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.
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.
I have to admit that I come across as a confident person, but really I am a chicken!
Far too often I give up too easily, I start off strong but then I get in my own way. This is something that I will never have to stop working on.
I know deep down in my gut things that I need to do and yet I still hold back. Why oh why do I continually do that! Am I the only one that does this?
I am making a list of what I know I need to do and I am going to put my view of myself and my abilities to the side and I am going to Be Bravely ME!
Why am I choosing this?
Because others may be missing out on something that I can share with, a way that I can encourage them, a life lesson that they can relate to.
So here I am making a public proclamation that I will actively choose to begin working on what the still small voice has laid heavy on my heart. Ready, set, here I go!!!!!!!
Life sometimes just feels so full. Sometimes too full. I am wondering how it got that way.
Since having health problems for over a year now, I have tried to slow down and yet I still feel like I am running around like a crazy person. At the end of the day I continue to ask myself, "What did I accomplish today?" And sometimes I can't think of anything but yet my day felt so full.
Why do I choose to do this to myself each day? I know I need to slow down. I had physio today and yikes am I sore right now. I felt really good when I came home but right now I feel really tight and sore, and well, like a truck hit me. Physiotherapists really know how to hurt a person. :) But I know that I will continue to get better from this. That all of this pain will help me in the long run.
Kinda sounds like life lessons. Well, it is how it works for me most of the time. You know the character building exercises that we go through in our lives? It really sucks when you are in those places in your life, but then in the end when you can see what you were learning and how it helped you. In a weird and yet wonderful way it all seems worth it in the end.
I guess that is what physio is going to do for me. I am not going to feel like a 90 year old woman anymore. I will be able to run and play with our daughters again. I wish I wasn't in this place right now but I know that I am taking the right steps, on the right path to get to where I need to be. I just have to figure out how to slow down this ride of life that seems like it is spinning out of control. I know I need to cut somethings out of my life, but where do you start cutting? Who do you cut?
I was talking to my husband about having to cut some things and he asks me, that if I decided to leave something, "Who is going to lose out from having me involved?"
It is interesting to look at things from the larger perspective - I start cutting things that I wouldn't mind losing, but what effect is that going to have on other people? There is more to life than ourselves. Even though that is what the media likes to teach us - 'Life is all about me!" Someone else is always going to be affected by every decision that we make. Man! I thought I had difficult decisions to make before, but now it got even worse!
So now my brain hurts along with my back. So I am going to bed, and hopefully when I wake up tomorrow I will try to take my day bit by bit and enjoy the day with my husband and our daughters and not worry about the next thing on my to-do list that I feel I need to cross off. Hey, I bought a new purse today! Life is good!
In life there comes a time when you have to put the baggage down and move on.
I was tired. So tired of carrying around baggage filled with the "old me". It felt like when you go to the grocery store and glace at the carts and think to yourself - "I only have a few things on my list I will just use a basket." Seriously! Then we struggle to make it to the check out with a basket overflowing and groceries tucked in wherever we can find room and walk as fast as we can to the conveyor belt that will save our groceries before gravity wins.
I once carried the baggage of my past around - crushing myself under the strain of the weight. I was on a journey - on a new path - I was a new creation. My past was gone - only it didn't feel gone. It was there staring at me when I woke up in the morning. I dragged it around all day and it became a part of my work - relationships - future. It filled my thoughts as I fell asleep each night.
I longed for the "new creation." What did it look like? How is it possible?
I have always found that asking myself questions is the only way that I can work toward finding the answers - and then I need to stop and listen.
You know what I heard?
"Stop carrying it around." Simple and yet so profound.
It was my own selfishness that was holding on to what was no longer a part of who I am.
It was time to put the baggage down and move on. I had a pretty firm grip, this was not going to be easy - but it was necessary.
I can remember the thoughts of weakness, a loss of power, a loss of identity. But as I began to walk away, the ability to take a deep beautiful breathe of freedom filled me with such peace. Oh, how I longed for peace. Another deep long breath - the weigh began to slowly lift. What a beautiful journey.
Depending by which standards you measure life from - I could say that 2018 was a horrible year.
I had people come into my life that caused me such deep pain that I am still learning how to cope and move forward.
I had situations that stretched me further than I ever thought possible.
I saw things in people that I wish I could unsee.
2018 had so many plots twists the best fiction writer couldn't have wound this plot together.
As 2018 is coming to an end I find that I have two choices. I can drag this "horrible year" into 2019 or I can change my perspective.
I do not look at 2018 as a horrible year. I have learned so much about myself and where my place is in this world. I would have chosen to learn the lessons another way, but unfortunately the easy way is usually not the best way.
I had a situation in 2018 that changed me - it through me for a loop that I wasn't expecting and was not prepared for. I didn't know how to feel, I didn't know how to cope or move forward. It broke me and shook who I thought I was to my core.
So how do I move forward for 2019?
Easy! No actually it's not easy, there are not a magical amount of steps that will make it all shiny and new.
As with anything that has the greatest rewards is the amount of effort you put in to make it a success.
I am choosing that my 2019 will be a success story to the lessons I have learned in 2018. (I am sure that 2019 will have new lessons for me to learn😊 )
I have a saying for my experiences in 2018. Years ago I made the choice to stop looking at situation based on a good or bad scale. Everything is a "character building exercise". Each day there is something to be learned - to be gained. Once you change your perspective, then your life situations start to look differently.
Once the situations start to look different then you start to change your reactions and how you feel about life and your place in it starts to become clearer. And thankfulness and gratitude become a part of these experiences.
A few questions I ask myself on this last day of 2018:
I am looking forward to journeying with you in 2019!