Many successful people keep journals. Also, some famous figures in history, like Napoleon or Marcus Aurelius kept journals. This practice has some obvious benefits – it clears up your mind, releases stress, and brings you clarity and inner peace.
There are many varieties of journaling, like keeping a diary; journaling with the Stream of Consciousness technique; keeping a journal from others’ perspective; dream journaling; art journaling; and many, many others. For all of these methods, you can easily find instructions on the Internet.
However, in this article, I will focus on a new type of this practice: the Vantage Point Journaling, part of the Reintegration System methodology.
Vantage Point Journaling
We could say that this is a unique journaling technique. It is different from all other methods in that it initiates writing from four distinctive points of view:
You can adapt your Vantage Point (VP) Journaling practice to your own needs and circumstances. For example, you can keep your diary in a VP Journal form, or practice the Stream of Consciousness technique in a VP Journal framework. Of course, you can apply any other well-known journaling method and do it from several points of view of VP Journaling practice.
Vantage Point Journaling is different from all other methods in that it initiates writing from four distinctive points of view.
VP Diary Journaling
This method of journaling is especially good for those of you who need to improve mental clarity, de-clutter the mind, and improve focus.
All of us know very well what a diary is. What’s important for this practice is that diary captures streams of thought in an organized and structured way. It requires investing a certain amount of energy and focus on writing.
In this framework we will write our diary from several vantage points – the Temporary I, the Heart, another person’s perspective, and Pure Consciousness.
The VP Diary Journaling structure is the following:
Stage 1: Writing from the Temporary I
To begin with your journaling session, do not try to change your mindset or relax too much. Just stay in your current state of mind, whatever it is. Maybe you are anxious, worried, angry, or experiencing any other emotion. You have to write exactly from that state. In this stage, your vantage point is your Temporary I, your transitory I-feeling at that very moment. Just become aware of your Temporary I, its location within your body, and – write.
Think about your day, event, or person that you want to write about. The text should be relatively structured, with meaningful sentences. You may be putting on the paper the most important impressions of that particular day, event, or person. Your diary may also relate to thoughts, emotions, new ideas, etc. Let it flow from you.
If you are writing in the evening, you can structure your journal by creating a list of questions that you will answer:
Give three to five meaningful answers to each of these questions.
When you finish your text, review it. Feel and fully accept main ideas or parts of your text, one by one. You must accept all the main thoughts in the text. By doing that you will effectively remove a great deal of that day’s burden.
On the other hand, if you are journaling in the morning, you can create a list of questions related to your goals or action steps for that day, like these:
If you are working with goals, at the end of your text write down the most important goals you are currently working toward.
If you want, you can limit the time of writing in this stage, but it should last no less than five minutes. But don’t worry – if you are too tired, it won’t be a problem to reduce your writing to only one or two sentences that comprise your whole day.
Stage 2: Writing from the Heart
The second stage requires you to relax and open your mind. You will probably already find yourself pretty relaxed because the first phase (writing from your Temporary I) has surely de-cluttered your mind to a significant extent.
Reiki is a Japanese word that means Universal Life Force Energy. In our times, we know Reiki to be a Japanese hands-on healing method discovered by Mikao Usui in 1922, but in fact Reiki has been around for thousands of years spanning the globe under different guises. There were even other styles of Reiki being used in Japan before Usui’s “discovery”. After one of his students, Hawaya Takata, brought it to the West, Reiki became widely known as a Japanese healing method discovered by Mikao Usui.
In all cultures, there is an unseen energy force that animates everything that exists. Some call this Chi, or Ki, some say Prana, Mana, or Baraka, even the Holy Spirit. This energy is limitless and is abundant in nature! Its purpose is to provide the energy needed to sustain our physical reality here on Earth. It supplies energy to all of our bodies: the physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional. This life force energy is directly connected to our quality of life. It has been a part of many cultures over many, many years and has evolved into different forms of energy healing. But in essence, there is only ONE energy source that animates all and heals all. It emanates from the air we breathe, the ground we tread upon, and the celestial heavens above.
Reiki is everywhere and exists in everyone. In order to become a true healer, you must accomplish two things. First you must let go of your ego, which in turn will allow you to heal yourself. Releasing your ego allows the Reiki energy to circulate better throughout your body. There are things which will deplete your Reiki energy or enhance it. Drugs, too much alcohol, poor diet, poor breathing, negative psychic activity, poor exercise, lack of sleep will surely deplete your life force. In order to keep your Ki at a high level, you must work on yourself. Eating healthy, exercising on a regular basis, getting adequate sleep, meditating, practicing yoga, and doing breathing exercises are also tools to help you stay energized and healthy. You must be the one to do the work. Know thyself.
