Monday, January 07, 2019

2019 Intentions - Part 1: Journaling

Like every year, I hope to get back to blogging more. I'll touch on the why of that for this year in a later post - assuming I ever make more than one or two posts. This post is intended to be a post about just one intention or goal I have for 2019. I have about 10, many of which are interrelated. I am hoping that by delving into each one I'll get a little bit more traction towards accomplishing them this year.

So my intention is to journal every single day of 2019. At least once a day. Now, I'm not going to freak out if I miss a day, I've done enough all or nothing resolutions to know they don't work if you are really trying to create a change. My focus is to set an intention(s) or goals that I want to achieve by the end of the year. So when I say I'll journal every day I mean by the end of the year journaling on a daily basis will be an establish part of my day-to-day activities.

Journaling Intentions 2019

I have a couple of reasons for adding journaling to my 2019 goals. Over the last year and a half I journaled on and off and had some realizations regarding the benefits of journaling. Based off of that learning I want to try and journal more consistently and expand my journaling topics which had been fairly limited since I was "journaling" for a specific reason. Here are some of the ways I want to expand my journaling.

Meditation Notes

I meditate close to every day and various thoughts and feelings come up during the meditation. To the extent I can I’d like to get these written down even if its just a few bullet points. I have been writing down some things in a separate notebook but I want to start consolidate it with my journal and add some of the thoughts and feelings that come up during meditation.

Pulling My Thoughts Together (or out of my head)

Last year I was successful in more consistently meditating and doing a little reading every morning. Beginning in mid February 2018, I meditated more that 270 days which is not everyday but it is fairly consistent. More often than not, I would spend 10-20 minutes reading books like Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Refuge Recovery, and currently Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. As I read more, I make more connections between the books, my inner-scape, and life in general but I never really write them down or clarify them. I am hoping by journaling more consistently perhaps I can express the connections I make more thoroughly.

To be honest, I am also hoping that by writing some of these thoughts out paper and can make them more clear. Then I can get better at expressing themes when I teach yoga classes. I am not really comfortable talking about these things, things like spirituality, chakras, these inner-space, personal thoughts. That's partially because I don't really talk about them in general so I don't really feel natural talking about it. I'm hoping the more I write the more comfortable I will get expressing these thoughts in general, helping me as a yoga teacher.

Well I'll try to validate that this year with more consistent journaling to go along with the meditating and reading I was able to establish in 2018.

Integrating and Synthesizing Learnings

I'll talk about it more in a later post, but I continue to study yoga. I am studying by reading books on it like the Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar etc. I am once again attending my teacher Marni Task's Jivasara Yoga Teacher Training. Marni generously allows graduates of the Jivasara program to attend all future Teacher Trainings for free. I am in my fourth training and am still learning every time. I also continue to attend workshops, like Gina Schatz's Shoulder Workshop(sold out!) at 3 Sisters Yoga in a few weeks. Or other continuing education and immersions like the Jivamukti Yoga Immersion at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck New York.

As I go through these readings, workshops, etc, I have ah-ha moments, or make connections to other things I have learned. I've never written these down. By being more focused on journaling this year I am hoping that I can begin to get those on to paper.

Begin a Gratitude Practice

Santosha is one of the Niyamas, the second of the 8 Limbs of Yoga. Santosha is contentment, so being content with life whatever it throws at you is the goal. Being grateful leads to contentment. Expressing gratitude for things big and small. Even for those things that don't seem to be really all that nice. But even those we are grateful since the give us the opportunity to grow and challenge ourselves. Like many things gratitude is a practice. So I plan to try to leverage my journaling to practice expressing gratitude. I have read one or two things about a gratitude practice and one key to a good practice is to express gratitude for only a one or two things a day. More than that you are not really delving into why you are grateful for whatever it is because you are too busy listing everything up. In doing so you lose some of the depth and meaning for being grateful.

So I hope to try every evening to enter in to my journal what I am grateful for from the day. I'll start off writing it at night, but I'm not convinced yet that I'll have enough self-discipline to do it every night. If not, I'll switch it around to some other time.

One thing that I read as I was looking this up is that recapping your day, both accomplishments and those things you didn't accomplish, it an important way to 1) identify what you are grateful for but also 2) getting the "to dos" out on paper so they are not rumbling around your head creating anxiety. So I'll hope to be adding that daily recap into my journal as well.

Did you know that following successful people journaled? (According to the internet anyway)
Mark Twain
Albert Einstein
George Patton
Alex De Tocqueville
Thomas Jefferson
George Lucas
Charles Darwin
Ernest Hemingway
Benjamin Franklin
John D. Rockefeller
Lewis & Clark
George Marshall
Isaac Newton
Frank Capra
Pablo Picasso
Hakutei Ishii
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thomas Edison
Leonardo Da Vinci
Marie Curie
Frida Kahlo

Next intention will be "Studying Yoga". I reference it above by saying I'll be going more in-depth but I continue to expend effort on learning and studying yoga. My next post will cover that topic.

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