It has been a long time since I have made time to write. I have been walking quite the journey over the past two years and I haven't taken the time to process it all.
So, last night I made myself a cup of tea and sat with my journal - it has been a long time. I turned to a blank page and it just sometimes that blank page just stares back at you - you have so much to write but you don't know where to begin or how to start.
When I teach my journaling workshops I always ask the group to start with the date. It is always a good place to start.
So with the date in the top right corner, the words began to flow.
Finally after four pages I felt like I had made a good start. There has been a lot going on and my heart needs a lot of healing. I have always found writing to be a form of healing for me. When I wrote my book it caused me to deal with a lot of issues from my past so that I was free to move forward in my life.
With all that is going on with the COVID-19 I have been found myself coaching people again. One of the main things that I tell people is that they need to start writing about this experience. As we write it is incredible to see the awakenings and healing that can emerge.
I have always felt that my life experiences and character building exercises are for me to share. As with my book and my journey over the past two years, I heal by writing and sharing. And hopefully through my sharing I can help others on their journeys.
Do you know that in individuals who have experienced a traumatic or extremely stressful event, expressive writing can have a significant healing effect. In fact, participants in a study who wrote about their most traumatic experiences for 15 minutes, four days in a row, experienced better health outcomes up to four months later
Finally, keep the following in mind while you are journaling:
Find a notebook and just start writing. It's where you will find me - and I will be blogging more over the coming weeks as well. I have a lot to work through - it's time to start the healing.
Hello friends - how are you doing?
Honestly, I want to know how you are. Are you taking time to pause in your day, a chance to gather your focus? Are you allowing the rush of life to set in again? Are you setting time aside each week to write in your journal? Send me an email and give me an update.
I want to share with you my new favourite app: - the OAK meditation app.
The breathing exercises are a great way to start your day and I fall asleep to the relaxing sounds every night. When I sit down to journal I use the unguided meditation and I set it for 30-45 minutes depending on how much time I have, I add my favourite background sound and I set the chimes. I have an interval bell go every 5 minutes because my mind tends to wonder when I am writing in my journal, the chime brings me back to focus on my journal time.
There are so many times when our focus wonders and we loose track of what we are trying to accomplish.
We are each on a journey, we need to choose to enjoy each step, live with intention and make it beautiful.
Each day is a new day, with new opportunities to grow. Have an amazing day!
How often we let life just "happen" to us. Each day looks just like the last.
We have the opportunity to enjoy each day. To find joy in our moments. Does this sound like something attainable for other but not for you?
That's how I felt. I would hear other women talking excitedly about their lives, while I was feeling warn down, tired and frumpy. I would scroll through social media wondering how it could be possible to live like what I saw portrayed in the photos. Mentally, I knew that the pictures were staged, but in my heart there was still a longing for something different than what I currently have.
I didn't know what that something different was. It just felt like something needed to be changed.
"Nothing changes if nothing changes."
How often I would sit and scroll through Pinterest, saving hundreds of pins of home ideas, how I would like my personal style to be, recipes for my family and secret ideas that I would like to see happen "some day."
Then Pinterest showed me something that I needed to see: "Nothing changes if nothing changes." Think on that for a moment.
How is "something" supposed to change, if nothing changes. Why have I been waiting around for "something" to happen? I know this, why am I circling in this holding pattern?
I needed to make change, here are a few things that I am working on in my new journey:
It has been encouraging to see that as I working through all these different aspects that I am seeing how they are all coming together. By reading a book it keeps my hands busy so I am not picking up my phone. I created a little reading nook in my room and it is a place where I can be quiet. As I am learning I am writing down my thoughts in my bullet journal.
Then at the end of the week I can spend time working through the questions in the My Journey journal and I am seeing how my wellness journey is unfolding.
I still have a long way to go, but I am thankful for this journey. I feel like it is my journey - not one that I am trying to emulate from what I see on social media or my Pinterest boards.
Each of us have so much to offer to the world around us. I feel like I have been caught up in a spiral of selfishness, I am ready to move forward to a place where I can be a benefit to those around me. Thanks for sharing this journey with me.
How are you doing? 2020 has been an interesting year, wouldn't you agree?
I did something this year that I thought that I would never do.
I signed up for a group coaching membership. Yep, I did. The past few years have been difficult and I have really been struggling with trying to figure it all out. So I had to try something. And in my typical fashion I had to do something that was somewhat anonymous. The group is big enough that you can attend and not be seen, but you get all of the teaching. And this works perfectly for me, and I have been learning a lot. I am so thankful that I put aside my preconceived ideals and make this investment in myself.
