What’s that? You mastered the art of meditation and are no longer the victim of thoughts about past and future? Always fully present in the current moment? Hooray! Good for you. Only… what does this mean for those moments you actually want to plan what to do in the days and weeks ahead of you?
Not to worry, way ahead of you. While these things all deserve plenty of attention, they don’t need to receive your attention at any random moment of the day. How about you simply start a new habit. How about you start keeping a daily journal!
The point here is to step off the hamster wheel of always needing more focus. You don’t need to focus and plan all the time. All you really need is some focused time that will reliably be available every day. So let’s start a new habit of journaling 10 minutes every morning
Here are a couple of different exercises you can do to get your journal started:
- Free writing
Set a timer for 10 minutes and start writing anything that pops up into your mind. And if you really hit a blank and ran out of things to write down, you can simply write “I don’t know what to write”. This exercise will help to get your writing muscle warmed up and your mind cleared from clutter.
- Creative writing
Start by coming up with an opening sentence. Anything that pops into your head. For example: “As the woman came into the bar, she realized with a shock what she had been forgetting that whole day”. And once you have the opening sentence, just keep writing for 10 minutes to see what comes out. Go!
- What would make today amazing?
What single event would be something that you could look back on when you go to bed this evening, and leave you completely satisfied with your day? Perhaps preparing a nice dinner for yourself. Or finishing that report that has been bugging you for the last weeks!
- Three things that you are proud of
There are many books and studies about the value of keeping a gratitude journal. This is a great practice and something I definitely recommend doing. Even better though, in my personal view, is writing down what you are proud of. It will encourage you to take ownership over your life.
- Write a poem
Again, start with a random sentence. Anything that comes up in your mind. Just let it come your way. “As the wind blows the leaves”. And continue writing whatever comes to mind. There are no rules to poems. Let your creativity fly!
- Brainstorm on an inspiring question
Just search for “inspiring questions” or “life questions” online and pick anything that appeals to you. And let yourself scribble freely on any thoughts you have around it.
All these types of writing will help you to relax the mind to a state of more flow and relaxation. You see, relaxing into a creative flow will help you access your unconscious mind. This creative state of mind is associated with the occurrence of alpha waves in the mind. This means that the neurons in your brain start to oscillate synchronously. And it is exactly in this related state, in between wakefulness and sleep, that your creativity and memory get a big boost.
I encourage you to try the exercises that I described above. See which ones spark your interest. And use them to cultivate those yummy alpha waves. You will find that in this creative mindset, you will be able to tackle a lot of your everyday problems. And leave the rest of your day open to spend time with friends, learn new things and play!