Self-Reflection can be both challenging and painful, but on the other side of that discomfort is growth. Knowing your personal story, as well as the stories you are telling yourself, can help you move forward with more clarity and understanding about who you are and what motivates you in life.
There are many tools for self-reflection: therapy, yoga, meditation, journaling, and others. The combination of meditation and journaling is my favorite for getting to the root of what’s bothering me. Meditation allows you to be quiet and still. I find the most wisdom comes to me when I stop moving. As a recovering perfectionist, type A workaholic, being still and quiet is the only way I can get out of my own way and just be with what is in my mind and heart. As long as I keep moving, I don’t have to pay attention to how I feel; it’s a way that I numb and ignore myself when feelings get difficult.
Meditation is a way to slow down and find stillness. When you are still and quiet you can notice what is actually happening. You may notice grief or anger rising to the surface. You might be aware of the solution to a problem you’ve been struggling with. Meditation can be challenging at first, the mind doesn’t like to be still and quiet. There are all sorts of things it would rather fixate on than your breath. Your mind likes to wander to thoughts of the past and the future, but you are attempting to stay in the present. The past already happened, the future has not yet happened. The present is really all we have.
Meditation gets easier the more you practice. It gets easier to sit with the discomfort of stillness. You get better at noticing what is happening in your mind, rather than going down the rabbit hole of thoughts. Through this process, you learn to be kinder to yourself and learn that you are not your mind, you are not your thoughts. You are the noticer, the observer, the witness. When you notice your thoughts, you can notice the stories that they are telling you, often stories that aren’t true.
The Stories You Tell Yourself
We all have stories that we tell ourselves. Often, these are just stories and are usually not actually true, yet we believe them to be true. We get told things in our childhood that are a reflection of other people’s fears and opinions: you’re too much, you aren’t worth my time, you don’t matter, you are too fat/thin/smart/stupid, the list goes on.
We internalize these stories and believe them to be true. When you reflect on these stories, you will realize that they are not actually true. What is true is that you are enough, you are worthy, you do matter, and you are just as you should be. Self-love grows out of your ability to see yourself as you are, and love yourself just as you are.
Once you have sat in meditation for a period of time, journaling can be a helpful tool for processing what came up. Journaling is not just keeping a log of what happened in your day. Journaling allows you to tap into what is happening in your subconscious mind. When you journal, you are writing stream of consciousness. This might be one long sentence, this might be poetry, this might be short paragraphs. There is no “best” way to journal, just the way that works best for you.
What’s most important is that you don’t censor yourself. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling don’t matter. You can draw or paint if writing isn’t your thing. The point is, you are not planning what you will write, you are just letting it all flow out onto the page. Don’t think. Just write.
It’s amazing what you can uncover through this process, and there are many techniques. The combination of meditation to “set the mood,” and then journaling to process the thoughts and feelings, is powerful to help you get the answers you are seeking. You have all of answers that you need. You just need to let them out.
If you are interested in understanding a bit more about meditation and journaling, join me for 30 Days to Reconnect to Yourself, an online program that teaches you to live more intentionally through yoga, breathwork, meditation, and journaling. Reclaim your life and get in touch with what drives you to do the things you do. Click here for more information or to sign up for the waitlist and get your free bonus!
Get this free eBook: 3 Myths About Meditation and Why it’s Easier Than You Think! Many people have misconceptions about what meditation is and why they “can’t” do it. This eBook busts 3 myths about meditation, and helps you understand that meditation truly is for everybody.
Join me for a free Webinar on July 31, Aug 16, or Aug 29 called “Embrace, Express, Empower: Exploring Your Emotions and What is Holding You Back!” You’ll learn proven techniques to handle challenging emotions so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. You’ll learn to stay connected to yourself and not shut down or tap out when life gets hard. Click this link for more information or to sign up!
To practice meditation with me every week, sign up for Movement and Meditation at Purple Room Yoga! This online class happens every Monday 8-8:40am ET, or you can catch it on demand whenever you like!