that left me better able to cope with what lay ahead.

What happened on that day remains one of the most precious memories of my life.  We were all in shock, but I had organised for my grandmothers to come for lunch, and I needed to pick one of them up from across town. Life still went on, and the lunch had been planned and looked forward to for months. It was the middle of an Australian summer,  a heatwave no less, and the weekend before Christmas.  I pulled into the madness of a suburban shopping centre to buy cream before I collected Nana.

As I stepped out of the car I was almost bowled over by two things, the heat and my grief. The world slowed right down.  I remember thinking that John must be dying. I stood beside my car as if I was suspended in time. Around me shoppers rushed on in the Christmas chaos, ignorant of the fact that this dear man was taking his last breaths. How could the world keep turning, I wondered.  Why didn’t it look any different?

I felt suddenly connected to an unseen group of people around Brisbane, around the world, who were similarly out of the flow of time, locked into grief or despair or helplessness or loss.  I became acutely aware of the heat, the smell of the melting tar beneath my feet and the gum-leaves on the nearby trees.  Green parrots squawked and fought above my head, and tiny clusters of blossom fell at my feet, like some strange sort of summer snow.  I was struck by the intense beauty of the moment, and of how everyone around me was oblivious to it.  I heard my own heart beating in my chest, was aware of every breath, and felt as if I was seeing the world with new eyes. I became overwhelmed with a sense of how precious and fragile and miraculous our existence is, and my despair was replaced with an avalanche of gratitude.

The intensity and gratitude of that moment has never left me.  It became the silver lining to an awful time on my life.

Here are my journal starters.  Use one, any or all of them to get you into writing flow, and to help you focus on the silver lining rather than the cloud.

On relationships that failed:

  • One good thing about (insert person’s name) that I am still grateful for is…
  • If I hadn’t met (insert person’s name) I never would have…
  • One positive thing I learned about myself from that relationship is…
  • One thing I won’t ever do again is…
  • The best thing about this relationship ending is that…

On death, loss and sorrow:

  • One of the happiest memories of (insert person’s name) that I cherish is…
  • (Insert person’s name) taught me…
  • Because of (insert person’s name) I have learned…
  • One thing I will always carry with me in my heart is…
  • We always laughed about…
  • One crazy thing that always reminds me of (insert person’s name) is…
  • One way I can honour their memory is to…
  • One way I can make the most of my own life is…

On making mistakes:

  • The thing I learned from all of this is…
  • If I hadn’t stuffed up I never would have been able to…
  • The one thing this has clarified for me is…
  • One person who’s been really great in all of this is…
  • The thing I’ll do differently next time is…
  • At least I’ve realised…

On diminishment (you being somehow made smaller or less able)  and disappointment:

  • I may not be able to (insert the diminishment) but I can still…
  • I still have the power to…
  • For now I can focus my energies on…
  • This gives me more time to…
  • For now this door is closed to me.  Other doors that are open include…
  • If I’m being made to stop, or slow down, at least I can use this change of pace to…

On people who’ve treated you badly:

  • Because of you, I’ve decided to never…
  • You’ve made me realise that I am better than that because…
  • You’ve shown me how NOT to be in the world.  I’ve learned that…
  • Because you couldn’t give me (love, respect, attention, guidance, honesty, kindness – insert whatever was missing in your relationship) I’ve discovered and grown this great strength in me.  I learned to be the thing you could not do for me.  I have become…
  • The good thing to come out of all of this is…
  • I deserve more because…
  • I believe that the right way to treat people is to…

Summaries:

  • From the hard times in my life I’ve learned that…
  • My greatest personal strengths are…
  • I’m proud of myself that…
  • I’m amazed that I have been able to…
  • One of the best things to come from all of this is…
  • The way I can now help others is…

Journal for Spiritual Clarity and Connection 3 – All about my Emotions

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
~ Carl Jung

Week 3:  All About My Emotions

This week we are focussing on our emotions, our feelings and all that entails for us, with a special emphasis on feeling good.  Our plan is to understand and connect with our emotions; our relationships, triggers, dreams and hopes and how our surroundings influence us.

Journal Exercise:

Journal relationships this week.  Identify areas where you need to forgive or move on.

Work out who/what supports you and makes you feel good, and who/what brings you down.

Identify triggers for positive feelings, and triggers for negative feelings/low self worth.  Limit the negative triggers!

Use any of these starters to help you:

  • How I feel right now is…
  • What I need to do to improve how I feel now is…
  • One person who always makes me feel good is…
  • The thing in my life I need to let go of is…
  • The person in my life I need to let go of is…
  • I still can’t stop thinking about…
  • The stuff that always brings me down includes…
  • One of the happiest times of my life was…
  • I’m still proud of the fact that…
  • I shed far too many tears over…
  • The most powerful teacher of how NOT to do things in my life has been…
  • The most powerful example of how I’d like to be is…
  • When I think of my pet, I feel…
  • A place that evokes positive memories for me is…
  • A time in my life when I felt unstoppable was…
  • The person I am still mad at the most is…
  • The person I need to forgive most is…
  • When I think about people who suck me dry, or leave me feeling drained and bad about myself, these people come to mind…
  • If I could name the cheerleaders in my life, the people who have supported and encouraged me over the years, they would include…
  • Food that always makes me feel good about myself is…
  • Food that might feel good in the short term but that triggers guilt, low self-worth or uncomfortable physical symptoms is…
  • Music that uplifts me includes…
  • Movies that always make me feel good are…

Activity:

Overhaul your bedroom and lounge areas so that they reflect your style and are uplifting and nurturing.

Play music that inspires you. 

Introduce colour into your clothing and your life.  Get some sunshine, and spend time in nature.

Clean up your house, your car and your energy!

Contact an old friend, or do something to make new friends.  Spend time with people you love, and who love you!

(This image by vichie81)