I started journaling when I first ventured into social entrepreneurship, facing high stress, disappointments and failures.
BUSYNESS CAN EASILY CAUSE US TO SWEEP PENT-UP PRESSURES UNDER THE CARPET, WHICH IS UNHEALTHY.
During those years, I was inspired by David's writing in Psalms in the Bible. I noticed he would write about his raw and honest feelings, yet he always ends off with praise for God (like a confident expectation of good).
Journaling has given me a safe space to articulate my raw and unprocessed thoughts and emotions. It not only allows me to express myself in raw format but also to take a step back to process them in its entirety.
However, being too introspective, I find, can also lead to downward spiral of negative emotions, which could stem from self-condemnation. I find ending a raw conversation to God on journal with a bible verse helps shift my thoughts to God’s thoughts. After all, sometimes we perceive things in a certain way, but His thoughts are higher and better, and indeed we need the renewing of our minds to not be conformed to the patterns of the world. We also wrote about how it's okay to not be okay over at our IG post here.
Where I live in Singapore, a tiny but very progressive nation, life can get busy. When life just happens, it can get difficult with little time to journal! Yesss, we get it - so here are some journaling tips and suggested examples!
1. YEAR-END REFLECTIONS
While it can be difficult to take time to journal everyday, it's good to take some time off at year end to reflect on the year. After all, we don't want to go through each day, month and year just going through the motion and letting life just happen.
To be and to do List
It’s good to balance between being and doing. For being, reflect on i am and also i can - be contented and proud of who you are but also reflect on how you can improve. For doing, reflect on what you’ve done and what you will do going forward.
You know how people always say to never stop learning? I am not sure if the quest to acquire knowledge of its own satisfies... But as a believer that there is a time for everything, I think it is important to keep learning in preparation for a time such as this. Abraham Lincoln once said that if he had six hours to chop a tree, he’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.
One of the things you can also do as part of year-end reflection is to create a learning list. It can be in areas of interests like playing the ukulele, for work/career like data analytics, for working on weaknesses like for myself in operations and navigation, and above all learning to enjoy the present moment/season even as steps are taken in preparation for the next.
Think happy thoughts, and you'll fly.
Guess who said this? Yess, Peter Pan. Robotically repeating “I am happy, I am happy” to yourself isn’t exactly going to make you happy deep down. Try practising gratitude instead. There are always things to be thankful for if we stop to appreciate them. Doodle or use stickers and washi tapes to create your happy list as you reflect back on what you are grateful for in the year!
2. TIPS FOR FREQUENT JOURNALING
Use one line a day method to record things you are grateful for, something you've felt/learnt/saw/tried, something nice someone said to you, something you've done for someone, or a positive thing that happened to you in the day. You only have one line - so it's really quick and forces you to jot down that one thing that impacts you for life. You'd be surprised there's one everyday!
Do you already have your own planner? Make use of empty spaces on your weekly planner to do up weekly habits/goals tracker or a gratitude list (if you don't do it daily).
Here are examples on our mori Planner 2020.
So we at mori were thinking how we could integrate reflection into our very busy lives in Singapore. And then we thought- maybe adding some reflection questions on certain themes like love, friendship, letting go alongside happy and whimsical illustrations of monthly quotes could be a way? Hence, the birth of mori’s Planner 2020 that has monthly and weekly planners for practical use too!
You don't necessarily have to use our mori Planner 2020 to do this. The point is - each month, take aside some time to do calligraphy/doodle (or use washi tapes and stickers to help if you don't like drawing!) an inspirational quote that speaks to you. Then, reflect and think about what it really means to you and how you can apply it in your life. You don't want to just stop at reading something great and positive.
Here are some of our monthly quotes and accompanying reflection quotes to help kickstart something!
At mori, our mission is to bring purpose and joy to both the makers and the users. We encourage thriving in adversity in this crazy busy world through self-reflection and expression of thoughts. We created World's 1st Pursebook (purse + refill notebooks) that are handmade by mothers for sustainable livelihood.
#SHOPFORGOOD now here!
Happy holidays and blessed Christmas!
Don't get too busy with the holidays and forget to stop and reflect!