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Why I Journal and Meditate

So, I’ve never written a blog before. I’ve written a lot of things for a lot of other people, but never for myself. Unless you count journaling. Journaling is an interesting exercise. I find myself writing all kinds of things: some mundane, some insane…but they are things that my mind is producing and/or things that my spirit needs to express. Journaling helps me fall asleep at night because it helps me, for the most part, understand my day a little better – get some peaks of blue sky through the whirlwind of daily life.

And, ultimately, that helps me live more purposefully – to understand who I am and then, perhaps most importantly, to revel in it. I say most importantly because I’m tired of being emotionally battered around by the word “should.” I say most importantly because I’m tired of being imprisoned by other people’s expectations. I say most importantly because I’m tired of assuming the worst about myself. I’ve made the choice to really understand who I am; to love AND like who I am. It is really, really hard.

Not because I don’t value myself. Not because I’m depressed. But to spend time examining who you are requires strength and perseverance. It’s soooooooo much easier to pick up a book, turn on the tv, call a friend, get on Facebook, play Words with Friends, do laundry, go see a movie, listen to podcasts…I could go on forever.

It’s not so easy to make the conscious decision to carve out 20 minutes of alone time to sit. It’s not so easy to ask the significant other for that 20 minutes where he/she can watch the kids, walk the dog, watch TV without you. And, once you’ve made that request and find yourself with that 20 minutes, it’s not so easy to just be quiet or still. But in that quiet or stillness is exactly where my “shoulds” disappear, my prison doors release, and my assumptions become golden rather than ashen.

For me, finding a sense of purpose or meaning in my life starts with this quiet.

“To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is.” Pema Chodron

Posted by Missy Baker, a long-time student of Elesa Commerse.
To contact Missy, email 

Posted Aug. 15, 2012


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