Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Being Stuck...

Feeling Stuck is a gnawing feeling that we sometimes will expereince in our bodies -unable to move, or in our minds - when we feel that we are thinking about 50 things at the same time  or in our emotions which can manifest in anxiety or in feeling frozen.  How many of us start a project - begin with zest, enthusiasnm determination - we get into it and we have all these ideas bursting in our head - and maybe in the beginning we seem to be meeting some head way - but then something - someone may trigger something in you and you get frozen. 
You don't know where to go - how to move forward -how to get beyond the beginning phase and you feel stuck.  
You may call it feeling stuck or others may view it as reaching a plateau.  There is that sense of restlessness and anxiety of when are we going to get to the next place - i think  it is important at that point - how much of this is being stuck, and how much of this is about learning to be calm and let things manifest at their own pace and time.   It is important to explore both aspects depending on the individual - and for that u need to look at your self and say - is the universe trying to tell me to learn to slow down? or is the universe trying to teach me to look at what my negative patterns are and how am i to break free of that? The key to that is learning acceptance and mindfulness in that.   From a physical standpoint, it is important to notice how our feelings of being stuck can be manifested physically - knots in different parts of our body - such as the back, or perhaps the lower abdomen, our head, our shoulders. It could be sleeplessness - and from an emotional standpoint it could be anxiety or restlessness or overindulgence whether it be in food, drink, shopping.

If we are not in tuned with ourselves, we may not even realize that we are stuck - Sometimes we can be stuck for months without even realizing it - Regardless of the duration of this feeling of stucknesss - the key is figuring out what triggers it and how to get out of it.   Sometimes a whole year can pass us by and we may not even realize that we are frozen whether it be physically, emotionally or spiritually.  The danger in being stuck is that it prevents us from being more intuned with ourselves, it denies us the opportunity to become the person we are meant to be, and is very defeating for our spirit. 
How can we be creative when we are feeling stuck in a situation?

Use this stuckness as a wake up call because it can help you look back to see where you have been and you can look forward to see where you might go.   Try not to be resistant of being in that mode, realize that where you are is okay and it can serve a purpose if you are mindful of where you are.  
Some tips that have helped me when I'm in that phase that I would like to share with you:
- The point of having silence/meditation at a set time for me everyday - make it your daily appointment with your self where you allow yourself to be silent.  For me it is in the morning before i start my day and it centers me, and gives me energy and motivation to face the day.  
-recognize the difference between mental chatter and the effect it has on you to create some form of anxiety - and learning to still that mental chatter when you sit in silence. Be aware of what we say to ourselves within this time period - is it a negative feeling - -What about our thoughts - are our thoughts positive or negative - have an affirmation for yourself so everytime you feel that you are heading into a negative self-talk you begin to utilize the affirmation to bring you back.  
- Write down your experiences from the past and how you feel about your experience and how this will shape your futre.   Writing it down helps put things in perspective.    -Sometimes getting feedback from someone objective can be helpful - it doesn't mean that you have to do what they tell you to, but you are taking in information that
- it is important to not control the outcome - this is a time frame for watching, gathering information, monitoring our feelings, processing our feelings and thoughts - and we may be surprised with where it takes us.   It is all about being in the moment and with the process. 
 - The waiting mode can often feel like being stuck - and this is the hardest part because we have these expectations that some type of direction or announcement will be provided to us either from within or from an adviser- but getting obsessed in this phase can be a disservice to us because we are always living in the future and we miss out on what is right in front of us - we are so blinded by our expectations that we forget that sometimes if we stay still, the answere will come to us.   Each of us has the wisdom inside of us that we prevent ourselves from saying/being.    The wisdom is what makes us who we are but it has been clouded by so many layers -the layers need to come off so that we can finally return to our true self.  

