Sunday, April 27, 2014

HOW LONG SHOULD WE WAIT TO GIVE OURSELVES SOME EXTRA TLC

When we are wondering how often it is OK to take some extra time to be kind to ourselves ( there is always that guilt about how we are being too self indulgent, or that we don't deserve it), we definitely don't want to wait until we look like this little selfie that I took of my self this morning. Like our hair is frazzled and we are about to kill someone.   That is way past the time that we need to attend to ourselves.

 I think, that for me at least, I often find my self past the time that I should have attended to myself, so as I spent timejournaling about this, I began to realize that, just like in the medical field, it is better to "treat " early, rather than wait until a crisis occurs.
when I was thinking about that, I realized that oft en, I was out of control before I even realized that I was in trouble. So I spent some time in my journals trying to identify 'EARLY SIGNS of being overwhelmed and under "filled".   A couple of things that I will mention for me, if you can't already think of some things for your self are things like..... I FEEL HUNGRY... ravenous like I really need to eat , and especially something sweet or something not good for me.   I begin to feel slighly irritated with people that I am talking to, like I want t hem to hurry up and finish talking., I feel like everything is out of control or not organized, I might start feeling like complaining about things in my life.  I feel like I will never get done with my lists of things that need to be accomplished, and oh, one other, I begin feeling like I am the only one in my house who is getting anything accomplished and I feel as if I am responsibe for everything.  Do any of these things ring a belll with  you. If you think about this a little bit, you can probably add all sorts of things to this sort of list.
Knowing yourself better, and signs of early distress are so important to our well being.  That is one of the things that I use my  journals for... to help me think through this sort of thing..   Not only do we need to really pay attention and to identify these things, we also need to immediately ACT on our findings.  What have you been able to find out about your self that you really know will give you the warm fuzzies..... then you need to really give your self some time and gift your self with kindness as soon as you know that you are in early distress.   For me, an examaple of this might be if I am having a rough work day.... I may carry my camera with me, a light lunch, and also my journal.   I make myself take a little break and perhaps work on something in my journal.  Take a few photos along the road, and just let my mind relax a bit.  Doing this early on, really makes me a kinder and happier person.
I could never recommend anything more that I recommend journaling as a method of reflecting on your life before it gets out of control.   The photo above this is a small stack of journals just from  the past two years.  Now i promise you too, i don't really spend that much time doing this, and I don't ,for sure, journal every day, but it is something like a 'best friend" and is always available to me when I am starting to feel stressed  It always, without fail, helps me to calm down, look to see what my goals are in any situation, and to plan how i can meet  them.

I also always try  to chose a journal that i find really beautiful!  I want to write in something of beauty because i feel that I am worth it , and seeing the beauty draws me to writing in it.   Some people really like doing a lot of art pages  in their journals, and i do like art, but mostly am good at stick people, so my art is primarily very simple... involving scissors and my hot glue gun. Love having my digital photos and being able to print t hem. When I have a special occassion, I always print at least a few photos to put in to my journal, and later really savor looking back and seeing the photos that go with the event.




I used to worry about "what would people think if the read all this stuff"... but never worry about this any more.  On occassion  when there is something that is really upsetting me, or i say something that I would never want anyone to know, I might make a "title" on the journal page, and  then only the first letter of of each word that I am thinking.  It is amazing how you can say anything at all, and no one, not even you would ever know what it said.  I usually remember the gist of it, but not the specifics, and it defintiely defuses what ever it is that is driving me crazy. Another technique that i use occassionally  if I am going through something particularly stressful is MORNING PAGES.  That is a technique that is often recommended in AA, and also in many journaling  classes.  It is pages that are written first  thing in the morning, and there is no plan. You just start writing and write what ever comes in to your mind for 15 minutes or so.  It is really great and I always learn so much when I happen to be doing those.  Those pages also for me, are often something that I burn or just shred. They are just me.... clearing my mind out and RECENTERING myself.
So just as a little summary, YOU DO DEFINITELY NEED TO NURTURE YOUR INNER CHILD,   DONT WAIT UNTIL YOU HAVE A BLOWOUT... IT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU NEED EVERY DAY, AND SOMETIMES MANY TIMES A DAY.     YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT IT IS THAT WOULD HELP YOU FEEL MORE LOVED AND CENTERED, AND THEN GIVE IT TO YOURSELF.   IT IS ALSO VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW  THE "SIGNS" FOR YOU THAT YOU HAVE PASSED YOUR COMFORT LEVEL, AND RECOGNIZE THIESE SIGNS EARLY,  NOT WHEN IT IS  TOO LATE AND YOU BEGIN LOOKING LIKE MY LITTLE SELFIE THAT I TOOK THIS MORNING.   THEN, LAST BUT LEAST, YOU NEED TO ACT ON YOUR KNOWLEDGE.  FOR ME, JOURNALING IS A WONDERFUL TECHNIQUE TO HAVE MORE OF THIS SELF KNOWLEDGE THAT  HELPS ME FEEL FILLED WITH PEACE AND ABUNDANCE.  AND, LAST BUT NOT LEAST, LET GO OF ANY GUILT THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE ABOUT BEING KIND TO YOURSELF..... YOU DESERVE IT.

19 comments:

  1. ...it was many years back that I tried the Artists Way morning pages too. Like you, it was something that I shredded up once complete. I don't journal, I think the thoughts and work my way through without the pages if you like. I find my blogging is a thought process, 'getting the photos', making out the post (without a lot of words in most cases), but still it is a mindful process that I really enjoy, and it definately sidetracks many other issues on the outside. We all find differing ways, walking it off, sharing time with friends .....

