I meditate. I practice yoga. I take long walks.
But what helps me hear that voice inside is journaling.
I’ve journaled for what seems like forever. Once I put something on the page, its not on my mind. I see it and get clarity.
Why not try? For a week or a month. You’ll get what I mean. Or you won’t. Nothing’s for everybody. But at least you’ll know if it helps.
Because I work things out in my journal: pros and cons, likes and dislikes, needs and desires, dreams and nightmares. You might too. I put it all down on the page and wait awhile until I can take a better or calmer look. I don’t have to remember. It’s there. And when I think about it or if something’s haunting me, I can see what the issue was, how I felt about it then and think about how I feel about it now.
It’s a practice. I try to write daily. Some days it’s a book. Other days not. When I don’t know what to write? My first creative writing professor told me “put the pen to paper and write whatever words come, even if its nothing”. I found an old page where I wrote just that: nothing about 25 times. But generally, when I am stuck, I write how I feel or how the day is, the colors around me, the smells. And when I can’t write anymore, I write thank you, repeat it to myself and close the book.
This sort of practice can help you get clear on your needs and goals and let you know when you’re repeating habits you may want to change. You can go back and read something from 4 weeks or 4 years ago and catch patterns from your life right now. Things you thought you’d overcome, like codependent relationships or dysfunctional working or eating habits, poor self care regimens, pains in your body. They don’t just come up to you, tap you on the shoulder and say, “hey, you’re doing that again”.
When you read something from a few years ago and notice you’re complaining about the same exact thing, you recognize repetitive habits. It’s like turning on a light in a dark room. You may find the clarity you’ve been looking for. Then you can make a plan to change it…… in your journal! And eventually take that off the page and move more fully in your life.