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.
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 when I was on a holiday, I was staying in a Greek-style hostel. It was small but very cozy. The living room was just great, It was an open space and very clean…… and the most important thing was it had no television. I really liked it. The staff was very nice and super friendly.
I found myself sitting on a cushion outdoor, enjoying the blue sky, the air and nature, relaxing and enjoying myself. Well, what is in your mind when you hear the word of holiday? no work, relaxed and having a happy time. Suddenly I realised that I had been doing nothing there except relaxing. I asked myself “Would I spend the whole holiday doing nothing and just relaxing?” I said no. I had to do something. I had to create something, not just passing the time.
I then got an idea to write journals during the rest of my holiday instead of just having a relaxing time. I thought writing journal is entertaining the mind, and also the heart. So it is a way of an internal relaxation as well. Probably we need internal relaxation more than just a relaxation for the body. I would call it as my holiday project. To give me a sense of a project, I put a number, 50 journals!
The next morning I woke up at 3 am and got shower then started writing. Morning time is the best time for writing for me. I switched off my mobile phone and kept the door and the window closed until about 9 am. I heard from my room other guests were talking out there, they might be having their breakfast. When I just switched on my mobile phone, I got a message from the reception. He wondered how I was. He reminded me to have my breakfast. I smiled. He might be thinking of me being unconscious in the room. He is really a kind-hearted person.
In the evening I was sitting on a cushion in front of my room, writing journals. Antonia from Germany who stayed next to my room came from rafting asked me “What are you doing?” then I shared to her how I had the project. She smiled and said “Good luck!”
Everyone of us might have learnt from our childhood how to perceive everything including people, challenge and even problem. For some people a problem is percieved to be a big and serious problem, and for some people the same problem might be perceived to be a very simple one. Everything depends on your perception.
We have learned so much on how to make small things big. How do we make a problem big? To keep thinking about the problem and keep talking about a problem and focusing on the problem itself, not on the solution, then the problem become bigger and bigger. It is in our perception (in our mind). If you keep projecting this big problem in your mind, you might then feel yourself too small in front of the problem. You start feeling reactive. You start thinking yourself as a victim of a situation. In this way you can’t see any solution for your problem.
Practice yourself to start focusing on the solution of any problem you have. Focus on what you can do, not what you can not do. Then you will start feeling empowered and feeling big. The problem will gradually become smaller and smaller. Learn this art of making big things small.
In time management it is advised that we need to prioritise. We might have so much to do in our limited time. Time is one of our resources and it is always limited. To prioritise, we have to know what is important and what is urgent. Then the 4 quadrants are created; important urgent, important not urgent, not important urgent and not important not urgent. You might have heard this many times. But how far have you succeeded in your time management?
Do you know what is important that you really need to focus on? It is to know what is really important for your career, your happiness, your future, your family and your life. You might really need to ask this question to yourself. If you do not know, no one else will know it. This is the first step to manage your time. If we are not clear enough with what is important and what is not important, we will become less focused. Only when you know what is important for your life, you then can decide in which area you have to invest your time, thought, energy and money. Time, thought, energy and money are your treasures. All are limited. Never waste your treasure. Use it in a worth while way.
I feel time passes so fast. We can not control time, we can not save time either. We don’t manage time. We manage what is important for our life before time passes.
What does a vacation mean for you? How often do you need for a vacation?
For some vacation is to visit a good place, enjoy being there in that place for a few days. Enjoy eating good food. For some vacation is a quality time with the family or friends. Quality time usually means time for relax and for fun. For some a vacation means time for a break from the routine. For most of the people the focus is more on the external. What they can experience from the external.
Vacation for me is time for the self. Just be with the self. Vacation is the pause button. The rest of the time you might have been dealing with people, family, colleagues, bosses, clients, customers, friends etc. Vacation is time to deal with the self. To talk to the self to know what the self really wants. To know the self better.
I enjoy the company of friends and having fun with them also. But it is definitely in a separate occasion.