November 15th, 2020
My bullet journal is my saviour. If I have a problem, I problem solve in my journal. If I feel unsettled, I write a list that clarifies my feelings. If I feel disconnected, I reconnect with myself with meaningful bullet journal spreads.
A few weeks ago, I dedicated a bullet journal spread to: ways that I can light up my life. Why do we need to do that, I hear you ask.
Well, have you ever heard of the phrase:
Only in the darkness, can we see the stars?
This is a quote from Martin Luther King, and it reminds us to look for the specks of light during darker times. Just like in the literal sense, we can see beauty in the stars as the nights get darker. We need to be able to look through the darkness in our lives, to find the stars.
I can't think of a better reason to write a list in my journal. To help me look for the stars, and hold on to them at the times that I need it most.
My list fell into 2 categories:
things I can do in my external environment
things I can manage internally
The external list items were easy and fun, the most obvious being lighting candles. Sometimes after a long tough day, I need to be able reset for the evening to make the most of it. Sometimes making the most of it just means sitting down with a hot chocolate and a good book. Other times, it's feeling inspired to write a blog post or create a video. I want to appreciate those moments and enjoy every second of it, which can be difficult if I'm still holding onto battle scars from earlier in the day.
Lighting a candle (or even a few) to transition into the evening, feels like hitting a reset button. The kind that clears your mind of unhelpful thoughts and sets you up to be present and grateful for the remainder of the evening.
So of course, candles went on the list.
Reading a good book also does it for me. Something that I'm fully engrossed in that I never want to end!
Watching a feel-good film that I know picks me up, has the power to do this for me. Along with listening to certain special playlists, or doing some gentle yoga.
We can't always do or access external things though. Maybe you just can't find a book that holds your attention. Or you can't get a moment of peace, to enjoy lighting a candle and sit in silence.
This is where the internal things come into it. These are the most important one's to master and hold onto. Here are some of the ideas that I jotted down in my journal:
Being present and appreciating the small things are the most valuable tools. Be fully present in the moment by paying attention to the sounds in that moment. Smell the scents around you. Appreciate how soft the throw feels on you while you lounge around underneath it. This will always bring you back to the present moment and has the power to life feel vivid and exciting.
We have the power to do this internally, with a few deep breaths and conscious awareness of our surroundings.
Feeling grateful for small things is a powerful way to add light into your life and see the stars during darker times. But you can make it even more powerful by transitioning from feeling gratitude to expressing it. There are so many tiny things we can thank people for. Find ways to do this. A short text message to express your gratitude towards someone, a passing comment in person or even a kind gesture to show your appreciation.
This is the art of using words and phrases to communicate a positive and supportive tone to anybody you interact with (including yourself!) I practice this with my kids all the time, to try and get the best out of them and to encourage happy feelings in our home and our relationships. It's really tough (especially with children, because they have a special way of being able to push us to our limits). But we have some great opportunities to practice.
So many of our interactions happen through text/whatsapp or email at work. A few extra minutes thinking about what you're saying before you hit send is all you need. If a friend asks how you are, saying "i'm doing well" is much more positive than "not bad". Or focussing on solutions rather than problems can be a positive way to explain how you're feeling. My common response is "i'm so tired" or "exhausted". Instead, I can flip that around to: "i'm looking forward to resting and relaxing with a good book tonight once I finish xxx".
There may be a tough situation you're facing, or even just something slightly unsettling. Try seeing it from a different perspective and where possible dig deep to feel compassion for any others involved. You'll be amazed by the results and how much lighter you feel about a situation when you do. Choose to believe that you have the power to lighten your load by looking at the same situation from a different lens.
Instead of worrying about things not going the way you want, think about the best possible outcomes. If you work hard on a project, what is the best possible outcome? Tune into that positivity, instead of focussing on how it can go horribly wrong. The law of attraction is, the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focussing on. So if you're focussing on positive outcomes, you're more likely to attract them. Thoughts turn into things eventually, so keep up the positive thoughts and goals, and you will find ways to achieve them.
Here's my journal spread for some more ideas:
I hope this has offered some ideas on how to see the light when things feel dark.
With internal tools, we have the power to choose the quality of our lives through the choices that we make.
On that note, I'd like to leave you with this poem:
Choose to take the Light road, the Light option, to relate to whatever is going on in a Light way so you can enjoy yourself and have fun while you go through it.
You can laugh or you can cry. You can enjoy yourself or you can suffer.
Happiness is always your choice.