Nutrition, Movement, Spirit, Perspective

Healthy Haven Step 1 - Begin Keeping Journals

No matter where we are on our journey of health, we all possess the power of positive transformation. This transformation begins the moment we have the desire to make a change for the better, and it continues as we take one healthy step at a time.

     The first Healthy Haven Step that I recommend taking is to begin keeping Journals. Journals are powerful tools that you can use for increasing your awareness of your present life. This increase in self-knowledge helps direct us towards our greatest growth, as we are able to reflect on the past, see where we are in the present moment, and contemplate the positive growth we wish to see in the future. I suggest keeping at least three health journals that are kept for different purposes.

     The first Journal I recommend keeping is what I call The Haven Transformation Journal.  In this Journal, you practice free flow writing where you write down the first thoughts that come into your mind. It can be about anything that you want or need it to be; the open page is there for you. It is through this writing process that we gain self-knowledge, becoming more conscious of who we are, what we want more of and what we want less of. We become aware of which activities make us feel a greater sense of well-being and which are no longer life generating for us.

     Writing is a way to help center us and open us up to our own inner visions, dreams and aspirations. You can ask yourself important questions such as, What do I want most for myself? What fulfills me and makes me feel the most alive? What would I like to change about my present behaviors? How am I relating to others? How can I bring more peace into my life? What are some of my limiting beliefs?

     One of my instructors at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition was Julia Cameron, the writer of the well-known book, “The Artist’s Way,” who also recommends asking yourself these stimulating questions while Journaling: 1. What do I need to know? 2. What do I need to accept? 3. What do I need to try? 4. What do I need to do? 5. What do I need to grieve? 6. What do I need to celebrate? She recommends writing three pages every day on 8 1/2 X 11” paper, as the first page goes quite quickly but in the second and third pages you tap into an inner river of ideas and passion.

     The next Journal is what I call The Haven Food Contemplation Journal, where you record every piece of food that you put into your mouth and the amounts of the food. At the end of each week, sit down and examine this Food Journal in detail. Circle the healthiest foods that you are presently eating, and then brainstorm ideas for other healthy foods that you can enjoy as a replacement for the unhealthier items you are presently eating. In this Journal you can also record your process around food. How does what you are eating make you feel emotionally and physically? How does it make you feel when you eat different foods and how do these foods make you feel later on? What are your healthy food habits and what are your unhealthy food habits? Are you snacking a lot between meals or eating late at night? Where are you struggling and what are some of the solutions?

     You can use this Journal to write about the new foods or recipes you are trying out, recording your most favorite ones within these pages. This Journal is also helpful to use if you have overeating issues with unhealthy food. Before you eat, sit down and write the answer to the following four questions. 1. Am I Hungry or is this an emotional response? 2. Is this what I want to eat? 3. Is this what I want to eat now? 4. What healthier thing can I eat or what inspirational activity can I do instead?

     The third Journal is what I call The Haven Workout Journal, where you write down how much movement you are getting each day - how much cardio, how much strength and how much stretching, because these are all important to have in balance. In this Journal you can write out all of the activities that you enjoy doing and contemplate how to arrange your day so that you are able to do at least one of them every day. You can create goals for yourself within these pages and write about your progress.

     It is important to write in your journal every single day because in this way you will have an accurate representation of your process and you will be growing a habit when one day journaling will be a very natural thing for you to do. I also recommend writing long hand on paper journals as this allows for more depth in the writing and it connects you more intimately to your emotional life.

     It is through Journaling that we truly come to know ourselves on a deeper and more intimate level, increasing our insight and wisdom and discovering our originality and authenticity. It creates the ability to hold ourselves accountable for our actions, to feel inspired from the successes that we have had and allows us to reflect on how we can make more positive changes in the future. Through the process of Journaling you discover that what you once perceived as a “mistake” or “failure” actually turns out to be your greatest blessing.

     When we take the time to sit down with our Journals, we are creating for ourselves a Sanctuary, a space where we can become silent enough to hear our inner thoughts. We are able to spend time with our sacred self, cultivating an intimate connection with our most important relationship.

     I will be talking more about Journaling, yummy healthy recipes to try out and different aspects and insights about health that will enhance your life in the weeks to come……. Stay Tuned! LOVE

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Anonymous
Anonymous
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