At the Elevate Your Best Podcast #019 we talk about Journaling. A journal is a versatile artifact that can be created in different ways and benefit us in diverse manners. It is a mindfulness practice that can be nurtured as a powerful habit. Through journaling, we can also exercise transcendence and transmutation. Learning to exercise our mind’s will over reality.
Each word underlined in the previous paragraph is of extreme importance in achieving an intentional life. We learn through Vishen Lakhiani‘s talk on “A crash course on spirituality” and in his Mindvalley quest “Be Extraordinary” how words are important in defining what is possible for us to shape in our reality. They define the experiences we can have, and how we can shape them.
Journaling is more than a diary
A journal goes beyond a special notebook to make notes or plans. One can have a notebook and learn a system to get things done. A journal, though, is a hub of information. Depending on how productive we wish to become, there are different magnitudes of power with the tools available for us today.
At the Elevate Your Best and in our team’s personal lives, we use Notion as a tool to organize our information and create our systems. System thinking is a culture we are practicing and believe to be worth spreading around. Notion makes a deep understanding and use of system thinking widely accessible. In our podcast, we share our experiences with journaling on Notion. Michael and Bruno share their personal templates and explain the logic behind them, so each of us can create our own personalized version of it. It is an easy process to implement in a person’s life if they get to know it.
Watch our conversation on the podcast if you wish to understand more of our personal experiences with journaling and get our templates for free on the video description links.
Now we are going to talk a little bit about why journaling can be such an important artifact in someone’s life. How we can use it to exercise all our human superpowers. And start or increase your use of it to start our journey into tapping into our conscious mind and shape our reality.
Journaling and the importance of rituals
There is something we forget. Rituals are an important part of a culture that most of humanity is practicing in an unconscious way. Our minds shape everything in our reality. All that is perceived and experienced is the fruit of the mind’s supposition of reality, our internal representation of the world. While our conscious mind deals with everything related to our survival in the search for pleasure and avoidance of pain, our subconscious mind is dealing with shaping everything else. These unconscious decisions stabilize our lives into healthy, safe, well-known loops.
We have evolved with many necessary rituals. They were created to nurture traits necessary for our survival. This relates to getting active with our body and being rewarded with hormones that motivate us into action. Many of these rituals are related to the unconscious processes of our collective being. We learned to require them in order to function well.
The lost meaning of rituals
Unfortunately, many have lost the purpose of several of these rituals. The ones who still exist, like going to church and being part of their community, have been corrupted and used for personal profit in several scenarios throughout the world. This is particularly apparent in poor, desperate, communities to victims of segregation.
We can create a culture with rituals that nurture habits of success and fulfillment in our community. Journaling is a great way to start this journey and has massive benefits to us, requiring little investment of our time. It is a matter of understanding it and nurturing it as an intentional habit, which can be surprisingly simple using a tool like Notion.
Rituals are intentional habits
Last week we talked about habits and how they are created. Understanding is power, and having a comprehension of the habit loop can help us control and change these important building blocks of our lives. Our lives are built by the compound effect of our habits.
Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. – Jim Rhon
The best way we know here at Elevate Your Best to intentionally create and nurture a habit we wish to manifest in our lives is through rituals. A ritual requires intention from the participants to get involved with it since we need to be there available by the time to engage with it. It is different than a habit in this aspect, as the habit is usually something that is present in our environment which triggers us into unconscious loops of action.
Journaling is a ritual
The key to the ritual is that we do it thanks to the purpose it carries. It is an intentionally designed process, as a journey one decides to undertake. Journaling is a ritual. We might have different triggers for it. An emotional moment we wish to take note of or setting the intention of our day when we wake up. Yet those triggers are not something that naturally would lead us into opening a notebook or an app and writing something unconsciously. Rituals are intentional habits designed to help us achieve a purpose.
As we mentioned before, the purpose of our Journal is to exercise some incredible powers we all have access to. They must be learned and mastered in order to be used in practical ways to benefit our lives. We’ll talk about three of these powers: mindfulness, transcendence, and transmutation.
The Power of a Routine
I love when fiction brings reality into its story arch. On the Showtime series Dexter, he often repeats how the key to his success is all about the routine. Of course, we are not vigilantes from the Miami homicide department catching bad guys that escaped the system, yet his principle is true.
A routine is important because of the work required to develop it. It does not matter if we take someone else’s routine and try to implement it in our lives. Doesn’t work this way. We are too dependent on our environment. That person has a different environment, so their routines are different. Can we replicate the routines of others? Sure. Is it the way to create our own? No.
The first stage in shaping our routine is understanding our own scenarios. This is an exercise that leads us to look inside and explore what we are manifesting on a regular basis. It is an exercise of Mindfulness.
