ON WRITING YOUR WAY TO PERSONAL FREEDOM AND MEANING
“When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves” Victor Frankel
Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, not of our own making, the future feels uncertain. We are living in an age of uncertainty – uncertainty about what is going to happen to the planet; uncertainty about our health, uncertainty about the economy; uncertainty about politics; uncertainty about our lives and future. Others around the world are doing pretty much the same thing: bunkered down, social distancing, tallying the number of cases around the world and contemplating their future.
Strikingly, during this time, people are discovering that what was valuable before the pandemic may no longer be important. Those who adore power and ambition are reconnecting with their family, finding joy in their children or forgotten talents. Others are craving to “get back to normal”. They are adrift with the changes around them, scrambling for a new meaning. Some people have lost their attachment to “stuff”. Without the option to go shopping and consume, they find solace in nature, planting a vegetable garden, cooking, reading that book.
The last of human freedoms is the power to choose how you want to respond. The search for meaning begins with you. A hopeful mindset is something we can nurture in ourselves as we contemplate our future during these challenging times.
Keeping a daily journal can bring greater clarity to some of the bigger questions in life.
- What do I value?
- What is necessary?
- What are my goals?
- What do I stand for?
- What is my purpose in life?
- What do I need to do?
In any given set of circumstances, we choose our own way. Today more than ever, coming through this crisis of existential proportions, people are surprising themselves. They are showing resilience, demonstrating unbounded creativity, showing unusual insight and making opportunities for change in themselves.
Read on for tips on journal writing
If you have an interest in deepening your practice of reflection by writing a journal and searching for meaning, these tips on keeping a daily journal may be helpful:
- Make time for writing: put aside as little as twenty minutes a day
- Be mindful: prepare yourself by sitting in silence for a few moments, taking in a deep breath and breathing out slowly
- Close your eyes: notice body sensations, notice thought patterns, let your mind wander
- Bracket self-judgement: put your inner critic to sleep by writing down any initial negative thoughts on a piece of paper and putting them in a drawer. Return to your journal.
- Start small: doodle, draw pictures, write top of mind
- Start with one question. You don’t have to have an answer. Just a response.
- Tell a story about yourself as a child
- Visualise yourself in the future, in 12 months, in five years
Make an appointment through my website and have a complimentary discovery session on writing your way to personal freedom and meaning.