A writing exercise that I have tried over and over again and is so powerful is the following:
- In the lower right hand corner doodle/draw/ be creative of where u are right now in your life.   Don't censor yourself.
- In the upper right hand corner draw where you see yourself in the future and again you can doodle, use crayons, markers - be creative if you want to. 
-Now link the two together and draw a path from A to B and see what happens.  Draw how you get from where you are now to where you want to be - are there blocks, are there guides, are there hills, or water.   See what happens.

Now do a 5 minute writing piece with this and see where it takes you.   Read it out loud to yourself and monitor the insights.    

 Happy Journaling:)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Music and Journaling

music, quotes, sayings, meaningful, short

 Music- the capacity for it to move your soul, to uplift your spirit, to speak to you when you most need it is an amazing gift from the universe.   Music is something that has been a part of me since i was a child - whether it be singing at a really young age at our place of worship, to dancing to the bollywood tunes that I grew up with, to creating mixes or compilations of various artists/themes to using music to inspire me to write.   If you don't have music as part of your life, you are missing out on something.   Whatever it be I am always in awe at the way it has the capacity to move me.   I see it in my son - at a very tender age he has been exposed to music - and he uses it in many ways - he uses it to soothe himself when he is upset - he will use it to make him happy -it is a wonderful delight to see how he can use that as a tool for himself.

 I write today about music because just like how it has the amazing effect to open up channels in us that we sometimes are not aware of  - the same thing exists with journaling.   It takes us to another level in us that we are not aware of and allows us to open ourselves to new experiences and be open to everyday experiences that occur.   I usually like to write in silence - where there is no disturbance and no interruptions.  However that may not work for everyone.  Sometimes the silence is too much and often for those that have a difficult time with silence using a music prompt can help with journaling.   Journaling to the right music can help evoke the emotions in what is trying to come out - whatever that may be.       I will say that the research shows that journaling to instrumental/classical pieces have a more profound impact then lets say pop/top forty type music - however you have to find out what works for you and what the purpose of the journal entry is.  

One of the workshops that I conducted a couple of years ago, I played an instrumental piece for the participants and asked them to write for five minutes.   I wanted them to see if there was a difference in their writing with music playing in their background.   I also wanted to give those who don't want to write in silence other modalities to let the creative fire come out.   I know for a fact that I find my writing style very different when I write with music and when I don't.   I think it depends on your style - and it also depends on what you are trying to do.   

Music can also help with getting unstuck. So often we wake up and can't pinpoint what it is we are feeling - how we are feeling - we just know we are feeling a certain way....or Let's say that you are feeling stuck, or feeling blue, or feeling overwhelmed - but not know exactly how to put that in words - sometimes choosing that certain kind of music that help bring out the emotion and can help you write it out better.   How do you choose the right music - are you one to focus more on the lyrics - is it the beat, the rhythm? what is it that strucks a chord in you? pick that out - put on them music, pick up the pen and let your hand move.  

Music can also have a calming effect.  For those of us that can get anxious often or for those of us who tend to worry - putting on something instrumental can be soothing and take us into a relaxed mode.  Write while that music is playing to see if it has an effect on your mood.  

Music can also be a huge inspiration to create writing prompts especially if you are looking for writing ideas and sometimes just listening to something you like can give you something to work with.  You can take a line from a song and maybe write a poem from it.  Or you can take the rhythm and begin to use the emotion it invokes to create something fictional.  Or it can take you back to a particular memory and have you write about something that u haven't thought about in a long time.  

We often take for granted the impact music has on us in our everyday life.   In the last two weeks, i have been working on an exercsie for myself - i began to be more mindful of the music i chose to listen to - i noticed if there was an improvement in my mood, in the way i spoke, in my energy, and in my writing - i also noticed if began to be more creatively inspired with that - and i experimented with various styles - from what is playing on the radio to  what I am normally drawn to - I found that my lensview was different and more positive- i also found myself writing more.  It was an interesting experiment for me and i want to share that with you.  