Understanding Our Cycles – Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about being aware of ourselves and the states we go through. It is learning to take a look inside ourselves and being able to recognize things for what they are.
Imagine a doctor. He takes a look at MRI results and recognizes things. Is everything ok? What can he see there? This is not an ability that comes with the doctor’s certificate. A neurologist will be able to recognize more things faster in his area of study. At the same time, he might ignore some skin condition that would be obvious to any dermatologist.
It is a huge journey to embark on, but we all can set sails to better understand ourselves. Become specialists in it.
If we had a culture that:
- nurtured mindfulness into ourselves
- lead our children by example
- show them how to exercise and develop this trait
We would have a different journey on these lands (of mindfulness). It would be a more natural and pleasurable experience to learn.
Many cultures do not nurture that. Instead, it is easier to nurture a culture of unconsciousness where we are unaware of ourselves. This leaves us unaware of our feelings and emotions, or the effects our experiences are having on us. We live through unconscious reactions, drifting into fear. When we start to awaken to these realities and the power we have to observe, understand, and shape ourselves, it all seems too much. Too complicated. Too overwhelming.
Journaling can start as blank page for emotional entries.
What came up for us today?
What have we been through that day?
How have we felt about our experiences?
This can lead us into understanding the emotions we are going through better.
Then we can start to visualize what are the cycles we are living through. All we manifest in life is manifested in cycles. These cycles might be minutes apart or months. Maybe even years. Yet everything we manifest in life is bound to repeat itself unless we change our routines.
From this ritual of observing ourselves and taking notes on it and observing and better understanding ourselves, we can then start to intentionally shape who we are.
Shaping Ourselves – Transcendence
Transcendence is the power we have to shape ourselves once we understand it enough to do so. Understanding is power. It is necessary, when working on a car, to understand a it well enough to break it down and put it together again, particularly if we expect to see it working afterward.
When we start to understand the cycles we go through, we can then increase our awareness as to why some things keep manifesting in our lives. A person might notice, for example, that every Wednesday they feel a little down. Take a look at their journal and realize that it is the day they have a specific meeting with a certain group of people. What can be changed then? Can this experience be shaped in a different way so that they feel better afterward?
This simple exercise of observation and the willingness to implement change in our lives based on it give us access to this incredible power of shaping ourselves. It might seem too simple, yet it is extraordinary. We can change anything that is not aligned to the experiences we wish to live in life.
It is important to go through a process to:
- Identify the experiences we are living and don’t wish to experience anymore
- Discover what triggers them
- Remove the triggers from our environment
Remember that habits are triggered by something that leads us into unconscious routines. Removing the trigger is quite effective.
Another tactic is to increase the friction on experiences we don’t wish to be engaging with. By making them harder to engage leads the mind to avoid them. A new learning curve is being required. The unconscious process is not quite fitting in anymore.
While we map and eliminate the routines we don’t wish to be engaging in anymore, we can
- Observe the ones we wish to engage more with
- Improve on their triggers, making them more present and obvious
- Reduce the friction from the routines, making them easier to engage.
- Improve on the rewards, making them more gratifying, fulfilling, and pleasurable
When we achieve a better direction on the path we wish to follow for ourselves, we can start taking time to also visualize the path we wish for our future. From here we start exercising our ability to shape reality as well.
Mindbending Reality – Transmutation
When we talk about mind-bending reality it seems like some fantastic idea taken from fictional works. Yet, it is simpler than that. Anything that is created by our minds is the fruit of it shaping reality. The computers we use, medication, and language are all the fruit of our mind being able to shape reality in a way that better serves us.
Once we understand of our routines enough we can:
- cut out the habits that are detrimental to us
- create new rituals that help us nurture traits we wish to manifest naturally
- begin to exercise our consciousness into shaping our reality and manifesting things externally as well
There are exercises that can help us with that. There is the 3MIQ exercise from Vishen Lakhiani. It is very simple and can greatly benefit anyone’s life that uses it. At Elevate Your Best, we highly recommend this exercise. It can be done either as a ritual we do solo, or as an event we go through with others.
Lifebook as a framework
Another important experience to kick off your journey of shaping your own reality is Lifebook. Deciding to create a Lifebook is embarking on a journey of self-discovery and building a map and directions to living your best life. A Lifebook is a place to record your best practices for achieving your results, and setting your sights on what is next for you. Using your Lifebook to plan your life, and live into the Life Vision you create in it, can only change your life for better. It is a true exercise of mind-bending reality.
When you get curious enough to start on this journey of self-discovery, Michael is certified to guide you through the Lifebook process. At Elevate Your Best, we are Life Vision Outfitters, set on ensuring you have the right tools, map, and directions to achieve your ideal life. So feel free to send us a personal message through our website at https://elevateyourbest.com/contact-us. We would love to hear from you.