Monday, April 19, 2010

Write2Transform: The Love Equation

When we commit ourselves to writing for some part of each day we are happier, more enlightened, alive, lighthearted and generous to everyone else. Even our health improves. 
—Brenda Ueland

As I caught up on email and journaling, my daughter wrote. "What are you working on?" I asked. My 8-year old answered, "I am measuring love." When Elly had finished working, she had a card for each person in the family. (You can see mine here.) "What does it mean?" I asked. Elly explained that the M was for Mom. One of the numbers stood for the love we have for each other while the other number indicated the time we spend together each day. She told me that the amount of time we spend together affects the love number. In essence, she said that the more time we spend together, the more love we have for each other. But she also assured me that the time we were apart from each other was not lost. The love number also increases when we think about each other. Elly then turned the card over and did a lot of complicated math—none of which I understood. But I think I get the gist of this love equation—put in the time and increase the love!

I certainly found the love equation to be true in my journaling project: put in the time and increase the results. After journaling for more than 40 days, I felt more connected to myself. I have a better sense of what I want from my life and each day. I know what I enjoy in life, and journaling helps me to appreciate the small blessings. Most importantly, when I forgot to journal, I missed it. On those days, I didn't feel quite as good or as connected to my life and my life's purpose. 

But what about the other benefits? In case you forgot, here's what the research says journaling is supposed to do, and how I think it helped me during the month:

*Improve memory and sleep (Yup! and Yup! I always thought that if I chewed over my life in a journal, I might lose sleep. Just the opposite happened. By writing it all down, I was able to let go of difficulties and ruminate less. Of course writing stuff down also meant I remembered things better.)
*Boost immune cell activity (Except for one nasty bug, I escaped the sniffles and such that wound their way through our house.)
*Speed healing after surgery (Thankfully, I didn't get to test that one.)
*Increase general feelings of well being (Yes!)
*Support you in achieving your goals (In the short term, yes. I found that jotting down daily goals made me much more likely to achieve them.)
*Increase longevity (I'll let you know in 80 years or so!)

I could write much, much more about each of these benefits. And, I will. I plan to do more write2transform projects and blog posts in the future. I'll be back to tell you more about how it went.

Until then, happy writing!

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