Waking in the Morning

W15 HEALING JOURNAL MAY JUNE 002A friend sent me this article from MindBodyGreen on 5 Life-Changing Ways to Start Your Day.   Not sure why, but I read it anyway.  I think the message to move away from plugging in too electronics too fast in the morning is a good one.  Ditto meditating, getting fresh air, seeing the great outdoors — even if off the balcony in the city!

However, I take issue with their commentary about journaling, #3 on their list: “If you find that journaling makes you feel more flooded with negative feelings, you’re not journaling effectively.”

W15 HEALING JOURNAL MAY JUNE 005As an avid journaler, I think that this is a naive statement.  IF you are going through a dark time, it may make you feel temporarily worse to write it all down, a bit like the after effects of throwing up, as the words are unhinged.  But sometimes throwing up clears the stomach of toxins!  Keep journaling truth, even if negative, and after a few days the brain-cloud will clear. In fact, sometimes the BEST thing you can do to change your mental disposition is to write everything that is troubling you down, go for broke, scribble away until your brain is completely tired of that subject.  Then either something will shift — Mind has had its say, knows you are paying attention — you DID write it down, after all — OR, you will write yourself into understanding why such-and-such is troubling you.

W15 HEALING JOURNAL MAY JUNE 007During my surgery I thought to do a healing journal, and wanted it to be full of positive thought toward a healthier me (samples, above).  But when the surgeon tore my ureter and I was to be on my back many more weeks, and the fear resulting in having a torn ureter — and the lousy bedside manner of the stupid surgeon — I was frozen in my positive journal.  Finally I began writing my fears and everything that went along with that (samples below) — and my energy shifted and I felt more awake and less depressed.  Truth-telling always takes you there.

W15 HEALING JOURNAL MAY JUNE 037I’ve been through a lot in the last few months, and much of it has been depleting and frightening and depressing.  I’m coming out the other side of it apparently unscathed.  This is lucky.  Upon reentering normal life as we know it, I have done a few things differently.

I kiss my husband more.

I dress nicer during the day, and am making sure I feel feminine.  My work is such that often I am in old painting clothes!

I completely stop and turn away from the computer when Mitchell is talking to me.  Usually I am in such a push I have gotten into the habit of saying “uh-huh” and not  hearing.  AWFUL!

2015 8 6 CK STICKLEY CLR SKINS 043When negative thoughts arise that are all monkey-mind (meaning there is not a damn thing I can do about it so it is just going to drive me insane) I stop them.  I turn on music, remind myself all is well, and that I am well-cared for by the greater powers that be!

If I wake too early and can’t fall back asleep, I either draw next to sleeping Mitchell or gt up to start a creative part of my day.  I now have a big glass of water, grounding my feet on the floor, and giving thanks for Mitchell.  I kiss cats as they come to see who is awake.  Electronics are way down on my list.  I will sleep an hour less and paint an hour more.

I’ve started a Gratitude Journal just to notice the joyful pleasurable things in my life.  The gratitude journal is not always about happy-happy — in my last post I was giving thanks for small things during a bad week, and the week before I discussed my hair falling out!   However, looking at a week and asking what I am grateful for is a great reminder, as I am blessed with good fortune.  Even in the midst of the annoyances or serious problems, I also have amazing prosperity and joyful times.


All the art is from my other blog, dkatiepowellart!

W15 8 10 GRATITUDE JOURNAL 004I keep my Buddhist practice, which feeds me in so many ways.  I stop and meditate during the day, even if only for ten minutes.

I am letting go of the news cycle.  There is no good news.  I’ve been hyper vigilant about environmental and health stories and am letting go — our democracy and politics is nothing if not depressing.  The world will have to carry causes forward without me.

I am adamant about listening to guidance.   Had I done that during the surgery and not been “practical” perhaps my torn ureter would not have ensued.  My guidance was screaming at me that the doctor was a turkey.   So when Mitchell has a strong avoidance response to a medical suggestion, we listened.

I am back to yoga, back to the push to lose a bit more weight so that I feel better and have more energy.  I want to be like the woman above at 93 (tho not that skinny — as if that were possible!)

How’s by you?  What do you do to engage your day by being present?

Have a great weekend!


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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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9 Responses to Waking in the Morning

  1. susanissima says:

    This is rather funny, but at first I read “Walking in the Morning,” assuming that, like me, you go for a bit of a hoof to start your day. Then, when I reached the end of your post, which was mostly rich with your personal strategies for dealing with life, I realized I’d midread.

    So, while it’s true that everyone faces challenges, some damn daunting, I’ve found that a positive attitude, including the expression of gratitude and love, generates a life filled with gratitude and love. By contrast, when we groove on what doesn’t work in the world we can easily get stuck in that groove. I’m not saying ignore the darkness as much as let it wash over us, not drown us. On the other hand, we need to plunge deeply into the cosmic sea of love and be grateful, as I see you doing in your latest journals, Katie. You are showing so many how to use journaling as a delightful deep diving stragegy. Good on you.

    Since you asked, meandering in the woods, at the edge of the sea, in the crazy cacophony of downtown B’ham with my camera is a strategy that I use daily. Another is writing poems. My muse is unrelenting on both counts. 🙂

    • NOTHING beats a positive attitude. That is why I was so taken by my recent bout of the blues. I am coming through it, and realize that part of it was that I’d really been battling with the ability to DO something about what is troubling me, and frankly, I can’t do much more than I already do. Oddly, writing openly about it on FB got a response I had not thot I’d get — the confession that many others have this too and they are also having to learn to let go. And so, I have to let go and let god/dess handle it. I’ve been laying it at the feet of Maha Durgha and telling her to get-on-it!

      I already am drawing the variations of the great goddess.

      Walking in the morning would be good too — and certainly if I didn’t have to drive to get to where walking might be better I might do just that! I love meandering near the ocean, my favorite, in fact, wandering is my thing . . . It is one of the things I miss most about So Cal, wandering. I also love wandering around docks, Seattle, edges where water meets land. . . And certainly your neck of the woods!

      Knowing that you are there, that you wrote me in this — also lifted my spirits. It is good to know the crone energy ios at work in the many ways it is doing!

  2. Love your blog and artwork

  3. Kim Wilson says:

    Hi Katie, Gotta love synchronicity. I have kept journals since childhood and this question was brought up to me in something I read a couple weeks ago. Writing to work through something vs the writing keeping too much attention on the issue so it can’t go away. Intentional release vs law of attraction. This summer I went through a cancer scare (it appears surgery was fully successful) during which I just could not write about it or include it in my art. I couldn’t even think about why I wasn’t expressing it. I asked myself, and it did not feel like denial, it felt like intuition telling me to leave it alone. I have learned (repeatedly) that if I ignore or try to 2nd guess my intuition I will be sorry, and I feel that I was able to keep a more positive and healing attitude by not putting my fears on paper. So I have decided that whether or not journaling will help depends on the person AND the issue. The important thing is to remember to trust ourselves. -Kim-

    • Oh Kim, so, so true! Trusting one’s intuition trumps all. That is why I finally had to turn my “positive healing” journal into a place to work through the anger. It helped to release it. And I can equally say that sometimes it is best to forge forth, and not let anything take you down, not one teeny negative thought! You sound like a kindred spirit.

  4. Kim Wilson says:

    Kindred indeed! I knew we are from the same tribe from when I was first pointed to your blogs and started reading backwards. We have covered a lot of common ground. -Kim-

  5. You are a dose of inspiration. I see myself through you so often, it’s uncanny.

Love to hear from you....

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