What could have been a very difficult year - that continued to spiral downward, has become a year of healing that I am so thankful for.
Are you taking time to invest in you? It is really important that you do. I carried some baggage around for far too long, and I wasn't taking care of my health - I just kind of let everything go. This is not a good place to live your life.
Making active choices to live intentionally is where we all need to be.
I have made a variety of changes in my life and part of it includes the environment that I live in and how I start my day. I am going to share a bit of that with you.
I have been following Yoga with Adriene on YouTube for years. I am not a big fan of public displays of exercise, I like the comfort of my own home. I start my diffuser with a relaxing scent, play some relaxing music (which for me is jazz), lay down my yoga mat and spend 30 minutes relaxing and stretching. It is an amazing way to start my day.
Now that I am working from home I have more time in the mornings because I no longer have the commute. Yoga helps clear my mind, stretches out the muscles that ache from the night (which seem to be increasing year by year) and gets me motivated to take on my day!
Yoga for Writers is a favourite of mine. I like the stretching with a little bit of core.
king the time to invest in my mental wellness has so important.
I created the My Journey journal years ago and it keeps evolving and become something that is a huge part of my life. It is my weekly check in with myself and has become a place where I can see my journey unfold and give myself more grace in my journey.
If you are interested in checking it out for yourself all you have to do it CLICK HERE to download your free journal.
2020 is year that I will always remember and I am thankful that I used this time as a positive experience. It is so easy to get sucked into a negative environment - and it happens. But you don't have to stay there. You get to choose, I really hope that you will join me as we choose to end 2020 well.
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When life throws a few character building exercises at you, how do you process? How do you work through it?
I have been trying to figure this out for myself. In the past I have always used teaching. Yep, I would be struggling with something, I would do tons of research to learn and grow and then I would feel compelled to share it with everyone, whether they wanted to learn about it or not.
This time it's different. I can't explain what I am trying to deal with - I don't know what to google!!!
I feel like I am lugging this huge weight around and I don't know how to fix it. I feel broken in a way I have never experienced before, and I don't know how to move forward.
I have been carrying this for the past two years and I need to be able to move forward.
I do not have all the answers. I am not sure what moving forward means or looks like. But I am finally ready to start taking steps forward.
Are you carrying something? Want to join me?
It's always better to work through something with friends who are there to support and encourage. What do you say?
I know for me I have a lot of areas in my life that have been impacted. Through what has happened to me emotionally, mentally and spiritually has been affecting me physically as well. So there is a lot of work to do.
Through my blog and social media I will be sharing how and what I am learning (I apparently still feel the need to teach - even when I have no idea what I am doing 😂 ). I'm even thinking about resurrecting my old podcast - what do you think?
Join me on my journey on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/carolyn.carleton/ and sign up for my emails if you want to learn more.
Leave me a comment and let me know if you want to join me on the journey. We are in this together! I need all the support I can get.
It's okay to pause and rest.
In fact - it is necessary.
Over the past few weeks I have seen people on social media trying to be all the things to everyone. It's not necessary and you are only setting yourself up for burn out and you are teaching your family to have huge expectations for you.
Use this time to slow down and teach what a balanced life can look like. Build into your family with your time and attention - not continuous activities. Allow them time and space to use their imagination. It's how they discover their gifts, what they like to do - it provides them a safe space to learn who they are and at any age it helps them move toward what they will eventually study in school and choose as a career. Don't get in their way.
Not only do our children need the time and space - but so do we. I have been making more time to write in my journal, to sit and read a magazine (I don't know when the last time was that I actually bought a magazine or looked at one) and to deep clean a few neglected areas of my home. I have made getting exercise and drinking more water a regular part of my day. I have been figuring out how to use my Fitbit to help with my daily choices.
Since my car accident I have had a difficult time trying to find ways to be active that didn't hurt or cause me to be dizzy.
About a month ago I started doing this video, it was such a great way to get me moving again and it is designed for all levels. You can even sit in a chair to do it if you need to. I have now been able to move onto other videos on this YouTube channel. I would encourage you to check it out. In just a few weeks I feel noticeably different.
There are so many good reasons to choose to push that pause button and enjoy each moment and find gratitude in this time.
Tonight around the supper table ask your family what their favourite moment was from the last few weeks.
It is a good way to keep the focus on the positive and also a great way to find out more about your family. If you would like to share their answers in the comments I would love to hear them. 🙂
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