Part 3 of a 3-Part Series
As mentioned earlier, a significant aspect of self-mothering is self-reflection, becoming aware of our thoughts and feelings on a deeper level. Journaling and meditation go hand in hand to help us develop the habit of being still and listening.
Some people love to journal. They’ve been pouring their heart out, solving problems, complaining and expressing gratitude in writing for years. Other people have tried to keep a journal, find it tedious or just don’t keep it up, or have used it occasionally to remember a special trip or period in their life. Then there are those who have never journaled and find the thought foreign and unappealing.
Personally, I fall into the second group. I am aware that keeping a journal is a powerful tool toward self-discovery, yet, I have never been able to get started and stick with it. However, I have recently discovered a different kind of journal. It is a five-year journal.
A five-year journal allows you to write just a very few lines about your day, a thought, an experience, or an event. It only takes a few minutes at bedtime and there is no pressure. There are no year dates, only a page for each day of the year and each page has five sections of a few lines each. So, the first year, you write the year date and a few lines, then the next year you go back to the same day and can see what you wrote the year before as you begin to describe your current day for the new year.
At the end of the day, you write what has happened. There need be nothing more than that to get you thinking and listening to yourself. As I began to write my few lines, I discovered I often wanted to say something else, but didn’t have any more room for that day. So, I began to write those few extra things into another journal. Suddenly, I was journaling and enjoying the process.
If you have never journaled, or have never been consistent, using a five-year journal could be your gateway to writing and investigating your thoughts and feelings.
In addition to writing our thoughts on a regular basis, meditation is the most ancient practice of self-discovery. The earliest written records of meditation come from Hindu writings 1500 years before Christ. In addition to Hindu traditions, many other religious traditions have included some form of meditation. Meditation was introduced to the United States following World War II, by soldiers who encountered it while serving in the Pacific Theater.
Regardless of which tradition practices meditation, the purpose of meditation is to quiet the mind, become still emotionally and physically, and become open to inspiration and the energies of the universe.
Today we often hear the term “Mindfulness” to describe becoming still and quieting our minds so we can become more fully aware of who we are and where our thoughts lead us. Whether you call it mindfulness or meditation, the result of the practice is a calmer, more relaxed state of being, that often leads to personal insight and personal growth.
Finding time for yourself to learn who you are is a great gift. It is an ultimate expression of self-mothering.
There are online courses and centers all over the country where one can learn the art of mindfulness and meditation. All you have to do is Google. I encourage you to search the internet to find books, centers, courses, DVD’s, and/or CD’s that appeal to you. The practice of meditation will change your life.
To end this series, I am including a list of references to help you in your search toward self-love, self-mothering, and better health.
Websites to learn about healthy living:
Books about healthy eating:
Bright Line Eating, by Susan Pierce Thompson, PhD
Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook,by Del Sroufe and Chandra Moskowitz
Books for inspiration and personal growth:
The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron
The Four Agreements,by Don Miguel Ruiz
The Hidden Words,by Bahá’u’lláh
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, by Michael A. Singer