If you read my last post, you know I used to journal a lot in high school. Not only did I journal, but I was really serious about it. I picked out my perfect notebook (small, not too small. College ruled. Preferably leather. Never spiral), made sure I used the proper pens, and even wrote little disclaimers on the front pages. Think – property of laney! please don’t read! Seriously please don’t!
Journaling was my own way of teaching myself consistency and expression.
I always turned to my pen and paper on a wonderful day, horrible day, and the days that were just…days.
I’m grateful as heck that I kept them all, as it gives me so much to reflect on. The pages of my journals hold so much detail and insight into what I was doing, thinking, and feeling in my younger years, which provides plenty of entertainment, but also understanding as to why I am who I am today.
Back when my Momma was still studying for her Yoga teaching certificate, she signed us both up for a Yoga & Journaling workshop. She knew I loved to write, stay active, and needed some Mommy & Me time. This was in the depths of my depression, so an activity that combined exercise, a passion of mine, and my favorite person sounded like exactly what I needed.
The workshop began with some yoga sequences, and us writing about in our books, answering questions like, “Why do you journal, or why do you want to start?” “What is scary about journaling?” “What do you believe? List some of your values.” The basics. You can see above how loved and used this little journal has been!
But my favorite exercise from the whole day wasn’t a sun salutation.
The instructor started talking to us about positivity and negativity, and how we each battle them both each day. She started talking to us about the little voices in our head, the ones that pat you on the back and offer encouragement, as well as the ones who tear us down.
The instruction was simple, but the message was powerful.
So before you keep reading, get yourself a pen and a notebook or piece of paper. Calm yourself down, but let all of your thoughts flow.
She told us to take our pen in our dominant hand (right, for me!) and on the back of one page (or on the left hand side if you’re working with a piece of paper), write down what that negative voice in your head is saying. Write in the first person, as if you are that little devil on your shoulder. And don’t hold back. She wanted us to be as real, raw, and brutally honest on paper as we were in our heads. I think she gave us about 5 minutes for this part.
Next, on the front of the next page (or right side of paper), put the pen in your non-dominant hand. Write down what that good voice is saying. Those words of encouragement and hope and belief. Everything you think or know to be true about yourself or your situation. 5 minutes for this as well.
Let me tell you, my negative side was quite a brat.
The page is small, but filled with attitude and pain. The most powerful phrase I think was, “I’m here to remind you that you’re not good enough. I sparked years ago, and have been fueled by your friends, your boyfriend, and your teachers, and have been held onto by you.”
On my positive page, the first sentence is, “Give me a damn break.” Clearly I was ready to stop feeling the way I was feeling.
What are some things you wrote down? How are you talking to yourself?
If I can take a guess, I’m sure you’re not too nice.
The importance of this exercise is to acknowledge that normally, we give the negativity more power, hence the dominant hand. The negativity is what rules our mind, and we must consciously allow ourselves to focus on the positive. Give that little non-dominant side a fighting chance! Your positivity and light deserves MORE recognition from you than that other brat on your shoulder. Don’t give it the time of day.
I know it’s way easier said than done, but like I’ve always told you from the start, I’m here with you. Going through the same things you are. Chasing a happier life, but learning from the imperfect. Creating a life full of #gracefulgrowth
PLEASE let me know if you guys try this journaling exercise, or if you’ve been journaling already! I think it’s truly so helpful to vent each day and get all of your ideas, joys, transgressions, everything out on paper instead of bottling it up.