Do you have a favorite way to process your emotions, life circumstances, and thoughts? I do. I have been journaling since I was a little kid. I have found journaling to be an amazing way for me to connect with my feelings and thoughts. It's a clarifying exercise that I have found highly beneficial throughout my whole life. In the past few days, I have been celebrating a season of growth here within my company. I’ve been reflecting and asking the universe, “can you just show me how far I've come?”
Not only do I love writing in my journals, but I love going back and reading old ones, too. As I’ve been celebrating and reflecting on this season of growth at Lead From Within, I’ve been opening up my old journals and reading through them. I've been especially inviting perspective and clarity especially around my patterns and habits. If you stop and take a moment to notice, you’ll realize that we all have these very predictable patterns. I came across this journal entry from 2005, and I want to tell you about it: I was in my twenties, I had finished college, and my husband and I had just moved to a new city. I was finding myself in a familiar pattern again, and being really hard on myself. This is what the journal entry said:
“Here’s the pattern: Do the status quo thing, end up with a lot of anxious and depressed feelings, not be able to do the status quo thing, judge myself, make myself sick, not be able to get out of bed, worry all the time, get back into counseling, start talking about what I would really rather be doing, and then end up feeling like the thing that I would rather be doing was not actually the thing I wanted to be doing.”
Reflecting on this passage is so interesting to me. It’s true, this was a pattern that would happen in my life over and over again.
Here’s another tidbit from my journal: In 2004, my therapist asked me to write down my ideal job description. They asked me to contemplate, “what is it that you really want to do?”. I didn't want to do it. I did not want to define the perfect job because I didn't think it was possible that there was a perfect job for me. There's a passage in here that says, “I fear even writing this because I don't know if or when it will happen. I will be proud and excited to tell people what I do and I will flourish.” Those are the last sentences in that journal.
When I read this entry, I empathize with younger Heidi. I wish I could give her a hug and tell her, “Oh, but there is a perfect job for you, and you will create it for yourself. You are strong, you are powerful, you are limitless. You have the ability to make anything you want happen.”
This is part of the reason why I love journaling so much. Not only was it probably really therapeutic for me to write and get it down on paper at the time, but now, reflecting on how far I’ve come, it provides me with crystal clear clarity. I asked the universe to show me - remind me - of all the metaphorical miles I’ve traveled on my professional journey. I encountered many obstacles, hardships, and question marks. But even so, I have made it to the spot I am right now. If only I could jump through those journal pages and tell younger Heidi how far we’ve come, she’d be ecstatic.
So tell me - what’s your favorite way of reflecting and processing? Do you journal too, or do you have a different method? I would love to hear.