This is still January. Let me write about new year resolution. I hope it is not too late. Do you have a new year resolution? Do you write it down? Do you revisit your resolution? A resolution is basically a goal to achieve, a target. It is ussually a personal one. How much did you achieve your last year resolution? Did you evaluate as the year ended? Or did you forget your resolution as months were passing by.
I made a review on my last year resolution. I was fortunate that I wrote them in a quite detailed way, so it was doable enough, though I was too optimistic for some resolutions. I put them into several categories – career, health, finance, spirituality. I broke down each category into a list of smaller goals and what I wanted to do to achieve. Last year, I got myself introduced to the idea of living as a minimalist. And I set myself for less spending as my goal, for this I set a maximum shopping for clothes into 5 pieces only. Later I thought that it was too optimistic. I didn’t have to wait till mid year, that I had missed my target. When I shared that I had failed for this one resolution to a friend, she laughed at me and I became a little bit discouraged. Did I give up and drop my resolution? No. I knew that I had failed (gloriously), but I still kept on with the resolution, 5 new clothes only! Every time I bought new clothes, I noted down and put it on a list with the price I paid for and also the date of the purchase. I kept that list. And I wanted to know how much I would have failed. And at the end of December 2019, do you know how many new clothes I bought in 2019? 16. A lot more than the target.
So this year I made the same categories. I learnt from last year. Now I feel I know myself better, I have a sense on how much I can keep on with my resolution of 2020. How about you?
In every workshop on journaling, I always encourage people to start writing with an honest heart. Open the heart and start writing the feelings out, because this is how the heart will get healed. Be honest with the self by writing the feeling out.
Some people find it so hard to do it. They said that they have fear that others might read their journal, that other might know their feelings. Is it really harmful if others know what you feel? Fear is definitely unhealthy. It doesn’t make the soul free. Someone shared that when she was a teenager, someone read her diary and told everyone about what she wrote in the diary. This made her really ashamed and since then she stopped writing it.
For me, journaling is the best way to deal with any negative feeling and finish it quickly. I agree that some emotions might be so strong and it takes more time to finish. You might need to journal it several times. But it will definitely become weaker and weaker if you keep journaling it. Finally it will finish completely. When it finishes, you don’t feel it anymore. You still remember the situation, but the feeling is no longer there. Then if others know what you felt, it will be okay with you. I remembered I shared my journal with a friend. I read it for her. She knew what I was writing about. She knew my situation, what I felt and also how I was dealing with that. We laughed together.
This journaling is primarily for the self, not for anyone else. In fact this is a good practice to know the self better, and understand the self better. It is a practice to develop self-awareness. In the long run, it will build a healthy relationship with the self. When you have a good relationship with the self, you will find it very easy to relate to anyone. It is just not possible to have a good relationship with others when the relationship with the self is not healthy.
In my office most of my colleagues had made their plan for taking christmas and new year leaves since the first week of December. My boss got a leave sheet circulated for everyone in the division. I planned to take earlier leave this year, on the third week! And I think that it was the best decision. I had a solo trip to several cities. It was so enjoyable. I decided to take intercity trains for this trip. It had become my long time dream to enjoy a trip by train. Actually it was not a total vacation, because I had several ‘workshops’ during that time, short journaling workshops! It might be more a sharing than a workshop. I was really happy doing it. I am happy knowing that more and more people are interested in journaling.
I came back from my vacation only a few days before Christmas when most people started their vacation. I think the timing was just perfect for me. I definitely enjoyed my vacation without having any hassle. Though my flight back was two hours delayed, but it was still okay with me. The airport was a bit crowded due do some delayed flights. When your heart is happy, you just don’t want to get disturbed by those little situations.
During the christmas and new year holiday what I want is just having some quiet moment at home. What about you?
Wishing you all a very happy new year!!
Where does the self get lost? It is lost in our own head (mind). The mind creates thousands of thoughts everyday. It keeps busy and also noisy. The mind is always occupied with thoughts, ideas, plans and dreams. It is like a jungle, full of thoughts. You might find it very difficult to make it silent for just a moment. The self gets lost in this jungle. You might have heard a story of a queen who lost her necklace. She searched for her necklace around. She kept searching the necklace that she did not realize that it is in fact around her own neck. This story refers to our self-discovery journey. We might have searched for the self “outside” which in fact it is lost “inside”.
