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Journaling In The NowBy Expert Author: Anthony Wood
Generally, people either live in the past or in the future the majority of their day. This leaves the opportunity of being in the present moment fleeting. It is only in our present moment where we can experience blissfulness, happiness, confidence, and being our authentic selves. Journaling after the day is over or even several days later, we both know is not being in the present moment. When we journal in past tense, we need to close our eyes and remember what it was like then. Usually forgetting many of the details of that previous moment.
If you want to journal in the present moment, which in turn will also help you live life more fully, you will need to stop during the day and journal in those moments. Okay, I'm hearing, "But...who has time for this? I sure don't."
I hear ya. I was exactly where you are in thought when I first began experimenting with all this. After getting into the swing of it though, I found the benefits exceeded the time deprivation thinking. Benefits include walking taller, in more self-control, stronger, and with power because you're letting go of the burden of trying to remember everything. This includes people to contact and things to do. The little things people did that previously annoyed me were easy to let go.
Journaling is a well-known way to relieve stress and increase our personal health. Then why do we want to do it when there is only available time? Before you leave right now saying that I'm out of my mind, I don't have the time. I ask for your patience. This really is not about having a time shortage it's about priorities. The real question is: Do you live your life trying to catch up? On the other hand, "Do you want to be a star in your own life?"
Let me share with just one of the ways I use this "Journaling in the Now" technique. As a self-employed life and business coach, I work with clients all over the world usually by phone. Before their call comes through, I need to be in the present moment for them, and not my own present moment, in order to honor our relationship. This exercise is one of the tools I use to make that transition.
Here is how I usually complete this...
Before each call, I write down what is going on in my mind in what I call my "dump and let go" journal. In order to not loose track of time, I use a timer and set it for 10 minutes. By dumping whatever is on my mind, I release everything my present moment mind swirls and begin to transfer over to my client. Sometimes I do this after reading their notes from the previous session, sometimes before. By the time the client called, I was already in "their" zone.
Well, you say...you're not a coach, nor self-employed. If you are either one of these, then you can truly relate.
Yet, it doesn't really matter, let me give you a few additional ways you can use this same technique whether you are a business owner, employee, unemployed, or a household engineer. This is even a great technique for teenagers to copy with their rolling emotional transitions.
Choose a time when you want to be in the present moment with what you are doing or what you are about to do. For a mother or father, this could before cooking dinner, or before a bedtime story with your children. For an employee, it could be before or after (I use both times) to set a timer for 10 minutes and dump what is going in your mind. For someone unemployed, you could use it before and after an interview. You will find that when you are finished you are fully in the present moment and ready for whatever comes next.
For speakers or if you are giving a presentation, do this same exercise 30 to 60 minutes before the time you go on. You might think it's not the best way to prepare, at least I didn't think so at first, but it turned out to be extremely beneficial for both my audience and myself. Being in the present moment is very attractive to others.
As a member of Toastmasters, I use this same technique, usually in my car, before going into the meetings. You can also do this exercise right before reading. This allows you to be full present the minute you begin reading.
Honestly, I love this exercise. It influences my day, my experience with others, and removes stress in big ways. For Americans, stress is 50% of the reasons why we die before the age of 65, according to the Center for Disease and Prevention. Changing my habit of using journaling in the present moment has added blissfulness to my life. I am sure it will do the same for yours. Try this exercise for a week; I know you will be as solid as I've been.
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