Review of Writing Down Your Soul

Are you thinking about using your Traveler’s Notebook for journaling?  I have always been a firm believer in journaling and recording moments of your life.  Writing down quotes, perceptions, observations, keeping paper ephemera of your life is an excellent way to connect to your true self, understand your personal truth and leave a lasting memorial for family if you so choose to do that.  One of the best books I have read on the subject is Writing Down Your Soul by Janet Connor.

If you have ever had a hard time knowing where to start, how to start, why you should even bother, this is the book….Janet helps readers connect with the ‘inner voice’ in a very easy way.  If you were on the fence about journaling, she will push you over to her side and sell you on the importance of doing it.  I have read a multitude of comments that call this book life transforming and I agree.  One of my favorite parts was helping the reader give a name to their journal, I’ve always journaled but never with a directed name and now I do.   You can find the book on Amazon.  Used copies sell for as little as $7.99.  I don’t know Janet, get no credit for this, I just think this is a worthwhile resource.  If you want to start journaling in your Traveler’s Notebook, here is an excellent way to start.

I’m Fine…………..really……….part 2

Have you ever identified a lie that you tell yourself to justify something in your life that you don’t want to change? I’ll give you an exalow-self-esteem-380x2601mple. I was a very skinny kid – a rail if you will. When I grew up and started having kids I started putting weight on, just a little at a time but it added up until I found myself at 40 years of age with about 40 extra pounds….a lot for a 5’4″ woman. But I always had thin wrists, tiny if you will and I would tell myself I wasn’t that overweight because my wrists were so thin. This is an example of telling yourself a lie to justify something you are or aren’t doing, in my case to justify not having to confront my weight issue. It sounds silly to say it or even to see it written down but I actually used this ridiculous lie for years to not confront my weight issue. And truthfully, the lie harmed no one but myself.

Lies we tell ourselves appear harmless on the outward appearance but they can be life damaging because they keep us in a rut. Ruts can be very comfortable and feel safe when in fact they are holding us back from true joy and success. You may tell yourself lies about your job or the relationship you are in. No one else in your life may even be aware of these lies and you yourself may not be fully cognizant of the lies.

Look at areas in your life that may cause you discomfort or stress. Are you lying to yourself to stay where you are? The lie may make you temporarily feel better about the situation and may make you stop thinking about it for a while but it will pop up again. Confront these lies and lay out the truth of the situation….my wrist size has nothing to do with my overall weight and health. Once you clearly see the truth through the lie you can then write out a plan for change based on the truth – not the lie.

I’m Fine……………….really.

The average person tells 4 lies a day, that’s 1,460 per year, for a total of 87,600 by the age of 60.  We all, at one time or another have told this little lie.  There are multitude of reasons you say you are fine when you aren’t.  There may be rules of confidentiality that restrict conversation, there may be reasons you don’t let your guard down to certain people, there may be time constraints or you don’t want that level of intimacy with the person asking how you are…maybe your barista asked and at the risk of getting horrible latte’s thi'm finee rest of your life you say you are doing well when you aren’t.

However, there is a monumental problem with saying you are ‘fine’ when you are not.  What is that you ask?  Simply this: when you say, out loud, that you are fine and you are not, you are really trying to convince yourself you are.  It is well known that some women and men who experience child sexual abuse never tell, never speak the words of the abuse out loud.  The reason for this is that if they never say the words out loud they can pretend it never happened…..so saying “I’m fine” is really the opposite dynamic going on.

The bottom line is, we all have moments, days even, where we are not fine by any definition.  Struggling, sadness, loss, helplessness, aggravation are all part of the human condition.  You have permission to not be ok, to not be fine.   So next time someone asks you how you are, and you don’t feel so fine, find other words to respond with, words that will not betray your heart and soul, words that will be true to your feelings.  The more you are genuine and honest about how you really feel, the more you will experience joy and peace.

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