Journaling #1.

In the next several weeks, I will be sharing some of the journaling exercises from Sara Avant Stover’s The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life, a guide to returning to “daily, seasonal, and yearly rhythms of nature” in order to regain a healthy body and spirit. 

Exercise #1 (page 19)

1. Looking back on my life, I’d say that the five main events – good and bad – that have really formed who I am include:

  • Being harassed repeatedly by classmates in seventh and eighth grade, in ways I still cannot bring myself to describe to almost anyone, in ways in which I am not still fully healed. (1989-1990)
  • Moving to Colorado only a month after college graduation, moving a thousand miles away from family and friends. (1998)
  • Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and hypothyroidism in the weeks before my twenty-ninth birthday. (2005)
  • Participating in the two-day, marathon and a half charity walk. Only a year after type 2 diabetes diagnosis, I decided to challenge my body to the extreme, and turned out to do rather well, even if I did not complete the entire walk. (2006)
  • Going through a major acute illness and two subsequent major abdominal surgeries. (2009-2010)

2. Out of these, I planned two of them and the other three were unexpected.

3. The three biggest lessons that I’ve learned in my life from these events include:

  • Knocked down again and again, and yet I have survived. Sometimes barely, sometimes stronger than ever.
  • Sometimes I forget how confident I can be, whether it is making a thousand-mile move with very little cash to my name and with student loan debt awaiting me or setting ambitious fitness goals.
  • I cannot change the past, but I can attempt to change the future by treating my body and mind well.

4. Two things I love most about my life right now are:

  • Being free to lead my own routine – no one depending on me to be entertained (except maybe the cat).
  • Being in the midst of learning so much at the new day job, keeping my mind (mostly) busy and alert.

5. Two things I would most like to change about my life right now are:

  • To stop yearning for what I have lost (in so many respects).
  • To be able to laugh more and cry less.

6. Two things I’m ready to invite and receive into my life right now are:

  • Daily meditation practice.
  • Exercise that reminds me of being a kid again – swimming, bicycle riding, even team sports like kickball or softball.

7. Some of my goals and dreams that seem a little crazy and that I’m almost too embarrassed to admit are to:

  • Finding a job that combines the love of numbers with the love of words, along with the passion for helping people with chronic illness.
  • Going back to school for a MPH (Master’s in Public Health).
  • Traveling to Ecuador or Peru for intensive Spanish language training.
  • Thinking about book proposals that could actually take off and go somewhere other than my computer’s hard drive.

Posted on June 30, 2011, in Spiritual Growth, The Way of the Happy Woman. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Cool! I love that you’re doing this. I’m so bad about reading books like hers and then not taking action. Kudos to you for follow thru!

  2. Love your blogs…. your doing great…………

  3. Connie Weiss

    Sounds like a great book!

    You are a very strong woman!

  4. Scott K. Johnson

    Powerful post.


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