To keep a "journal" or not, that is the question...

Today's post is dedicated to the "Emotional Health" domain of wellness.

As I've mentioned in other blog posts, I journal pretty frequently, for both professional and personal purposes.  I also promote the importance of journal writing to my 7/8th grade students during the personal fitness unit of study.  I find it so important for the teen population to have an outlet for expression as it is vital to stay optimistic and accepting of one's feelings.  Even this blog about wellness that I'm writing from Shanghai can be called a journal of sorts, as it helps keep me optimistic while living and working in China.

Many people don't know where or how to start a journal.  Of course there are a variety of journal formats one may choose to utilize, but please allow me to suggest the "7 minute free write".  Here's a sample, using the following action verbs to guide your thoughts:

12 Sept 2014

1. Listening to African musicians P Square and D’Banj.
2. Eating pistachios and dried apricots.
3. Drinking watermelon juice.
4. Wearing yoga pants and Zumba top.
5. Feeling hopeful for the weekend ahead.. got lots to do, places to go and people to see!
6. Weather  It is raining here in Shanghai; every day since I’ve been back! Eek!
7. Wanting to design a fitness application.  I’m still in the design phase; it is harder than I thought it was going to be!  Plus, I still have to figure out some coding!
8. Needing to book my October holiday ticket. Or else I’m going to be left behind in Shanghai!
9. Thinking about the Dr. Wayne Dyer movie I just watched, called “The Shift”.  Thinking about how I can continue to serve others, and transcend beyond my ego/outside influences/societal norms which hinder my personal growth.
10. Enjoying spending time with my dog and watching him play with my socks and his little soccer ball.

Finished 23:35

I hope you will find this format to be a quick and easy way to reflect on a regular basis.  Remember, any type of journal is useful for staying optimistic and accepting the ups and downs that we all experience.  If you have any questions or suggestions for a different style of journal writing, please leave the feedback in the comments section below.

PS More on that movie, "The Shift" (these notes are not part of my "7 minute free write"):

Men before experiencing "The Shift" perpetuate societal norms:
Their most important values are to have:

After "The Shift" (quantum moments):
Their most important values are to have:
personal peace (less stress, anxiety)
family (what is it that is important to me in my life?)
God's will (I have a sense of purpose)
honesty (authentic to self, to feelings)

Women before "The Shift", perpetuate societal norms:
Their most important values are to have:
family (be a good mother, to be a good daughter, to take care of your children)
independence (conflict with the first one)
fitting in (be like everyone else)
attractiveness (How do I look? Women are trained to think they have to be pleasing to everyone else all of the time!)

After "The Shift":
personal growth (How am I growing as a human being?)
self esteem (Am I a valuable human being?)
spirituality (Is my connectedness to something bigger and greater than myself?)
happiness (Am I doing what I'm "supposed" to do, rather than feeling that I have the right to choose happiness?).
forgiveness (Letting go of resentment.)

In order to live a fulfilled life, one must reach out and serve others! Forget about yourself, because everything you need already exists.  The mistake that people so frequently make, is to think, "Well I'm just going to attract what I want into my life".  In actuality, you do not attract what you want 
You attract what you are.

If you want to see the doors open in your life, you need to detach yourself from your ego and allow yourself to live from a divine place called "spirit", as defined by Lao Tzu, and his four virtues to live by:
1. reverence for all of life (respect)
2. sincerity
3. gentleness (manifests as kindness in our lives)
4.  support (offering service to others)

To believe that you need what you don't have is the definition of insanity.

The ultimate goal in life is to serve; to act in a way that someone else's life can be profoundly touched because of your existence.  I hope this for you and everyone you know.


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