What does music mean to you? Use one prompt and see if helps....Be more mindful of music in your everyday life.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Be your self....

slice of life stories
A warm and fuzzy video that i just had to share.   It is worth taking the time to watch it as it puts life in perspective, teaching us to really treasure the important things in life that we often take for granted.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Break the Chain...

Free Valentine's Day PowerPoint Background 10Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.   It is a day when the world celebrates Love in all its various forms.   Love can be healing, fun-filled, light, divine when expressed unconditionally.  Valentines Day today has taken on a different route - it has become more consumer oriented and in that process people forget the true meaning of Love.   This piece today is about Loving yourself - if you cannot love yourself - you cannot love another. Loving yourself means looking at yourself with all your flaws, marks, imperfections and looking at all your beauty and still being able to say to yourself "I love you." I love for being you.   There is a letter by Victor Hugo that i still have framed and he talks about all the reasons that he loves this woman - and in that letter, there is not one quality  - it is just because - I love you because i love  you - and i have always found that so powerful - I want to ask people who are reading this to really take the time to reflect on that - do we love ourselves enough?

LOVE acronym, Let our violence end on a blackboard with words written in chalk Stock Photo - 11714618Which brings me to another topic - Co-incidentally, tomorrow   marks the 15th anniversary of celebration of V-Day, a movement to end violence against women worldwide.  V-Day was founded by Eve Ensler, creator of the Vagina Monologues - her advocacy for spreading awareness on this important issue has spread worldwide and today you have women, men and children from all over the world looking to work on the same issue.   She uses media, poetry, dance, song to work on this message and if you haven't been to a V-Day even i would encourage you to do so.    
One Billion and Rising is a powerful website with a mind-blowing documentary as well as videos and songs that encourage women to rise up and dance to break the chain of violence.   The videos are amazing...

There is a  paragraph in the song that says...

This is my body, my body is holy
No more excuses, no more abuses
We are mothers, we are teachers,
We are beautiful, beautiful creatures

Playing_card_2How beautiful is that - if only we as women would take the time to really believe that and begin to start taking the steps to give us the self-respect that we deserve.   There comes a point in our lives where we have to open up our eyes and see the reality in front of us if we find ourselves in the same situation over and over again - and in this context i mean a relationship - do we see negative patterns in our relationship - are we being hurt - do we fear being alone - do we realize that if we have children that our children will follow in our own footsteps - our souls need to be awakened and so do our eyes - the extreme end of it is violence, there is no excuse for violence - this is no way blaming the victim at all - but it is a call for those out there to wake up.   If you or someone you know is in that situation-Do that for yourself on this valentines day.      As a society, we need to come together to break the chain - and if we don't come together, the chain cannot be broken - Taking it a step further is that no matter how alone we are, we need to realize that we are not alone - there is a whole community of sisters, mothers, friends, strong female role models - everyone that we need to reach out to in order to break the cycle.   And i think that is why the theme of V-day this year struck a chord in me - It is urging us to break the chain methaphorically by joining others through the power of dance and song.     So often when in love - we forget ourselves and we end up losing ourself all to gain that love, and gain that attention - but sometimes that comes with a price.   So on this Valentines Day dance and break that chain - sing and break that chain - to break the chain - the initial journey is like going through hell but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.      

A Journaling Prompt for you :   Write a Letter to Your Self - Write out all the reasons you love yourself and what makes you happy about you.        Happy V-Day!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Write a letter...

Write a letter to your child - whether they are young, old, middle age- whatever age they may be - take the time to write a letter to them.  Tell them how you feel.  If you are not a parent but are god parents or have children that are just like your own - write a letter to them.   Keep it or give it to them.   You may want to keep it and give it to them on their special day.  

write a letter to youWrite a letter to teacher that made a mark on you.  Do you remember the name? Find out if they still teach, google them and write to them.   Thank them and tell them the difference  they made . 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Love Letters

February is the month of  Love - celebrating love in all its various forms.   One of the websites that I came across a couple of weeks ago was something called Love Letters - i was struck by concept of writing love letters and the actually art of writing a letter.   Seldom are the days now where we actually mail letters to our friends, family - instead in this day and age, everything is electronized.   So when i came across this website -it intrigued me - What i found out instead was a woman by the name of Hannah Brencher who began writing love letters to strangers on the subways who felt needed a boost.   Fresh out of college, trying to find some sort of purpose in this world, she would ride the subway on her way to work and out of that came the idea of sending love letters to others.

