Wednesday Writing Prompt: Positivity Journal by Rochelle Melander
In the Summer 2011 issue of Yoga International, Anne Dubrovsky profiles Anusara teacher Amy Ippoliti. In a sidebar, Ippoliti suggests keeping a separate journal for positive events in your life. I love it!
Detail Success. Over the years, I have frequently asked clients to record their achievements, the encouraging events in their life, or the positive steps they took in a challenging situation. More recently, I have invited clients to write detailed journal entries about a success they have achieved. It seems to me that we richly describe our problems and failures while we mention our successes only in passing. When we do talk or write about our successes, we often diminish our own role in what happened. But when we write in detail about what we did to achieve something, we get better connected to our strengths and how we use them. As a result of doing this exercise, we are more inclined to work from our strengths. When we encounter a difficult situation, we remember that we can use our strength of curiosity or woo to solve it.
The Positivity Journal. So how about keeping a positivity journal? Grab a new journal (or open a new document on your computer) and use it solely to record your successes and the positive events in your life. Ippoliti suggests that when we start recording positive events, we begin to experience even more positive events. Not a bad outcome for simply writing down the good stuff!
Try this. Here are a few ways you can use your positivity journal:
- Record positive events that happen during the day. This can be anything from seeing a baby bunny to landing a new client.
- Record the times when you felt engaged, authentic, powerful, confident, and smart. These are signs that you are working from your strengths. Do you see any patterns? How can you apply this knowledge to the times when you feel less engaged?
- Record your past achievements. It might help to separate your past into categories by theme (the curious years), time (my 20s), or locale (Seattle).
- Look at a difficult event in your life, perhaps something you have had trouble overcoming. What were the positive actions you took in that situation?
- Write a detailed account of a significant success in your life. What happened? What positive actions did you take? What strengths did you use? What did you learn about yourself from this experience?
How did it go? Try this for a few days and then let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below.
Thank you for this reinforcement.
For a while part of my quiet time included recording the nice things my husband did for and/or with me. You’ve given me language for that – a positivity journal!
Another example is writing at the beginning of the day 5 things for which I’m thankful.
“Gifts in Use with Good Results” might be my title for recording how I made a positive difference. When I told my principal about ways I’d been useful to guests at graduation, I didn’t know I was writing an entry for that positivity journal. The gift was time. I’m grateful people were blessed by my ministry of presence.
Thanks for this idea and language!
Blessings to you in your ministry,