Journaling your moods
I have been doing an interesting exercise this past week. I challenged myself to write down, as often as I needed to, throughout the day, what mood I was feeling at any particular time. I would then actively and consciously identify what were the triggers for the moods I was experiencing. In the beginning, it took a lot of mind power 1) to realise there was an emotion taking place and 2) to make the effort to stop, feel the emotion and then ask myself “What caused me to feel this emotion?” This has turned out to be quite a powerful and, at times, quite intense and brutal exercise as I had to be completely honest with myself when it came to identifying the trigger that was causing my mood.
The happy moods were easy. I could identify those triggers without giving it much thought – a beautiful sunny day, the early morning walk and hearing the rain bird calling, a phone call from my daughter, seeing the absolute glee in our dogs when we come home, planting my herbs, having afternoon tea and chats with my partner, the thunderstorm, reconnecting with an old friend.
It was easy to identify the triggers that have made me sad over these past few days – the grief of losing a precious little girl three years ago, the loss for words when I think of her parents and sister and wonder just how they manage to deal with such a loss. The tremendous sadness of finding out that the joy of reconnecting with an old friend brings with it its own deep sorrow– she too has lost her beautiful son nearly three years ago. I am reminded of how with sorrow, there is always joy. With joy, there is always sorrow – as my one sibling mourns the loss of his daughter, my other sibling celebrates the birthday of her gorgeous son who is the same age as the cousin he has lost.
It was the dark moods that I really had to make an effort to acknowledge, let alone identify the triggers. When you are happy, you know you are doing what your soul, your true Self, expects you to be doing. But, when you have to face your bad moods, you realise how much you are not living your Truth. This is where the challenge really kicks in – how much of your time do you spend in a bad space because of emotions triggered by things, situations or people that you don’t have the courage or strength to change and move out of your life? Boredom from being in a job that just doesn’t do it for you anymore. Frustration because the work you want and are meant to be doing is taking a while to take off. Anger because a work colleague shows you disrespect. Confusion and a sense of being “stuck” – this was a big one for me as I started to realise there was something bigger than me taking place here. I really started to question this one and as a result, spent days reading about spiritual awakening and what one can experience. All pretty awesome but also, so, so frightening.
What have I learnt over the past seven days from journaling my moods? I have learnt that I need to show more gratitude for all the good things that happen on a daily basis in my life and bring me so much happiness. It has taught me that it is okay to feel such an immense sadness, so deep that you feel your heart is breaking. If I hadn’t been actively conscious of this mood I was in, I would not have seen the quote I have used for this post today which brings me comfort and an understanding of what I am feeling so deeply within. I have learnt to acknowledge, without guilt, the things that are not working for me. I now know that I need to make some serious changes if I want to stop feeling the bad moods! I have also learnt that I am indeed in the midst of a spiritual awakening which makes it just a little bit easier to deal with the frustration, confusion and bewilderment I have been feeling.
I would like to challenge you to spend the next seven days recording your moods in a journal. Take note as often as you can, throughout the day, of how you are feeling and why. The first couple of days are hard and it takes a huge, personal conscious effort to do it but I really do believe it’s worthwhile. At the end of the seven days, you will have a better understanding of what makes you tick, what is important to you and what needs to go. You will also begin to realise that your moods are the base of everything you do and if you can learn to identify what creates the happy moods, you will be sure to do more of those things. The same applies for the bad mood triggers. Identify them and make a conscious decision to remove those triggers from your life. They do not serve you. When you are feeling sad, go within, acknowledge and embrace the feeling.
I dedicate this post to my beautiful niece, Jennifer Joy Rose, who brought so much joy, laughter and happiness into my life. Her passing, while one of the saddest experiences I have yet to feel, also opened my eyes and helped me discover what I needed to change in my life.