Marching Forward

March stomped in on worn-out snowshoes in our area amid single-digit temps, creating many long sighs with eyes to the sky, asking, “Is this really necessary?”snow flakes on blue

We in the Midwest aren’t alone in those sentiments or conditions, but we all deal with it the best that we can and keep our lives moving forward, hoping that warmer weather and greener surroundings are just ahead. That’s called realistic optimism, knowing that this winter can’t last forever.

It’s good to maintain a positive outlook—a hopeful prospect for the future—even while digging out from the latest frozen deluge. Positive outlooks keep us healthy, and finding new, more successful ways to face the same old issues, keeps us sane.

Sometimes, just recognizing that an attitude or a perspective that we may hold might be “an issue,” is half the battle to resolving it. That’s where self-reflection plays such an important part in mapping out who that person is at the core of our being, and in deciding what we truly want from our lives, especially if we’re not too happy about our present state.

I think one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves, besides the physical-body care (eating right and exercising) and the mental-stillness attributes of meditating, is to journal—to track our lives for our “doings” and our “thinkings,” to better understand WHY we do the things that we do.

Those “thinkings” fully expose our attitudes about life in general, as well as clarifying how we view ourselves in relationship to what is happening to us. Our attitudes and perspectives determine how happy we are at present, and perhaps even hint at how we view our prospects for the future.

Journaling is an excellent activity for charting personal and career progress or for noting those “lessons” not quite mastered yet, because when you see the same people with different names passing through your life, doing the same thing that these people have always done, then you start to realize that your life has had numerous “patterns” within it. By journaling, those patterns can be tracked for their frequency of occurrence and for their affect on our lives.

When you can recognize the patterns that seemed to develop throughout your life, you can start to evaluate your own role in those patterns. One would say that on a higher level, we never do anything unwillingly—just unknowingly to our conscious awareness.

So when you can assess the reoccurrence of a situation and then recognize it as a behavior pattern, then you can see more clearly your own role in those similar interactions and relationships. When you can successfully do that, it can shift your entire view.

It can provide tremendous incentive to change—internally and externally—to avoid repeating the same learning situations over and over. That’s the major value of journaling—to see what you did, when, and then determine the WHY behind it, to avoid repeating those same patterns for the rest of your life.

So to view our present weather situation more optimistically, that’s the good thing about having time for reflection, it’s a time to journal all of your “doings” and “thinkings” of the moment.  It enables you the time to better see yourself in all your naked motivations and behaviors—written out by your own hand before your own eyes. Then weeks later when you review what you have written, you may see the YOU on the page in an entirely different way—more as an observer to your life’s drama, rather than the direct recipient or the participant in it.

And most importantly, after reviewing your latest drama’s inevitable conclusion (because it’s played out that way so many times before), you then have the option to choose a different future role before the next drama starts.

Journaling is a mirror that reveals far more than the surface appearance before you. It shows you full-length—in all your amazing “work-in-progress” glory.

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