The chakras, which are the main energy centers located in the astral body along the spine, allow the Reiki to flow freely and be distributed correctly to the many organs of the human body when they are in alignment. There are many modalities to create this alignment. One way is by having a Reiki session by a Reiki healer or in fact, any hands-on healer. The chakra energy will be attracted to the life force energy which balances the chakras. Another way is through meditation. When you have the ability to rest your mind in that ‘void’, you become truly egoless. The longer you stay in this state, the more relaxed you are, the more focused your breathing is, the more healing can be done through the alignment of the chakras. Using sound meditation works wonders as well, whether it is by using crystal bowls, tuning forks or your own voice. Chakra energy will meet sound energy and balance itself out. When someone has arrived at aligning themselves, they find beauty in everyone and everything. They feel happier and healthier!
Personally, I have experienced the Life Force Energy as an intelligent energy source. I may be somewhere and suddenly my hands will start to tingle and I turn the corner and someone is lying on the ground. The Reiki energy channels itself when needed. My hands were turned on by this intelligence, not myself. This intelligence gives us life and wants us to have good lives and be happy. We just need to step out of the way and allow the flow to occur! So many of us are sabotaging our own healing, our own happiness, by searching and desiring, wanting things to be different than they are. When we are in a state of acceptance and gratitude, we allow this energy to flow through us and magical things happen! Yes, miracles occur, because that’s what a miracle is, an acceptance of our Creator to express Itself through us.
As every individual human being has their ups and downs, so does mankind. Each of us regularly faces various hardships, which are, in fact, results of our prolonged periods of stagnation in numerous areas of our life. That’s the purpose of every hardship-an opportunity for awakening, for change.
Collective entities like families, nations, or the whole of humanity, also experience recurring challenges, similar to individuals. Whenever there is stagnation and lethargy in our collective mind, a big change is inevitable.
Our species is facing difficult times. The history of mankind is rich with these episodes-wars, diseases, earthquakes, floods, economic crises… We are currently experiencing such a period. The COVID-19 pandemic is a harsh reminder for us all to wake up.
Our collective mind is overwhelmed with this pandemic. Our individual minds are immersed in this sea of fear and anxiety, too. Can you feel it? Do you often find yourself thinking about coronavirus threat, numerous fatalities, looming danger of becoming infected, or the economic crisis it has already generated? Most probably you do. The majority of people are strongly drawn to that whirlpool.
Anxiety and fear are the natural response to the unknown, and these conditions are certainly abundant with many unknowns and concerns. So, do not blame yourself or others for that.
How to Cope with COVID-19 Fear?
So, what can one do in this situation? Here are some guidelines for staying healthy, safe, mentally and emotionally stable, and even for turning this challenging time into a unique opportunity for your development.
1. Follow the Instructions of Authorities
This is the first and most important thing. Follow all the instructions and measures imposed by the government and medical authorities. This is essential.
3. Apply the ATI Technique Whenever Possible
To overcome the fear and anxiety related to COVID-19, my strong recommendation is to use a quick but very effective mental/emotional technique that may be applied in every other situation as well. Its name is Accepting the Temporary I (ATI).
As soon as you learn it, you will instantly recognize its astonishing efficiency. Whenever you become aware of your anxiety or fear, apply the ATI method and you will sense an immediate relief.
So, when you want to dissolve an unwanted experience with the ATI technique, you will:
1) Direct your attention to it and pinpoint its location (if possible);
2) Feel your “Temporary I” from which you are experiencing the content, and finally,
3) Completely accept the “Temporary I.”
Temporary I is your current I-feeling. It is the place or small area in your body where you feel your sense of “I” is most noticeable at that particular moment.
The ATI technique is described in detail here, while the concept of Temporary I and how to find it is depicted here.
You can do the ATI in countless common situations, especially in coping with typical anxiety, such as the fear of COVID-19 pandemic and its possible disastrous consequences.
For example, if you become aware that you are overwhelmed with fretful thoughts, you can accept and dissolve your Temporary I from which you are experiencing them. They will disappear, at least for a while. Or, if you find yourself flooded with emotions of fear, worry, angst, or anger, notice the location of your Temporary I and accept it.
