"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vital Life Insights

In my plan to savor my own life experience and really accept age and the passing of time and wisdom and not just smooth skin and young energy...I have just made a new step forward. We, all of us, are learning things, all the time....lessons that are our own little gold nuggets that slowly compile to create wisdom. I think it's a shame that we never really consciously examine what we've learned and what we are learning and turn each nugget over in our hands, really looking at it and really feeling it between our fingers, appreciating the things we have learned through hard won experience.

I used to be a big journaler, never really consistantly the every-single-day diary scribbler, but consistant enough that I've filled several lined books with reams of accounts of "what I did today." I don't journal that way anymore. I'm glad that I did it because it got me started: I wrote, I thought, however shallowly about my life and my self. These days my journalling is more expressive and more insightful and much more useful, I use my journal to sort out my insides and plot life in ways that count and make sense.
All my classic lined page journals.

My current journals (I have two at the moment, one for writing and one for visuals) are a little out of the box. This is what journalling looks like for me right now. I'm often answering questions, making lists, making bold statements and writing down my hopes and small healing reminders to the tattered, quiet bit of me inside.
My visual journal

My written journal, in a sketchbook.

This week I decided to start making a list of my major life insights in my writing journal. We all know there are certain trite bits of wisdom (however true and meaningful) that could pepper any individual's list, but what I'm talking about instead are the things that feel vital to you right now. Personal insights: things that have to do with your own individual thinking and pondering and feeling and reading. Here are some good ways to dig them up if nothing is coming to you.
  • Revisit old journal entries (if you journal) and look for recurrent themes.
  • Think about the things you're talking about all the time to your spouse, your children, your best friend, your mom...vital bits of wisdom are often things we're so struck by that we talk about them over and over while digesting.
  • Think about someone who bugs you a lot and ask yourself what they are doing that you would never do, write that down and look at it. Is there some life insight there that you can gather up?
  • Look around you at your bookshelves and remember, as you spot particular books, important things you learned from them.
  • Think about a painful life experience you've had. Are there any life lessons you can say you learned through it?
  • What did you trip over lately and then you say to yourself "I sure thought I learned that a long time ago!"
  • What do you consider to be the most important things your parents and your spiritual community have taught you?
So....there's some prompts to get you going. I'd love to hear what you're all learning at the moment, feel free to share in the comments.
Here's what's on my list so far:
  1. Christianity, and maybe all of life is about LOVE...and nothing more.
  2. We are all failures who are valuable.
  3. All personal connections/relationships in life are good and of value.
  4. I need respect.
  5. Morning headstarts are the key to sanity.
  6. Kindness earns you love, respect comes via achievement.
  7. All emotions are valid and need to be looked in the eye and accepted, even the big scary ones.
  8. Beauty is important for my vibrant health.
  9. Junk food addiction is passive suicide.
  10. Generosity is very important.
  11. Repetition=Skill
  12. Anger, unaddressed becomes bitterness.
 What has life taught you through experience? Dish it out!


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