Sentence Stems

“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.

2In 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!

Iwannabeaskinnybitch!


Sentence Stems for the New Year!

Many of us are making positive changes in our lives in the New Year.  I’d like to offer you a writing tool for making changes called Sentence Stems. The best way to do this is to find a notebook or journal and a fast writing pen.  There are two ways to use these stems. One is to just complete the sentence as fast as you can without thinking. The second way is to complete the sentence and then journal for 20 minutes. When you journal for 20 minutes you can set a timer and when you are stuck just write, “I don’t know what to say” over and over until you become unstuck. This takes you deeper, underneath the surface thoughts. If you would prefer typing that is fine. These are both great tools. Enjoy!

   Family

I can improve my relationships with my family this year by . . .

What I need to complete with my family is . . .

I am happiest with my family when . . .

 

   Work/Career

What challenges me about my work is . . .

What I love about my work is . . .

When I have my ideal work situation I will be . . .

    Friends

I support my friends the most by . . .

The friends I depend upon the most provide me with . . .

I am really drained by . . .

   Health

This year I will improve my health by . . .

I get frustrated with myself when I continue to . . .

My health is so much better since I . . .

   Creativity/Spirituality

This year I will make time to . . .

I am so fulfilled and ecstatic when I . . .

Gratitude fills my heart when . . .

   Travel/Play

Play for me is . . .

My travel plans for this year are . . .

I am most alive when I . . .