What a concept.   Spreading our universal energy of love wherever we go - and it does not matter if we received it back in return.   That is the message of universal love - it is like a current that goes through one person and it spreads to the other ---and the other - and what a difference it makes.   And now it is an organization that is in full force ---where letter requests are sent every month for particular indiividuals needing that boost- and it is a hand written letter - not something by email, not something by text, but something that needs someone to take the time, pick up a piece of paper, perhaps do some artwork, perhaps write a poem, allow that creative energy to come through for no selfish motive whatsoever - it is to give love - unconditionally.....what an amazing concept....


I'm going to take it one step further - one of the all time classic techniques in journaling is writing letters -the act of putting down on paper what sometimes you may not be able to say verbally is a very healing and powerful technique.  It could be a letter to someone who is deceased, it could be a letter to your child , it could be a letter of forgiveness, it could be a letter to heal the mended heart, and/or it could a letter of gratitude - it could also be a letter of saying good bye and letting go....Writing gives you that power to express what sometimes our voices can't inititally - what i have found though is the more we practice the art of writing letters - the better we become at the art of communication and the better we become in honoring our voices.

- i remember last year when my son was in pre-k - the parents were asked to write a letter to their children about how proud we are of them - reading it out loud to them it was an absolute joy to see their faces light up - when i turned forty - i was so grateful for coming to where i was in my life -but i also knew that i couldn't be there if it weren't for so many people who came across me - some who i may not be in contact with regularly -or some of whom are family ----so i decided to send them notes of thank you - or i guess you would call it " love notes".....for one - it made me reflect back and think back of the memories- it made me appreicate them even further, and it made me honor myself more..... now i am not mentioning this to brag about it, but more so to illustrate that people often don't know how much you mean to them unless we take the time to say it - and often life slips you by and if in the whole span of your life, you don't take the time to really tell the people that influenced you or made you "You" - you have missed out on a great opportunity of connection - they will never know it - words have power and it is important to use it in a positive way.    

2in  SCRABBLE LETTER WORD  squares  for cards scrapbooking journaling collage crafts etc MagentaBelle printable download 106So i began thinking of the idea of spreading love throughout the month of february - A book i read on essays in journal writing talks about a whole chapter of Love Letters - It talks about the concept of- If we were to spread our love out in dfferent forms -to strangers, to family, to friends, to nature - and express that throughout the month - imagine the difference it would have on you.   Think of at time when you were truly in love - everything around you feels happy - you are exuding happiness in every limb or your body - think of how ur mood effects those around you and then think of how it pushes you to do more and be more to your True Self ---now imagine that feeling of love is spread out a little bit further - it is not just to that person you are in love with, but it is also to the strangers that you may see on your morning commute, it may be the person at your bagel/coffee store that helps you get that first kick in the morning, or the waiter/waitress at your favorite restaurant, or the librarian, or your child's teacher - whatever it is - try doing this exercise for the full month of february - send love notes to people in your life and for that matter it does n't just have to be family. 

Think of all the people in your day to day life that you interact with - Make a list - do we take that person for granted - do we say thank you to them - do we acknowledge how they are a part of the process of our life - think about that. Now when you are ready - for the month - send them letters - not email - but handwritten letters - the act of taking the time to write gives you the permission to make time for yourself - it is very easy to send a text, it is very easy to send an email - but writing a note - putting it in the envelope, going to the post office (even if it can be a dreadful experience sometimes) - is all part of the process -

Throughout this month - i will be sending out prompts of suggestions on ideas for writing a love letter - i hope you try to do at least one if not throughout the month.