Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Begin the Journey

 If you are interested in listening to a discussion of this post by the Teach Suzuki Podcast, episode 223, click here.

Note that this article may include affiliate links. If you purchase an item using an affiliate link, the blog and podcast may receive a small benefit (at no additional cost to you).

In my last post, I discussed taking a look at our past year and planning for the coming year with a "best year yet" attitude and process. Before I begin with the ten questions that set us on this fruitful path of promise, let me first state that goal-setting is not the only result here, although we will undoubtedly set goals. I have many different avenues that I follow to set my goals, and I promise that I will share all of these different ideas with you. My purpose in pursuing the best year yet program each year is due to the rich results I gather from running my thoughts and past year accomplishments through the BYY filter. I encourage you to join me in this process because of the rich trove of ideas and discoveries you will reveal.

My listeners and readers know already how important I think it is to be involved in activities that encourage us to reflect regularly on our attitudes, actions, and habits. I have several mechanisms to tether me to a state of mindfulness and awareness as I live out my daily life. I encourage you to explore the many possible options available to you for reflection and discover which of those options speaks to you powerfully. I like journals. I like the way they feel under my hands. I want to watch the blank pages fill up as time passes. I like structured reflections. I also like free-form writing. I like to scratch things out as an act of defiance against perfectionism, and even scratching out things can be a struggle to perform. I have more than one journal for more than one purpose. I have spent decades discovering the "perfect" setup, and I still stumble onto new possibilities.

I encourage you to explore this mysterious world of reflection and journaling because of what you will discover about yourself and because you will find a rich sense of peace within when you commit your thoughts to memory by writing them down.

In 1994, I lost my first beloved dog, Zubin, a black lab mix. Zubin was the most intelligent dog I have ever owned, and I loved him fiercely. We went everywhere together. When he passed, I was devastated (so much that I did not get another dog for 20 years). One night I sat down with a glass of wine and an empty journal. I began to write everything I could remember about that warm-hearted animal: all the many tricks he knew, all the silly habits he had, the comical moments from his silly antics, and the beautiful memories of companionship and shared experience. It took me a few hours, and when I finished exhausting my mind and heart of their memories and emotions, I gently smiled, closed the journal, and put it on one of my bookshelves. I felt better. I did not feel so sad anymore.

That little journal of memories stayed unopened on my shelf for some time. One day I looked for it and opened it up to read it. To my surprise, I had chosen to open it precisely one year after having written it. What are the odds of that? I spent some time reading what I had written and smiling again at the wonderful memories. When I finished reading, I closed the journal back up and put it back on the shelf. I visited that journal a few more times over the years, and surprisingly these visits occurred each year at the same time. I find it interesting that our brains can compartmentalize that information in such a way. My journaling revealed this phenomenon to me, as it has revealed similar episodes related to other tragic events.

For this reason, I urge you to join me in this process. Take a bit of time now and consider how you will want to play in this process. Any notebook or writing apparatus will do: spiral school subject notebook, composition book, notebook paper and 3-ring binder, pretty journal, fountain pen, ballpoint pen, pencil, bullet journal. Pick something and play with it for a time. Try something else. All you need to do is note where you came from and where you are going. If you start one notebook and move on to a different one, note in the new one where you came from and note in the old one where you wandered to next.

Find the tools you will bring with you on this first leg of the journey. They do not need to be perfect. We will learn and make adjustments as we go. For now, the beginning is what is essential. Stay focused on what is important.

Begin the journey.

Until next time,

Happy Practicing!

----- Paula -----

© 2020 by Paula E. Bird


No comments:

Post a Comment