So we’ve spent the last few weeks talking about getting to know the different parts of who we are – heart, soul, mind (part 1 and part 2) and body. We talked about how important it was for us to get to know these different parts of us, because each of these parts are designed to work together to help us to function in the best way possible.
But what does that look like? How do we get to the point where we know the answers to these questions?
The first step is simply to become more aware.
We start by tuning in.
And there are all sorts of different ways to tune in, but one of the easiest that I’ve tried is journaling.
I know that journaling can feel like a bit of an overwhelming thing to do. There is something about writing things down that can make them more real – that can seem to increase the intensity of the feelings – and something about a blank piece of paper that can make it hard to get started.
Because it can be such a helpful starting point, I’m still a huge fan of the journal, and I still encourage everyone I work with to journal at some point in their journey.
But to make it a little easier, I usually start people off with one of the following prompts:
- Write about one high and one low for each day before you go to bed.
- Keep a log of how much you sleep, what exercise you get and what you eat each day. Then try to do a physical check-in first thing in the morning and before bed – how does your body feel?
- Carve out time once a day (or even once a week to begin with) and just write whatever comes to mind for a set period of time (5 minutes, 15 minutes, half an hour or an hour, depending on how regularly you’re doing this exercise.)
- Use markers, coloured pens or coloured pencils to doodle, allowing your emotions to come out in the colours and shapes and lines. Write down any words that come to mind as you doodle.
- Find a jar or box and a pad of paper. Each day before bed, write three things you’re grateful for and pop them in your jar before bed.
Trying just one of these ideas for a few weeks can sometimes have some surprising results.
You may discover that there are more good things happening in your life than you realized, or you may start to see that you’ve been trying to avoid thinking about something that’s really difficult.
You might discover that you’re really worried about a change that’s happening in your life at the moment, but you also might discover that you have some really great ideas for how to get through this time in life that you hadn’t let yourself think about.
You might discover that you need 8.5 hours of sleep to wake up fresh and cheerful, which would explain why 7 hours + 3 coffees just wasn’t cutting it.
Or you might discover that the best part of your week was the coffee date you had with your friend and you might decide that maybe that needs to happen a bit more frequently!
Whatever you discover, ultimately you’ll begin to learn to tune in, giving you the opportunity to learn more about what’s working and what’s not working to help you become the unique, amazing person you were made to be!
I’d love to have some samples of people’s ‘tuning in’ exercises to share with clients. If anyone is willing to share a picture or story of what they’ve done, I would love to hear about it!