Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Journal Writing Prompt 12 - Use Your Senses...RIGHT NOW!!

I do hope your journal is somewhere close by. No? Well, go get it then, and I will wait.


Sit down with your journal. You can be alone or you can be in a crowd, but not watching TV or listening to music etc. Now, I want you to use your senses. All of them. Start writing. Don't analyse. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel? What can you smell? What can you taste?

To get going, you can start sentences like this...

I see dark wood table. I see black keyboard, with a light layer of dust. I hear passing cars. A bike just roared by. There is music coming from somewhere. Annoying music....

As you write, follow-on sentences will pour out. Let them. Follow your senses, and see where they take you.

Hearing and Sight are easy. What about others? How do your clothes feel against your skin? What about the chair you are sitting on? Is there a taste of coffee lingering in your mouth? What are you feeling? Enjoyment of dwelling deeper? Hungry? Bored?

Do this often, and not only it will improve your journal, but it will improve your participation in the world around you, and give you little surprises that so often go unnoticed.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Journal Writing Prompt 11 - Solitude or Loneliness

I know people who can stay alone in their home for weeks on end, and I know people who get antsy and depressed if they have to spend one day alone. How do you feel about being alone?

Would you remain alone by choice? Do you feel lonely or do you welcome the solitude? Are you bored, restless or do you find comfort in the silence and in your thoughts? What would your day be like? Do you skip a meal because you don't want to eat alone, or call a friend or find social contact on the internet? What do you do? How much time do you spend in your own company? How much of it is by choice?

Ponder over this today. When we rely on other people for company, entertainment, happiness, we are giving them the control of making us happy. When we can find happiness and peace within ourselves, we are in control. Who has the reigns of your happiness?

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Journal Writing Prompt 10 - Influence

We are influenced constantly by our surroundings. We are influenced by the weather, by people around us, by media - by just about everything. How much impact this influence has on individuals, is up to us. Some of us are strong enough to push it all away and carry on our own path; some of us get side tracked by some of the influences; some of us are overwhelmed by them.

Journal about what has influenced you? Perhaps, you can't see what's influencing you today, but you may be able to see more clearly what has influenced you in the past? Last month? Last year? In your childhood?

Start writing. If you find it hard to get started, begin your sentences with..."I was influenced by..." and carry on. Or write INFLUENCE in the centre of the page, and brainstorm around it. Write whatever pops in your head. Don't stop to think. Write as fast as you can. As much as you can. Let your subconscious direct you. Let the memories come out.

If you want, do this again over the next few weeks, and see what answers you get. Once you realise the things that influence you, you can do something about it. You can decide what are positive influences and what are negative ones, and find a way to be strong against the negative ones.

So what are you waiting for? Get off the internet, and open that journal.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Journal Writing Prompt 9 - Dream Your Own Dream

Today's prompt is about dreams. Not the dreams you have in your sleep. We are talking about dreams you dream with eyes wide awake. For some of us, dreams are right there on the surface. Constantly prodding us to get a move on and make them come true. For some of you, they might be deep beneath the surface, pushed there by years of very practical advice that the world teaches you like "get your head out of the clouds" "be sensible" "be practical" "that's not going to put food on the table" "be responsible" - and many more variations of it, which I am sure you have heard before.

Whatever the status of your dreams, they are there. Believe me. You just need to greet them like an old friend, believe in them, and they will unfurl their wings.

Open your journal and write about your dreams. What dreams did you have as a child? Did you want to be a superhero, a cop, a fireman? What were your dreams as a teenager? A date with the hottest girl/guy in school? What are your dreams as an adult? House, kids, vacations or a loner's life in a forest? Whatever your dreams, embrace them. Until you ackowledge them, you can't possibly make them come true. And once you acknowledge them, well...the world is your oyster.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Affirmation Experiment

I believe in the power of the mind. I believe in positive thinking. But, I am not sure if affirmations actually work. And before I hear any of the cynics complaining, let me clarify - positive thinking by itself doesn't solve anything, but when you use that positive thinking to perform positive actions then it creates wonders.

Affirmations is supposed to add to that mental awareness, and will power. Lots of people swear by them. I have never tried them for long enough to make a judgement. So I have set myself a mini-experiment.

September 1 to September 30 - 30 days of positive affirmations, and of course I shall journal about this experiment, and note any results I may note.

I invite you to join in. You can start today, tomorrow, next week. Think about any goal you want to achieve, any weaknesses you may want to over come.

There are few basic rules that apply to affirmations:
  1. They must be positive. i.e. - "I don't want to be a failure" is not positive. Instead what you want is "I am successful"
  2. However, "successful" is too broad. Be specific. What do you want to do?
  3. Use present tense. Imagine as if you have already achieved your goal. Use present tense. "I am working out every day."
  4. To begin with, focus on one or two goals. If you start with too many affirmations, you will split your focus, and they may not be very affective. I would say, ideally, start with one goal. I am experimenting with two - but simply because both of those goals - Fitness and Writing - are of equal priority for me at this point in my life, so I can't chose one.
  5. Write your own affirmations. I know there are plenty available on the Internet for free. Look at them by all means, but then reword them for yourself. If you create your own affirmations, they are personal to you. They will have more impact.
  6. Start with positive attitude. If you are adamant that it's not going to work, then it probably won't. So keep an open mind. Go with the flow, and see what happens. I don't know if they will work or not, but I am willing to try, and put my utmost faith in it for 30 days. Even if I don't see tangible result, I would have lost nothing by telling myself some positive things.
  7. Don't have too many affirmations. Be specific, and concise. For each of my goal, I have created 5 affirmations. For quality experiment, you should be able to repeat them every day. I intend to repeat them every morning, and every night. If I have time, I will write them down several times too. I will keep a copy of them on my PC where I can see it at home, and a copy of them in my Filofax so I can see it during the day.
  8. And lastly, make notes on how they make you feel. Or if you feel like it, write your affirmations in your journal every day. For any experiment to be successful, results must be noted and measured. If you don't keep track of anything, how will you know whether you have succeeded? Mind is a funny thing. You may think your attitude has changed but it could be just the memory tricking you. And if you only achieve small changes (but positive nonetheless) they will be hard to see without some form of record. So use the journal.
I will do post(s) on how my experiment with affirmations go. If you have any experience / opinions about them, please share your views.