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.
While visiting a friend a few years ago we were enjoying a chance to catch up with one another over a cup of tea.
At one point I looked down in my tea and noticed chunks of something in the bottom of my cup. Since I wasn't sure what my friend had put in my tea I had to figure this out.
She told me that she always cuts up pieces of ginger and puts it in her tea. It just stays in the bottom of the tea and adds great health value.
I have started to this daily as well. But I wasn't sure what the health benefits were so I did a little research - I just had to share what I learned.
Next time you are in the produce section at your local grocery store add some ginger root to your cart. There are many ways that you can add it to your diet, and the wellness benefits are worth it!
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. 🙂
As the chapters progress on my journey through the Saskatchewan prairie, I am soaking all the information in. This books is well researched on a scientific level that I appreciate. I find myself wishing that I wasn't driving so that I could be taking notes from everything that I am learning.
Finally, I can't handle it anymore and I have to pull over so that I can start jotting down notes. You see, I am on my way to teach my workshop to students in Grades 8-11, the workshop is based upon the fact that creativity helps your thought process. The repetitive motion from weaving releases serotonin in the same way as meditation or yoga. Our brains feed us negative thoughts throughout each day, by spending time in creative arts it gives our minds a break from the negative messages.
I had to call my husband because I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't drive. This traveling day was releasing me from so much hurt that I had been carrying around for far too long. I was learning so much that I was able to share with the students that I would be teaching over the next two days. When I finally arrived at my destination that night I was not the same person that left my home earlier that day. I wished I had further to drive because I wanted to finish the book. 😁
The community in Biggar welcomed me in and I had a fabulous two days with them. My drive home was my time to process all my thoughts, experiences and emotions from the previous three days. I was thankful to arrive home to have supper with my family and the excitement from our dogs that are always happy to see me. That night my husband and I sat and chatted over a glass of wine and I was able to share about my time away.
This trip was so good for my soul, I almost feel selfish because I think I received more out of it than the students that I went to teach. I had a great time with the students, it was so rewarding to see their faces light up when they figured out that they could do the project and they realized that they have power over their thoughts. The following day was when life changed in Canada. COVID-19 was establishing itself in our population and within two days schools were closed indefinitely. I became even more thankful for this time in the realization that we are all facing a new reality in our lives.
I have finished listening the the audio book and I have subscribed to the Made for this podcast as Jennie is working through her book via her podcast. (Start listening to the podcast episodes in January for the episodes about the book)
The timing of this book - in my life, during the COVID-19 pandemic and in everything we are facing right now is no accident. When we are in the middle of a season of trial or uncertainty we are unable to see the big picture and understand the 'why' behind it. Then as we can see how our journey can help others - it all starts to make sense.
I am thankful for Jennie for sharing her journey. I know that I heal and learn by teaching and helping others on their journey. Thank you for joining me on this journey.
2019 has been a year.......
After writing about my journey in 2018 I thought it was important to take some time to think about my journey in 2019.
I find too often that I let my experiences control my life and I forget that I don't have to allow that to happen. 2018 threw me for a big loop and I allowed it to get out of control. It took a trip to the ER in September for me to push pause, slow down and really take a look at my path and current direction of my choices.
I have always enjoyed journaling and I created a weekly journal that I can use as a form of reflection and personal guidance. It has been a good exercise for me, I am not always dedicated to it, but every time I find my way back to that journal I am thankful for the time and energy that I choose to give to it.
So what has my 2019 journey taught me?
I have learned to focus on what is really important to me.
My family is so important. I didn't quite realize this until I saw the breakdown and struggle of families in our circle of friends. My job is my job, it doesn't come before time with my family. I will dedicate to it what I need to in order to fulfill the requirements, but I will not give it more than it needs. Too often I was answering emails and phone calls at home during my "family time". I do not need to be a member of several boards and committees. I took the emails off my phone, I put my phone away when I come home and I choose to be present with my family when I am home. My daughters are in grades 11 & 12, I don't have a lot of time with them while they are living at home. A new reality of parenting is right around the corner, I am going to enjoy this time and be the Mom they need right now in this time of their lives. This is a decision that I will never regret, I believe that by building into this time now will only further our relationship after they go out into the world.
Not only am I building into my daughters but also my husband as well. How often I see couples struggling after their children have moved out. Years are spent building into our children, while our marriages have been set to coast and then when the children are gone building their own lives we don't know how to relate to our spouse. Then we feel like our marriage is breaking down - when in reality it has been breaking down for years because you haven't been building into it.
My family is built on my relationship with my husband. We choose to be married to each other and build a life together and watch it grow and flourish, then we added our daughters to that relationship so that it can become fuller. How could I choose to neglect that which my life is built upon?
I have named my golf set "Peg" and my husband and I have found a great little par 3 course where we can go for a nice walk and hit a few golf balls - hopefully in the direction of the hole 😁 and we have a chance to spend 90 minutes talking and challenging ourselves each game. I always keep score, not to compete with each other but to see how we are doing from game to game, and I set the rule that we can never score higher than a 6 on a hole, I just give us a 6+. 😉
Priorities are important and we need to make sure that they are what fill up our lives. So many little things and things that are not necessary can start to invade but we have a choice. My family is important, they will be the ones that I am thinking about on my death bed. They are the ones that I think about when I fall asleep at night and when I wake up in the morning. They are priority.
I also know that to be what I need to be for them, means that I have to make myself a priority as well. I will share more about that in my next post, in this year of journaling I am going to be dealing with a lot of heart healing, purpose searching and goal making. You can find out more about that in my next post.