Have you ever experienced a phase in your life where you swing between 2 extreme states of being in just a jiffy of a moment?
You are in a state of ultimate happiness and joy, feeling abundance of love and spreading cheer all around you. Within the flip of a second, you find yourself in a state of acute numbness and vacuum, feeling lost and blank, not knowing the source of these emotions.
We have all been in a state where our mind wanders in directions unknown. One moment you are at a creative high, boosting with energy and creating things of value and at the other extreme, you enter a state where your neurons freeze and are unable to comprehend anything. I have been here and though I know it is a deep grind of your body, mind and soul – I always considered it as a blessing.
I always wondered why I am feeling so stuck. What am I to make of my life if these are the kind of dramatic states I swing in? With a lot of questions in mind, chaos in my thoughts and an unrealistically optimistic soul, I took up journaling.
Journaling came to me as a surprise and my journal was a place where I simply recorded anything and everything I felt. It was a transparent and honest reflection of my thoughts, emotions and desires. I have been brought up in an atmosphere where there is a right time and a right place to talk right things. My contradictory opinions were not encouraged and with so much focus on being right, I never got a chance to explore the wilderness of my mind.
In my Journal, I just did not express myself more openly but I also started to create myself
My Journal was a healing balm to my crying thoughts. My journal set me free. It was not just a reservoir of my ideas but also the broom clearing the webs covering the tinted glasses of my perception. I now started to act from a much more powerful state of being where I had a catalyst to help me gain clarity, find my stability and a sense of purpose.
We all experience moments of doubt, chaos and stagnation. There are times, when we are unable to express what we are going through to someone made of flesh and blood. It is not that people don’t understand, they genuinely do care. But at times it’s easier to go through an emotion, rather than explain anything of it.
In the past few months of Journaling, I realized that it was way more than just a place to vent. I experienced numerous shades and colours of my personality, finding my way through never traveled valleys. After having tasted the fruits of this practice, I started recommending it to anyone I met.
Here are the top 6 reasons why I believe Journaling is the practice we all have to cultivate:
- Organizes your thinking: If I were to ask you – What are your top values? Or what are the top 5 things that make you the happiest? Or what do you want your life to stand for? Does your mind immediately throw up an answer? My point is simply this:
Vague thinking leads to vague results and Clarity breeds Mastery
With clarity you will be able to make better decisions and with better decisions you will be able to own your craft and up your game.
- Healthier Relationships: When you start spending time with your journal every day, layers from your personality will start to peel and you will embrace your true, authentic self for the first time. You will start to know your dreams, your fears will surface and you will closely start to watch all your responses. Your self-love increases as you now start to realize that making mistakes is human and imperfection is unique. When you have learnt to embrace your imperfections, it will become your nature to accept others for who they originally are and this will lead to all of your relationships to really blossom.
- Gain Clarity: The simplest act of writing something down, triggers the neurons in our brain and gets them to start firing. Scientists have proven that our mind is just like that of a monkey. It requires extreme discipline to focus our mind on thinking about just 1 thing without performing any physical activity. The cheat trick to this is, when we start writing, our brain perceives it as a task and fires all the neurons in completing it. If you notice, you are much more concentrated when you are on the yoga mat, or lifting weights at the gym or painting on a canvas -for the simple reason that it is easier for our brain to focus when doing a physical activity rather than just gliding through thoughts (and that’s why most of us find meditation difficult).
Implementation tactic: When you want to deconstruct your reactions to situations, or want to understand why you felt a certain emotion, just pick up a piece of paper and pen and write down whatever comes to your mind. There is no need for a structure or a pattern. Do not judge what you are writing and be bluntly honest – you are the only person reading it. You will realize in the process that a lot of the clogs in your mind start to break open and a fresh perspective rises.
- Relive Experiences: Every time you have an amazing experience, you read an amazing book, have a deep moving conversation, savored a magical meal or watched a glorious sunset, write them down in your Journal. This gives you room to relive these amazing experiences and makes life a miraculous journey. Even if you are going through tough times, a heart break or a loss of any kind, write that down and when you go back in time to read them once again, you will realize how far you have come.
You will gleam with smiles at knowing how strong you are and it will fill you with passion and zeal to take whatever comes your way with deep respect and love
- Bursts of creativity: When you open an unused water tap after a long time, you will find that the water which flows is brownish. The pipe has been untouched for a long time and so has a lot of dirt accumulated in its lining. Once the dirt is cleared, fresh water starts flowing. It is the same with our thoughts. We have been running directionless in our mind which has led to many things intertwining and forming a wire mesh. Once we start jotting them down, we slowly start to untangle them. With our minds now relatively free, we have more space to generate new ideas and concepts and hone our skills at a level of mastery.
Implementation tactic: Carry a small book or a diary with you always. Ideas pop at random times – in the washroom, while driving, at the concert or while nature walking. Our minds do not have the capacity to retain ideas for very long. Any idea, unprocessed is treated as a fruitless discovery and is discarded by our neurons. In order to retain all your ideas, it is best to write them down as soon as you get a chance. You never know which idea from your book of creativity fires up your next project.
- Fills you with Hope: In this age of overdose of information, our mind is constantly reading or processing something new. The difference in the rate at which our minds are exposed to information and the rate at which it is processing it, is very wide. This adds stress on our minds to retain all that we have come across. Writing them down, expressing yourself,noting down what you want in your life to happen trains your brain to start thinking about something bigger and better and more fulfilling and moulds your eye to perceive things which will align with your desires filling you with hope and confidence.
So here is the thing, Life is a series of seasons and you will have your times at the mountains and you will will sail through the valleys and in all of these you experience a whirlwind of emotions. Any great psychologist will tell you that if you do not feel through, process and release anger, disappointment and hurt towards love, forgiveness and learning, you will become a toxic person with the passage of time. This will make you bitter, will stifle your creativity and you will stagnate you with an event and feeling that happened years ago and though you would have moved in time, your mind is still reliving the same experience.
Processing through these low key emotions in your Journal is a sure way towards liberation and while melting the blocks, you will also start filling your spaces with love, gratitude and forgiveness and the more positive emotions you swell your life with the more happy and content you become.
And isn’t the ultimate purpose of life is to be HAPPY?
I urge you to jump in this golden wagon and give yourself a chance to experience the magic which comes to light with this practice.
Have you been Journaling already? Is there something wonderful you have experienced in the process? Does this idea spark something within you? Feel free to express yourself – I would love to know!