Episode 1: Reemerging from the Covid Quarantine Cocoon (click here for episode 1)
I am formally inviting you (yes you!) on a Path to Resilience Journaling adventure. I am sharing our first week of the Path to Resilience journaling blog with everyone. If you would like to receive journaling prompts for future weeks (it is a sixty-day challenge), you can sign up for the challenge here.
Before you begin this journaling challenge, I invite you to consider your "why." Why would you want to go on a two-month-long journaling adventure? What would you like to have more of in your life? Joy, connection, freedom, strength, hope, well-being? If you feel so moved, make a list of what you would like to invite more of into your life. You could use this list of values from NVC to get some ideas. If you have a moment, go ahead and do this now.
If you have made a list of good things that you would like to invite into your life, this can be your "why." If you are not up for making a list of good things right now, you can borrow my reason to begin this adventure: following the tips and journaling prompts from the Path to Resilience has helped me to become the best version of myself.
Now...on to week one of our journaling challenge. On week one of the Path to Resilience, we begin by focusing on mindfulness and our emotions. As James Baldwin famously said:
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it's faced."
Emotions deeply affect the way that we experience life. And depending on how we relate to our emotions, we will have more or less well-being. Feel free to click here to watch a two minute video if you would like to hear me explore the concept of well-being as it relates to mindfulness and integration.
In order to experience well-being, we need to be able to integrate our emotions, life experiences, and the various parts of our brain. The journaling practice for week one helps us to name our emotions so that we can integrate them. Additionally, the journaling activity for week one includes a hint of gratitude (the science of the inclusion of gratitude is touched on in the video recording below).
So, our adventure begins with a little gratitude and a lot of awareness. Click on the three-minute video below to listen to me explain the week 1 journaling challenge, or if you prefer, you can continue reading below the video. Be sure to not just listen to the video/ read about the journaling challenge, but also try what is suggested. We have something called "experience-dependent neuroplasticity," which means that what changes our brain is experience rather than knowledge.
Our journaling prompt begins each day with the phrase, "Today I am grateful for awareness....." As the weeks progress, you will be invited to focus on different aspects of your life experience, but for week one we focus on our emotions.
For week one, all that you need to do is pause to remember your "why," and then write down, "Today I am grateful for awareness..." at the top of a blank sheet of paper. Go ahead and do this now. Pause. Now, write down three emotions that you feel and the corresponding trigger (see above example). Please be sure that at least one of the emotions is negative. We need to integrate both negative and positive experiences, which means that it is important to be aware of and name both positive and negative emotions.
Please note that when we say that we are grateful for awareness, we are not saying that we are grateful for the things that have caused difficult emotions. We are simply stating that we are grateful for an awareness of our feelings. If you don't feel authentically grateful for an awareness of your emotions, you can denote that as well (I touch on this in the above video).
For week one, this is all that is asked of you each day: 1) Remember your "why" 2) Write "Today I am grateful for awareness...." 3) Write down three emotions that you are feeling in response to situations in your life. If you like, you could follow up your journaling with a mindful awareness practice such as dropping in, or a kindness practice such as kind wishes.
If you would like to receive weekly journaling on the Path to Resilience blogs, guided practices and mindful movement videos for the sixty-day challenge, you can sign up for no cost using this link.
If you would like to learn more about the Path to Resilience training you can click here.
I wish you peace, joy, and integration.
Today I am grateful for awareness….
That I know my own sadness about the pandemic
That I can see how my children sometimes struggle and sometimes thrive with their online schooling
That I appreciate each sunny day because I know sunny days are rare and precious in Wisconsin in November.
That I have both grief and gladness that I can see my grandmother even as she declines
And I have an open heart that misses my grandfather.
That I have a career that is meaningful. This more than anything has been a life preserver during these challenging times. And I know what I value….
That I sometimes let myself repress emotions, but not for too long
That I have friends who help me to both celebrate joys and integrate difficult things
That I have a wonderful and imperfect relationship with my partner
That I can hold with tenderness how this Thanksgiving I miss my extended family
I am grateful that I have the courage to witness the wholeness of my life experience.
And I wish the same for you...this Thanksgiving and always.
Jamie Lynn Tatera is a mindfulness and self-compassion teacher who shares her experience, strength and hope in integrating mindfulness and self-compassion in her everyday life.
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