Contemplation Journaling


Drag your thoughts away from your troubles…by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it. – Mark Twain

I’ve always wondered about the fate of millions of inspired thoughts swirling above the heads of so many people, that will slip into oblivion, simply because time wasn’t taken to write them down.

The art of Contemplation and Journaling is a wellspring for creativity, clarity, resolution and healing.

It is the time we set aside to build the foundation of a new perspective out of existing circumstances.

While all of the 9 Strageties are written for caregivers, of course they have universal applicability. However, you and I are in a community of people who understand, tearfully at times, the enormous struggle of taking care of a Loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. We are painfully familiar with the emotional toll it takes on us and tend to forget that our lives can still be joyous and purposeful.

It’s so important that we contemplate our challenges and in turn that will allow us to become stronger and wiser!

Contemplation is the artful ability to observe and reflect on life’s circumstances
and your personal relationship to them.

Journaling offers you the opportunity to give voice to your thoughts and feelings.

It gives them legitimacy and value and makes them real.

  • When we journal, we find out what we didn’t know we knew!
  • We journal to know deeper and truer.
  • We journal to connect the dots and create a whole new constellation of possibilities.

In Contemplation, the pieces of our circumstances and our Selves become illuminated,

and in Journaling we bring all the wayward parts together,

to discover more intimately who we are and what we are capable of.

Contemplation is not dwelling on the difficulties of our travails and not replaying the tape loop of how burdensome our life has become! Contemplation is giving deep consideration and reflection to where your heart is in relation to all that is going on around you.

Where attention goes, energy flows.
James Redfield

Caregiving is a time when the weight of our thoughts can be crushing and it can be difficult to lift us above the challenges of our daily lives. The copious and oppressive thoughts have a way of filling our mind and pushing out all of the free space available to create new ways of seeing.

Writing is a way to create an egress for all of those burdensome thoughts to flow out into the outer world, leaving much needed precious room inside to reflect.

When the challenges and distractions of daily life deplete our energy, the first thing we eliminate is the thing we need the most: quiet, reflective time, time to dream, time to contemplate what’s working and what is not.

Contemplation and Journaling bring clarity, accountability, and self-awareness, reduces stress and allows you to freely vent (without unloading your frustrations on your Loved one or leaving a trail of upset relatives in your wake and hurt feelings to appease). It also gives you peace of mind, allows you to track the progress of your personal growth, and perhaps above all, it is a safe place to just be yourself with no one judging.

It’s as easy as sitting down at the keyboard or with pen and paper, and putting one word after another.

So go ahead and fill pages and volumes with your stories as a caregiver, a mother, a father, a daughter, a son. Write down your fears and your frustrations, your dreams and your desires, your hopes for the future, your musings of the past.

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart,”

said Wordsworth.

If you want to improve your perspective on life and clarify issues you are dealing with, start writing in a journal.
Take 5 minutes or 30 minutes, you will be surprised, when looking back in a year from now,
in 10 years from now, at how much you’ve grown!

Eight years ago, prior to Linda being diagnosed, you never would have convinced me that I would be where I am today, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
In my contemplations and writings I always allow myself to go wherever the creative energy takes me. I do not edit the process because I know, that this is my opportunity to deal with the full spectrum of my emotions. Don’t judge, just write.

I came across the following contemplation (by Shannon L. Alder) and immediately recognized it as a wonderful series of questions we could all benefit from in our evolution as people walking the caregivers path:

What if?

  • What if you were wrong?
  • What if everything you ever believed was a lie?
  • What if you missed your opportunity because you didn’t know your worth?
  • What if you settled on familiar, but God was trying to give you something better?
  • What if you decided not to go backwards, but forward?
  • What if doing what you have never done before was the answer to everything that didn’t make sense?
  • What if the answer wasn’t to be found in words, but in action?
  • What if you found the courage to do what you really wanted to do and doing it changed your whole life?



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