Another lesson in compassion: finding old journals and being okay with who I was

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Do you have any old journals or diaries that maybe, once and awhile, you start to flip through and read the old entries?

I do.

And I will share that 90% of the time, what I am reading almost always hurts my heart. The things I wrote about that I was experiencing, the pain I felt, the outlook I had on life… ugh. Sometimes, it’s really actually heartbreaking to revisit who I was.

I usually dont read into the old journal very far. I flip through it but I am quick to give into the urge of shutting that shit down, and shutting it down fast.

I am either trying to avoid reliving that pain or feeling ashamed and embarrassed to who I use to be.

In the moment thats how I feel.

It’s crazy… capturing emotions and experiences on paper or in the written word in an online journal can take me back so quickly and can make so many emotions flood to the surface. Even ten plus years later. I read my words and I remember exactly how it all felt. The sick feeling in my stomach, the pressure and heaviness in my chest, the fear in my mind…

I’ve read old entries where I have poured my heart out about a guy that I was hurting over. I look at that girl and think, “ew.” Why was I so pathetic?

I want to burn the journal up in flames.

I have actually even done so.

Or, I read back when I was going through an experience that I didn’t think I would make it though, and I come face to face with the perspectives I use to hold and live… and I think, again, who is this person? How could I have let myself live like this?

Again, in the moment of going back, that’s how I feel.

It’s only when I actually take a deep breath and slow myself down from being sucked back into the past – into the hurt and into that fear-based way of living – that I can pause long enough and realize I don’t have to hurt AS that old girl. I don’t have to GO back to those experiences. I can find the current lesson and leave the experience. 

What possibly is there for a lesson? I mean, I’m reading old journals and diaries that make me want to spin in circles wondering how I was ever that person?

Compassion. Compassion is the lesson.

Oh my, oh my, there is that lesson again, coming up for me full force. I think practicing compassion is one of my most continuous lessons of life. It’s always showing up, asking me to practice, in one way, shape or form.

Life reminding me and asking me to have compassion for myself.

If I get caught up in the moment and sucked into that pain when looking back at the girl I was, and I immediately feel NO, I dont want to know her, I dont want to resonate with her… she was weak and sad. I will not go there again.

But the real me, the me I’ve nurtured, grown and become, THIS version of me knows that I need to find and have compassion for that younger, less-awake, unconscious version of myself… I need to have compassion for what was.

My moments and experiences, they are mine. Who I was, I can’t hold against myself. Against who I am now.  I am allowed to have a past. Even if it’s one I don’t totally resonate with now.  

It unfolded the way it did and now the best thing I can do is use it.  Decide that it will not be a place of sadness or darkness I avoid going to, but rather a place to leap from.

I must remember that I couldn’t have gotten from point A to point B, with out first being at point A.

To get good at something, you have to be willing to be kinda crappy at it first.

When I read these old journal enteries, I know that I want to keep those hurts and words safely hidden, away from anyone who might read them, judge them or hurt from them, too. I want to avoid going backwards and reliving the experiences and pains I use to live.

But…

Regardless of what I use to feel, I know now that the best use of my feelings and emotions is not getting sucked back into a lesser, smaller version of myself, but instead to generate compassion and empathy for the person I was, with out unpacking and sadly living there again. Sure, keep the journals tucked safely away…

But be bigger now.

Here and now. Firmly and confidently, all awhile lovingly and compassionately accepting a past I can’t change.

That makes the past easier to live with.

Sending love, hugs and butt slaps…

xoxo

McDooogs

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Getting inspired to create

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How do I find inspiration for something to write bout?

It is few and far between some days. I feel like the busier my life gets, the less creative and imaginative I feel. The more I jam pack into my days and on to my “to do lists” the less room there is for creativity to flow, for ideas to marinate and expand.

I hate being busy. What a buzz kill, man.

I do have some fall back ways, however. Things I know I can do, to slow life down and to find inspiration. You know? Really light up and tap into my creative side.

What works for me, I know has always worked for me. These are my tried and trues.