Journaling is a way to discover the self which has been hidden behind the thoughts, ideas, plans and dreams. This is an inward-journey. By writing them down one by one, you will experience more clarity in seeing the self. You are removing the veils. You will be able see your true self.
I remember I was sharing a taxi with four people on our way back from a program. The program was a big one, attended by many people from different countries with variety of languages. We could not know everyone in the program, because it was too big. The program was organized so well. Everything was very well-organized, including our transport. When I booked the taxi for my return journey at the transport department, I didn’t know whom I would share the taxi with.
An old lady was sitting in the front row next to the driver, and in the middle row there were one young man from Russia and two middle-aged men from France. I was sitting at the back row with our luggages. The space was very small and the luggages were piled up. It was a 4 hour journey. How would you enjoy a 4 hour trip with people you don’t know? What I did was listening music. Music really helps to enjoy the trip. I am always ready with some music in my smartphone and an earphone for a trip. I think music has the power to change our mood into positive one, quite instantly. Some times I had a conversation with the passengers who were sitting in the middle row. We talked about the weather, the journey to our home countries, our flight etc.. A general topic.
We stopped for a toilet in the middle of the trip. Everybody got down from the taxi. There, when I had the opportunity to talk to the old lady who was sitting in the front row. I was so amazed about her. She was 80 years old, traveling alone. She is from Colombia. She didn’t speak English, but I think she could understand a little. She could respond simple questions like ‘Where are you from? What time is your flight?’ We talked and shared on how much we enjoyed the program we just attended. I talked mostly. While talking to her I could see the light on her eyes, shining very brightly. The happiness inside was reflected on her face through the eyes. it was just so obvious.
I said to myself “This is what is called inner beauty.” The beauty of the soul that is coming from the heart of an old lady. The more permanent beauty. Not the beauty because of the cosmetics. Cosmetics only brings beauty on the skin, not the heart.
I still remember the lady’s name was Gloria Carmago.
When someone asked me how to start writing, I said : “Just write what you see, what you hear and what you feel.” You don’t need to be very creative to start writing. And you don’t need to have a talent to do it either. You only need an intention. Because writing is a skill, so everyone can develop this skill through practice. Just like speaking. Each one of us learned to speak when we were very small and we can speak now, we can express our thought and feeling through speaking. In the same way, writing is also a skill, it is also expressing thoughts and feelings. Everybody can express one’s thought and one’s feeling through writing.
You do not need to worry when you express your thought and feeling. Remember that you are writing for yourself. You are not writing for someone else to read. Liberate yourself from any worry or fear of being commented by anyone, being judged by anyone. In fact no one can criticize what you express, because your thoughts and feelings are always personal and nothing is wrong. To write them down is to be honest to the self. When you are honest to yourself, you will feel very comfortable with yourself. Start writing and start expressing what is inside you.
The mind keeps thinking all the time. It never stops. When you express it in writing, the mind slows down its speed. It becomes much lighter, not heavy.
A Japanese friend asked me: “what is heart? and what is soul?” If you got this question, what would be your answer? There are only two aspects of Human Being. The human and the being, the body and the soul, the physic and the spirit, physical and spiritual. Human refers to the body which is physical and Being refers to the soul which is spiritual. We can see the body, but we can not see the soul. We can not see our heart, our mind and our intellect.
Heart, mind, intellect…..all are in one, in the Being, in the soul. The 3 are in the soul, these are the faculties of the soul. Each one has different function. Mind creates thoughts. Mind works like a mirror, it reflects thoughts, it projects thoughts. The second faculty of the soul is intellect. It is called the eye of the soul, it has the ability to “see and understand”. It can see what is right and what is wrong. It has the ability to churn the thought deeply. It experiences the thought. It changes knowledge into wisdom. When the thought is transformed into an experience (a deeper understanding), then the heart does its work – it creates a feeling based on the experience. The stronger you hold one particular thought with your intellect, you think it deeply…..then your heart will create a feeling accordingly.