There’s something about having your own children that forces you to look at yourself on a much deeper level. Historically speaking, I’ve brushed everything off, and just propelled myself from one day to the next. It left the illusion in my twenties that I was incredibly laid back, easy going, spontaneous, wild, foot loose and fancy free. I think I thought I was all those things too, until I had my children. Man did stuff come up and change all that. All the sudden emotions were running high, and I had to make sense of all the stuff I had never cared to look at or think about again. Stuff from way back when…It all started seeping out of the illusive basement that I mistakenly thought had endless storage.
Problem was I could feel this stuff coming up, and I knew it needed dealing with. I was bound and determined to do things differently, not let history repeat itself etc, but I didn’t really understand that I was worthy of therapy yet. I mean it wasn’t in the budget (an excuse that reflected my deep feelings of unworthiness) and the kids needed their activities, clothes and developmentally appropriate hand crafted toys that seemed to endlessly break the bank because they outgrew them faster than we could put them together.
If you are like I was, and grappling with your health and happiness on any level I have great news. This cheap therapy I’m about to mention can deliver. It’s time to stop with the excuses, whatever they are, and get started in unleashing the most radiant version of yourself that you’ve seen to date, and it doesn’t have to cost you a dime.
Are your ready to know my dirty little secret on cheap therapy?
It’s so simple. Get an empty notebook, or heck just some paper, a pen and start writing your thoughts.
Journaling is a proven powerful strategy for gaining awareness into our health and thus our happiness. Journaling can activate the subconscious mind, bringing light to things that we were not paying attention to but should be. Journaling can also be a “dumping grounds” for our thoughts, releasing toxic thoughts, emotions, or beliefs that are standing in our way.
If you are struggling with your health and happiness I suggest getting started right away, but also in the long run you may want to consider what time of day works best for you. Is it mornings or evenings? Do you want to listen to music while journaling? What kind? Sip tea? What room should you be in? Do you need people nearby to process what comes up? Or would you rather be alone? Or perhaps you might like to diffucertain essential oils while writing (Clary Sage is the oil of clarity so is one of my favorites to use while journaling). Do you want to be inside or outside? Do you like it light and bright, or a little on the dim lighting? To get the most from this cheap therapy you want to commit to doing it often and considering these pieces helps us create a ritual we can look forward to doing it and stick with it.
If you are new to journaling you may want to check out a self guided exploratory journal like “The Healing Journey: Your Journal of Self- Discovery” by Phil Rich. I have used this myself and offer a copy as a complimentary bonus tool to busy moms who enroll in my 12 week program for Radiant Health and Happiness.
Reaping the benefits of morning journaling after enjoying breakfast and some exercise is one thing—but morning journaling before you even get out of bed is an even deeper experience. OK, it’s all right to get up and go to the bathroom if you have to, but then pick up your journal and pen, and snuggle back into bed.
It’s very important to journal with a pen rather than at the keyboard. The pen is a more primal tool, connecting your hand to your mind. You should also stay in bed, physically closer to the world of dreams from which you just emerged.
Journaling very first thing in the morning reaches into the depths of your subconscious, which is closer to the surface of your conscious mind immediately following sleep. Your dreams are fresh in your mind, and your inner most experiences are easier to excavate and explore.
First, write about any dreams you remember. It’s perfectly fine to go beyond mere recollection and write down any interpretations that may come to mind, whether the dreams symbolize something in your life, or whether they help you reminisce about a waking experience. Write down the dreams and any other connections they have for you. If no other connections are apparent, that’s perfectly fine, too. But do write down every tidbit of every dream you remember.
Over time, writing down your dreams first thing in the morning will help you forge a deeper connection with your innermost self, a direct link with your subconscious. This is important not just for writers, but for everyone. This deep relationship informs your ongoing personal growth and infuses your life with meaning.
Once you’re finished writing your dreams, write 10 things you are thankful for from the day before. It can be anything—give thanks for owning more than one pair of socks, for the miracle of your teenager giving you a hug out of the complete blue, for that tree falling 20 feet from your house instead of smack on top of your roof. And remember if you struggle with feeling worthy and beautiful each day may I suggest coming up with a few things on that list that celebrate you.
Too often we waste precious time focusing on the negative, completely overlooking the most basic things in life that are indeed deep blessings. All the things that go right in your day usually far outnumber the things that go wrong: you have hot water for your morning shower, the car starts when you turn the key, you go about your travels unscathed. By giving thanks for even the smallest things every single day, our lives become infused with joy and gratitude—and that’s a delectable recipe for even more happiness coming your way in life.
Last, write about anything and everything that’s swimming around in your brain. It might be your to-do list for today. It might be a few lines of a poem about the brilliant blue sky that just pops into your head. It doesn’t matter how petty, trivial, negative or silly it is—just keep that pen going.
Emptying all the contents of your brain onto the paper gets all that muck out of your system so you can be your best self. It’s like reaching down into your stream of consciousness and filtering out all the garbage the world left there; think of it as plucking litter from a pristine stream. Over time, you may discover themes in your morning journaling. This can help you accomplish many things in life, from finally cleaning out the garage to becoming a more patient parent.
Morning journaling is more than just a mindful way to begin the day—it can transform your entire life to be continually infused with joy and rich meaning, which you deserve.
Ending the day with a reflection rather than falling asleep to the TV is a gift to yourself and reaps all the same benefits of morning mentioned above however you may find less of a focus on your dreams, although if you can remember them, go for it! You will find that you can see the day in a different light than when you are in the moment. You may be grateful for particular events or wish that things would have turned out another way.
Check out the End of Day Reflection from below, it is a really simple version of what we are talking about and helps you put it all in perspective so that you can start fresh the next day, one step closer to your goals. If you are struggling with weight or other health issues it will be particularly helpful to share what foods you are choosing to nourish your body. Overtime patterns can become apparent.
High quality nourishment
My mood today was:
I love myself for:
Success of the day:
One thing I will do better tomorrow:
If you need more support on your journey to radiant health and happiness, please reach out. I’m currently offering free strategy sessions!