Of course, if this mind content on which you were doing the ATI arises again, just repeat the procedure until it vanishes. Similarly, if you are in the company of a nervous or irritating person, you may quietly accept several times the Temporary I from which you are feeling the annoyance.
While you are reading articles or watching the TV news about the disease, try to do the ATI as many times as possible. This will make you stable and immune to all these bothersome influences.
Each time you do the ATI, you will notice that your unwanted mental or emotional content has vanished. At least for a while, you are free from it. However, as the ATI is only a basic Reintegration technique, it does not deal with the root of your problems.
After some practice, you will do each step of the ATI fast and easy, so the whole process will take you no more than five to ten seconds.
Mindfulness is the practice of being consciously present in the Now whenever and wherever possible. The more you develop this skill, the more you will be free from all kinds of unnecessary thoughts, body tension, disturbing emotions, and, of course, the COVID-19 anxiety.
You have to do any activity fully conscious of yourself and of the activity itself.
Although many people don’t consider it as strictly spiritual, mindfulness indeed is a purely divine practice. It leads you to your true nature while dissolving your inner conflicts softly and almost imperceptibly. Moreover, every conscious moment in the Now will gradually accumulate and make your whole life easier. It will abate or even prevent challenges.
When mindfulness becomes your intrinsic way of living, you will enjoy every task, you will become light and, in a strange way, even transparent. You will start sensing some inexplicable joy and deep inner peace. You will feel love more and more, both to yourself and the people around you.
On the Reintegration website, you can find an excerpt from my book “Inner Peace, Outer Success” about mindfulness. It describes this practice in numerous everyday situations, including how to develop specific mindfulness triggers - situations that your subconscious mind instantly recognizes as automatic activators of your conscious presence.
Accordingly, you may create mindfulness triggers from the fear and excessive thinking about this pandemic. Thus, whenever you find yourself thinking about the disease, or fearing it, you will automatically become consciously present and your thoughts and anxiety will subside.
5. Meditate Regularly
Steady meditation practice has a variety of benefits. It will provide you with additional love, health, strength, calmness, creativity, clarity, and smoothness in your life. It will surely help you a lot in these times of pandemic.
Meditation goes side by side with mindfulness. Without regular meditation sittings, your mindfulness can easily lose its foundation. Therefore, it is highly recommended to practice them concurrently.
You have countless varieties of meditation at your disposal. Within the Reintegration System, you can choose, for example, pure awareness or body/emotional awareness meditation, which are quite similar to those presented by Eckhart Tolle. You could also practice loving-kindness meditation, which is, in my opinion, very important. Meditation practice may also be focused on a mindful walk, open-focus awareness, acceptance, relaxation with the reintegration of subconscious structures, etc.
One example of “pure awareness” meditation technique is the following:
Author: Jennifer Scott
Building a fruitful life for yourself takes a lot of hard work, so the thought of making major changes to it can be daunting. However, there may come a time when you’ll need to make a change, and the signs will be everywhere.
These signs can include feeling upset or dissatisfied with the state of things and daydreaming about what life would be like after making the shift. If you’ve found yourself feeling underwhelmed with life as of late, read on for suggested major life changes you can make to turn things around.
Find a Furry Friend and Prepare Your Home
Add another source of happiness to your life by adopting a four-legged family member. Whether you’re a lover of cats, dogs, or other furry friends, bringing an animal into your home can really impact each and every aspect of your life.
When you come home at the end of each day, your pet will be there to greet you. Plus, having them around benefits your health by reducing stress and blood pressure. The physical and mental health impact a pet has on you can be just as life-changing as moving them into your space.
If you do decide to bring a pet home, don’t bring them to an unsafe, ill-equipped environment. In order to start out on the right foot with your new friend, make your home as comfortable as possible for them. Have a bed, food, treats and space dedicated to them and ready to go, and make sure to pet-proof your home. Don’t forget cleaning supplies to tackle any messes your pet is bound to make. For example, you can purchase an enzymatic-based cleaner from your local pet store that eliminates stains and odors effectively.
Work Out Every Day
Regular physical activity improves cardiovascular and emotional health at the same time, according to Psych Central. Even a small amount of exercise each day can improve your quality of life, and you might lose a few pounds in the process.
If you’re turned off by the idea of joining a gym, you can start seeing results without stepping foot into one. Instead, turn your living room or home office into a “gym” each day by practicing yoga or focusing on bodyweight workouts that require little to no equipment. Consider working physical activity into other parts of your day as well.