Nature time

I know when I go into nature and peace-out from the noisy city world, specifically when I go on my own, that my heart and mind start to slow down. Its like every cell in my body breathes a collective sigh of relief… “ahhhhhh“…

There is something about being among the threes and the greenery of a hike that just hits my reset button and lights up my heart. Maybe it’s the peace and quiet. Maybe it’s just feeling at home and feeling undistracted. Whatever it is, when I am in nature, in the woods, on a hike… everything else just settles away and I get real with myself again.

I often have wondered when I have been on those paths and among the trees of thick dense nature, how many pains and hurts have been pounded into the dirt… walked into the earth… how many sighs of relief have been exhaled, as the weight of the world melted away… how many secrets and thoughts that the trees has absorbed by hearing friends vent and share, or how many times trees have just picked up and gently pulled away the bad vibes or sad thoughts that individuals carry when they arrive, before they have relaxed and settled into the peace that surrounds them.

Nature is a miracle worker.

This is where I reset the best, to find inspiration and motivation to write. This is one of my happiest places to be. The place I feel most like myself.

Clear your space

I don’t know about you, but my work space… whether it be a table or a desk or a couch… it needs to be uncluttered. The weird thing is, I feel like my creative mind reflects the state around me. If I have literal space, a tidy work area or simply an obvious display of what I’m working on, I create faster. If my work space is cramped and messy, then my mind feels small and messy. If there are too many projects and “things” spread out across my work area, I feel like there are too many “things” or thoughts in my cluttered brain, too. I make space to feel space. And that’s when I feel things can flow more freely and how I tap into inspiration and creativity quicker.

Conversations and inspiration 

I love Super Soul Conversations with Oprah and her guests. I listen to youtube videos or podcasts and absorb all the wisdom and treasures of the thoughts that are being shared. They are such powerful and spirit-filled conversations, I just want to be in them, too. I listen intentionally, not to steal ideas or think, ohhh Im going to write about that, but instead I listen because often it makes me question things inside of my own heart, which leads to ah-ha moments, which can lead to creativity and inspiration.

In a recent podcast I listened to on Super Soul Conversations, Oprah had Iyanla Vanzant on as her guest. What a conversation this was.  Iyanla said, “you know you’re completely out of alignment when you’re not at peace.” I thought to myself, whoa.

Why did that hit me so boldly? Because I dont feel at peace most days. It got me wondering, where could I be out of alignment? And so, some inside work began. I start to look at myself and take the wisdom shared and attach what feels right, to something in my life. In this case, her one simple sentence has cause a week long pondering which has in turn lead to a fork in the road… which in turn has lead me to make some tough decisions. Wow, right? And it’s from these moments of totally getting real with myself, that creativity and inspiration arises.

Unplug

When I need to feel my creative side be nurtured, I get offline. I walk away from Facebook. I put down my phone. I tune myself out. I unplug from the constantly buzzing, turned on, tech savvy world, and I turn myself off and settle into a meditation.

Sometimes this can be easier said then done.

I, for one, can not just stop thoughts from flowing and stop worries from surfacing. Or stop my mind from wandering back to the vacation photos I saw on Facebook, for example. No. Abruptly stopping my thoughts like that just does not happen.

But I move to a place of meditation, simply to focus on breathing in long slow inhales and long slow exhales. After a few minutes of doing this, I feel my body, heart and mind to begin to slow down. The more I slow down, the more of the mental clutter can start to fall away.

And the more mental clutter that falls away, the more room for spacious creativity to emerge or for spirit and angels to enter in and do the communicating. Rather than my ego-brain yapping about Facebook and what everyone else is up to.

There are many different ways we can grow our creative and inspired side, when we have a desire to do so. Less is more, in my opinion. Start removing noise, distractions, thoughts and people, and more space, inspiration and creativity will emerge.

It takes some work and maybe even some planning to get there, but it is so worth it. To be in that flow, that space, that light.

I hope you go there.

Sending love, hugs and butt slaps…

xoxo

McDooogs

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