“A sad feeling can last a few minutes, and then you return to joy once you feel the pure feeling and let it go. Much as you would flex a muscle and let it go, you can feel the feeling and just let it go.”
– Candess M. Campbell – 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine
I sat with a client recently who’s working on developing a practice of journaling in order to deepen her relationship with herself. She laughs when she is saying something painful and tends to be disconnected from her feelings. She seems to be incongruent. I’ve given her some sentence stems to use. Sentence stems are beginnings of sentences to use to begin a free-writing session. I create these sentence stems specific to the issues that have been buried. This particular client uses alcohol, shopping, and staying busy as a way of not getting connected to herself; not becoming self-aware.
I’ve journaled over 30 years of my life and it has been an incredible experience of growth, insight, creativity and humor. You would be surprised at what surfaces in a 20-minute timed writing.
In the process of working with a Sentence Stem, you set the timer for 20 minutes, or 10 if 20 seems to long to start with. You use a fast writing pen and keep writing. Whatever comes to your mind you write, even if you have several lines of “I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to say.” Generally, you will start by being chatty, then go into resistance, “I don’t know what to say” or “I don’t like this,” and then you deepen into the underlying issue. You may notice that you touch on something and then change to writing your grocery list, but at least you know where to return to access the underlying issue or feelings.
Often when we overeat or over drink, or eat at the wrong time, we are covering up feelings. If not feelings directly, we may be over-consuming to manage the stress from all the activity we do to bury the feelings.
In my book 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine, I write a whole chapter entitled Feel your Feelings.
Today, before you make a choice to eat or drink something you know is not healthy, give yourself 20 minutes to journal first. Notice how you feel afterwards and see if it changes your need for the food or drink.
Here are a few sentence stems to start with.
If I listened to my body, I would . . .
What I desire most in my life is . . .
If I were fit/healthy, I would . . .
Comment below and let me know how you did!
Connecting with others can be a warm, inviting and loving experience. This is true especially when we know ourselves well and allow others to get to know us. Actually, it is through letting others get to know us that we do learn about ourselves.
Some of us isolate and don’t get consistent feedback from others from their expressions, communication or touch. Some have so many people around them that they get lost in the chaos and no one really gets to know them at all.
I remember many years ago meeting a new friend. She had the incredible ability to communicate clearly and directly and she often shared with me how she saw me. When this happened, I began not only to understand how others saw me, but I also saw the part of me that she saw. Having been in survival mode most of my life, having two children by the time I was 18 and being a single mom, I didn’t have time to do much other than work and had little self-reflection. At that time I had self-esteem as well. The gift she gave me by sharing how she saw me was precious. For the first time I was able to see my own spirit nature and the softness in my heart.
There have been many more experiences like this and some that were not so positive. I’ll share these later.
So today, if you get the chance, take the time to reflect back to someone what you see in them that they may not see. Lift them with your ability to see their true being, their beauty, the essence of who they are.