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    1. Isn't it wonderful( well maybe not every single part, but most of it) to be older and have all of these "tricks up our sleeves"?? Things we just did not know when we were much younger. I thought when I started blogging that it might take the place of my journal, but see that it is more , for me, a place of seeking beauty and sharing things I feel might be helpful to someone else. My journal is more of my secret space, a place just for me, and perhaps, a place where after I am gone, might even help my girls answer some of their own questions. My grandmother kept journals for many years, and when she died, my father wanted to respect her "privaacy" and he burned them all. .. Breaks my heart to think of that, and would give so much to have had the chance to read them..... So nice though to know that each of us has our own way of coping and growing. Hugs to you from Texas!

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  2. You have me inspired to try journaling, Jeanne! Definitely a great way to work out your thoughts, keep memories and encourage your artistic side. Thanks for the encouragement! Oh, blogged a bit more about the PNW so stop by when you get a minute.;) Lori

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  3. I used to Journal when I was still working and seemed more stressed than I am now. It worked well especially when I had problems others wouldn't understand or ones that I couldn't talk to others about. Now I only Journal when on vacation.

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  4. Many years ago, through the Artist's Way, I began writing Morning Pages. Over the years, my writing has transformed into journaling. I really like the quote "We do not write to be understood, we write to understand." I find that to be very true. Writing helps me to unravel who I am and to sort out my complexities. I do sometimes struggle with the idea that all my secrets will be read by someone else someday through these journals. On the other hand, I think these writings will become one woman's history, the story of my life here on this earth - the good, the bad and the ugly. A story of real life.

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    1. It really sounds as if you are on the same path that I am! I think that journaling is the most wonderful gift and is something that I totally love. I also love looking back and reflecting on where I have been and seeing that I REALLY AM ACCOMPLISHING my goals. Good for you! I do enjoy my little secret way of writing down things that are just unacceptable, but rarely need to use it.... The technique is there though if I need it ! Hugs to you!

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  5. Oh Jeanne, This is an excellent post!!! You know I journal but not nearly as often I should or like! I adore that selfie you took. You are a brave and beautiful woman for doing that :) I sincerely hope you enjoy your time off/trip and that you come back refreshed and renewed!

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  6. Hello Jeanne.
    Oh those times when we feel 'ragged around the edges'. You describe then perfectly and are so right in suggesting we ought to be more aware of the 'warning signs' before we completely fall apart and exhaust ourselves! I am aware of this but haven't always been a good practitioner. I can see that a journal would really help in this process too. I have in the past a few 'started journals' and did find them helpful and enabled me to reflect a bit on my life.
    Happy you found my post helpful today. I really like Ani Pema's approach to life....has helped me quite a bit over the years.
    I hope this finds you getting stronger by the day and filling up with good positive energy.....enough to get out there and take a few photos! LOVED your selfie! You're a riot!

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  7. i did recognize a lot of those stresser signs. i like your personal, meditative journals.

    i had another blogger do the 'free writing' in the morning - just spilling whatever thoughts came up. sounds like a good exercise.

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  8. This is all very excellent advice. I handle my stressors by running.

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  9. oh that selfie! you are so cute and so brave!

    all i can say to the whole post it, i agree! though i have not really kept journals. spurts and starts, nothing consistent... always worried about don't-want-to-write-down-some-things-in-case-someone-reads-them. wonder if i could use your code? :-)

    thank you for continuing this theme. some of us are almost doing a free, on line course in TLC. isn't that lovely?

    tessa~

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  10. HI Jeanne I loved reading your post today. I do not journal although I see it could be a good idea. I just would not have time for journaling especially still I stared blogging. How that 'selfie' is something to behold!!!

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  11. Beautiful journals --- a wonderful way to "do" your life's thoughts. I enjoyed this so much.

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  12. Excellent post!! I think for me my blog is like a journal, even though I do write in journals too. Yes, it is worth it to buy pretty journals, you will want to write in them that way. I love the morning pages idea, I just have never made it an action to carry through on. When I should do it is when I am done praying in the morning. So much goes through my head while I am suppose to be praying. Or maybe I should do it before I pray, then my head will be cleared out a little :)

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  13. Hi!
    Just trying to catch up from your visiting with me while I was attending a convention last week, and busy with hunting down the migrant birds in our area!

    Have a good week!!

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  14. Great post, Jeanne, and I DO love that selfie! :-)

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    1. Haha! Lots of comments on my bravery!

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  15. This has certainly been interesting. When you were mentioning things like (Cravings for food, feeling like you are irritated with everyone or that you are the only one who is doing anything around the house etc...) I related to a lot of that. I've just never thought about it in terms that I was (getting out of control) but it makes sense. I've tried journaling but just found I was not devoted to doing so on a daily basis and really bad about writing down my thoughts/feelings. Blogging seems to be a "stress" reliever though for me.

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  16. This is very wise advice, Jeanne and something we really should pay attention to. As women we are always juggling many things at once and are the emotional centers of our families and friends. Sometimes that can lead to overload when we feel that we are putting out more than we are getting. Writing down our feelings always seems to put things in perspective for some reason. I guess it is just 'getting it off our chests' without burdening someone else, because, as women, we don't like to do that. You are so right in stressing the importance of taking time to get in touch with our feelings so as not to 'explode'. I read a wonderful book once, and I need to find a copy for myself (it was a library book), called 'The Comfort Queen's Guide to Life'. It taught me to ask myself questions when I was upset, much like you advise, such as whether or not you are hungry, tired, etc. and what would help make you 'comfortable'. I don't like to burden people with my inner turmoil, especially when I am not quite sure what the turmoil really is, and journal writing is the perfect way to get in touch with that. For me, I use a computer for my most private thoughts, locked in a private password. For happier thoughts, I write. Thank you for stressing the importance of emotional self-care. We are so important to so many and we need to value ourselves and all that we do, by taking time to be good to ourselves. Hugs xo Karen

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