If you’ve been keeping up with my Facebook or Instagram accounts, you probably know that I’ve been pretty quiet this month. As I mentioned in one of my last posts, long-term goals and that hustle life hasn’t really resonated with me much lately, and so I’ve been taking my time to turn inward and figure out what is.
One of the practices that I turn to when I’m feeling off kilter like this is intuitive journaling. Essentially, I meditate for about 10-20 minutes—enough to settle my mind—and then I grab a pen and a journal and write a question and then start writing the first thing that comes to me as a response. I can often feel an energy shift between the “asker” and the respondent. I also get some really illuminating answers and from past experiences, I can say my intuition has rarely been wrong. Consider this practice a leaning into the “gut feeling” that we so often push aside in favor of what we’d like to believe are our rational minds.
When I did this for the first time this month, the word “healing” immediately popped up. Since then I’ve come to realize how burned out I actually was and to slowly let go of the things that I no longer truly need to be doing. This practice has led to a much calmer and centered self.
But that’s not all! One of the most exciting things about meditating so often and going through these phases of introspection is the degree of clarity and openness of creativity that I receive. I’ve been more inspired to try different techniques, to go slower in my painting and really appreciate the journey unfolding, and to truly try new subjects with patience (landscapes, for instance). Painting has become more of a practice as it flows rather than a job that must be done. It’s refreshing and I’m excited to lean into it some more.
If you are feeling stuck or low or misaligned these days, I offer these suggestions that may be helpful (And please note: these are not 1 day fixes. Practices are exactly that—practice. It’s the commitment over time that really gives you the benefit.):
Meditation—I can’t recommend this practice enough. It always seems to be the answer I’m looking for and it has made such a monumental difference in my life. I highly recommend Insight Timer as a place to start. It has thousands of free (yes, FREE!) high quality meditations and features, which in my opinion, makes it far superior than many of the other apps out there.
Journaling—Intuitive or not, journaling is always a great practice to organize your thoughts, figure out what stories you are telling yourself, and to just be you and say all of the things you want to say without any judgement. Need a notebook? Check out mine here!
Chanting—This is a new practice for me, but one that I enjoy. I can feel my mood lift and my brain feels all good and fuzzy after. I chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, which is part of the SGI Buddhist practice.
Reading—I’ve been reading some of Rumi’s poetry and Eckhart Tolle’s books lately to put me more in an aligned state. I would recommend that you pick a book that isn’t going to make your brain dance, but rather calms you and resonates with you on a deeper level.
Podcasts—Sometimes listening to mindset or motivational podcasts can be really uplifting. Some of the ones I’ve listened to in the past are: The Lively Show, Satsang with Mooji, Tara Brach, Ram Dass Here and Now.
I’ll leave you with some Rumi that has really touched me lately:
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
And frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
And begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.