When you arrive at work, park a few blocks from the building to get in a brisk walk before and after your shift. Take the stairs instead of elevators, and consider walking around the block after dinner each night to help your digestion along.
Exerting energy in any way can help you sleep through the night, which is just as important to your overall health as exercise. After a good night’s rest, you’ll regain the energy needed to get through a long day at work, and you can even have enough energy left over to take on a hobby in your spare time.
Pick Up A Hobby
Hobbies can be life-changing, whether you return to a hobby you dropped in the past or find a new one that resonates with you. Having a hobby enhances your life by keeping the brain sharp and reducing stress. It provides a necessary distraction from life’s chaotic moments and keeps you from feeling bored, which can be a dangerous emotion for your mental health.
Whichever hobby you choose should bring you joy and relaxation. You can try your hand at kayaking, painting, crocheting, or something unique like bird watching. The time you make for a hobby or activity in your schedule is time devoted to nothing more than leisure—and who doesn’t want that?
Allow yourself an opportunity to change your life for the better. Adopting a pet, working out and starting a hobby will take time out of your day, yes, but their impact on your life will be more than worth it. Consider making big changes to your life to achieve total fulfillment.
Author: Anissa Picard
About the Author:
There is a relatively new movement growing, not only here in the United States, but around the world. This is one that pushes every human to dare to do death differently. The Positive Death Movement is here, now, and the death doula profession has appeared right along beside it! Bridging the gaps between medical care and hospice care, the End of Life Doula is helping dying patients and their families experience more positive transitions.
In this day and age over 70% of people wish to die in their own homes, surrounded by their loved ones. End of Life Doulas or EOLDs, sometimes called Death Midwives or Death Doulas, are helping make this a possibility for many. Death is not an emergency and can become a process that is looked at as sacred, positive, and peaceful. There is quality of life and quantity of life and most prefer quality over quantity. This is human consciousness evolving to improve the transitioning process for everyone.
An End of Life Doula is simply a non-medical person who gives physical, emotional, and spiritual support at the end of life. They may provide care before, during, or after death. Physical or logistical support could be anything from respite for the caregiver(s) to running errands or cooking meals. Supporting the emotions of a patient or their family members takes compassion, presence, and a listening ear. Spiritually, a doula would do things that were in alignment with the person’s religious or spiritual beliefs, which may include: prayer, meditation, or even sometimes rituals. Hospice doctors, nurses, and personal care assistants have time constraints, while doulas do not. A doula compliments hospice care in almost every way.
An End of Life Doula is simply a non-medical person who gives physical, emotional, and spiritual support at the end of life. They may provide care before, during, or after death.
There are a variety of ways an End of Life Doula can help the dying patient and their family members in the face of death. Each and every EOLD comes to the table with their own set of skills, experience, and scope of practice. Depending on the time frame of the person’s illness, a doula may have a chance to collaborate with the patient on artifacts, be it a recipe book, a work of art, scrapbook, audio recording or a slide show. Together they are able to co-create something which speaks to who that person is and gives more meaning to the life that they have lived. This is called legacy work and is a wonderful option to provide the dying patient.
There is a myriad of services doulas are able to offer. Doulas may talk with the patient for several hours to find out how they feel about the oncoming changes both emotionally and physically. They’re there to help calm the patient and to possibly aid in pain management using meditations and/or guided imagery. Some doulas are also Reiki therapists. Reiki can help someone at the end of life to heal them spiritually and emotionally to ease their transition from this world to the next. Doulas often work with the patient on forgiveness issues, whether it be themselves who need to ask for forgiveness or the one to forgive someone. They are able to help them write letters, emails, or even have a video conference.
EOLDs are also there to educate the family about signs to expect once the process of transitioning has begun. To be with someone and their family at the end of life is truly a privilege and a blessing. In our society, we aren’t really familiar with the dying process anymore. It has been removed, tucked away in a sterile white room.
Days or hours prior to the patient’s transition, we hold vigil, holding the person’s hand, placing a lit tealight next to the bedside. Some doulas may choose to sing to the patient while holding their hand, play harp music, which helps to calm their anxiety, or perhaps music that the patient previously chose. They may have their favorite aroma floating subtly through the air, be enveloped in their favorite colored bed linens, with their family surrounding them or their beloved pets curled up next to them. It is a doula’s job to create the most loving and peaceful atmosphere possible.
I became an End of Life Doula a year ago and will never look back on that life changing career move. It was a calling and I feel extremely blessed that I heeded the call!
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