All posts filed under: writing therapy

Week 10 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: What’s Love?

(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic: Love In English, the word “love” can refer to anything from pleasant regard (“I love your blouse.”) to deep interpersonal affection (“Your love completes me.”). Although the word is frequently used, many of us, when asked, would have to think about what we really mean.  Why bother defining love? Prevent misunderstandings: An instance of the word “love” may be casually misunderstood because of the variety of meanings it takes on, dependent on context and individuals involved.  The meaning is often taken for granted by the hearer and speaker. Clarify expectations: If you’ve defined your own usage of, “I love – “, then you’ll be ready to ask another person what it means to them when they use the sentence. Deepen your debate: Some people reserve the word “love” for strong emotions; other people use love often and easily.  What’s the true meaning of love?  Everyone wants to know. How many ways do …

Week 9 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Social Media Leadership

(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic: Social Media Leadership This week, the topic is social media leadership because: Knowing if you want to be a leader or a follower will help you dispel mixed feelings and choose your social media identity. Recognizing good leadership will help you choose to follow the right people. Defining good leadership will help you create your vision, if you want to be a leader. Concepts of Social Media Leadership: Leaders and Followers Social media leadership implies that a person has followers; a social media leader needs people who obediently like, share, and support. Although we all participate in this following activity, many of us have mixed feelings about it, too. Bios boast of industry leaders with ridiculous numbers of followers, supposedly indicating worth, superiority, and success. Social media culture teaches us that it’s better to be followed, than to follow others. Perhaps the source of our mixed feelings is the pressure to be followed, …

The Heart of the City at Minus 8 Degrees

A Valentine’s Day poem written during my walk to work.  A bus stop advertisement mentions “the heart of the city” and inspires the title. The Heart of the City at Minus 8 Degrees The smell of rotten vegetables touches my nostrils The city is a fermenting refrigerator A hint of freshly dug dirt The sidewalk under repair Diesel exhaust – Frozen hearts of the workmen Engines running to stay warm on Valentine’s Day ___ Hardened souls, Yet the scent of colognes and perfumes Betrays secret desires How embarrassing to need love Hold me, on Valentine’s Day ___ My eyes meet other eyes For a moment, the reality of city life: Wide open hearts, closed windows Always I wonder Who is chasing whom, Valentine?   Critical Thinking: Take two minutes to mentally review your day, recalling images  and seeing them behind your closed eyes.  Write a short poem of your own.  Three or four lines will do!  Use a metaphor, which is a literary device for comparison and symbolism, a word or description is applied to …

Week 7 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Your Relationship with Food

(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic: Your Relationship with Food It’s the most important relationship you’ll ever have. Everyday you attend to your relationship with food.  You’re free to decide what, how, when, and with whom you eat. You’re free to decide how you feel emotionally about the act of eating, too.  Eating can be a moral issue if you attach judgments to food, such as good/bad and punishment/reward, or if you think that the pleasure of eating must be earned. Here are a few common expressions about food: “You are what you eat.” The nutrients in the food literally become a part of your body. “Eating your feelings,” refers to stifling negative emotions with food in order to avoid feeling them.  A person piles food in, rather than becoming more aware of these feelings, accepting them, and working through them. “Eating your feelings” is an avoidance strategy and reflects a desire for comfort.  Eating causes strong physical sensations that …

Week 6 Questions for “Know Thyself 2019”: Power Over Others

(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic: Power Over Other People One topic that has interested philosophers of all the ages and all civilizations is power.  To have power over others is to have the ability to influence their behaviour. When you have power, you have some kind of authority to make decisions and efficacy for creating real consequences.  Contrast the (illusory) feeling of power with actually being powerful over others. Power over others comes from various sources: Parental authority – parents’ ability to influence their children, regardless of age Education – overpowering by out-smarting Charisma – persuasive language and charming personality Political – ability to authorize actions that effect other people Status – a job title that creates respect or fear Money – “purchasing” certain goods and behaviours Physical strength – dominating through offers of protection or creation of fear The Pursuit of Power Power can be motivating and addictive. Many human beings enjoy feeling power over others and take …

Week 1 Questions for Know Thyself in 2019: Sleep

(This blog post is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019: A Journal Project) S L E E P The question topic might surprise you. Why start a self-knowledge journal asking about something that we’re unconscious for? Two major reasons to figure out your relationship with sleep: Your brain health. Deep thinking and creativity require proper brain function.  If you’re not sleeping well, then your brain isn’t going to function optimally. Your physical health. Your heart, muscles, immune system require adequate sleep.  Stress hormones and insulin resistance increase in response to sleep deprivation. There’s a lot of contradictory advice circulating, such as: Rich and successful people don’t sleep more than 5 hours a night. Human beings need at least 8 hours of sleep. It’s pretty common to be confused about what YOU actually need. Let’s figure it out! Questions: How much sleep do you get on average per night?  (How to know: total how many hours of sleep you’ve gotten in the last 7 nights, and divide that number by 7)  Do you think you get …

Know Thyself in 2019: A Journal Project

The most important thing you can do is learn who you are.  There are so many motivational speakers available to us, so why are we still doing so little with our resources?  I mean, we don’t seem to be getting any happier. That is what we want, right?  Maybe it’s time to admit that motivation enough to find a happy and healthy life. Why write goals and make plans if you don’t know who you are and what you want?  Where does that desire for a six-pack or six-figure income come from? Did society program that want or is it a deep part of who you are? Unless it’s what you really want, then it can’t guarantee happiness. Motivation without self-knowledge is like trying to plan your optimal vacation without knowing where you want to go.  I used to daydream about travel by wishing for a five-star hotel, lying on an exotic beach, sight seeing, touring famous buildings, and meeting the locals.  But because I had no idea who I was, what I liked, what …

My Favorite Tool to Break Free from Hopelessness and Depression

Today I want to share with you one of the most powerful healing tools I used early on, and still occasionally use, to manage painful emotions such as anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, or emotional “flatness”.  Deep thinkers are often sensitive people, which is why this post is appropriate for a critical thinking blog. Make a List Start by writing a list of some things that would normally make you feel good.  They don’t have to make you feel good now.   But simply list some things that, if you were feeling alright or better, you might enjoy doing.  Don’t make the list too hard.  I suggest having at least one item from each of the following categories of human needs.  Add some that are easier to do than others. Social: Call a family member and ask how their day is. Visit a friend for an hour over coffee.  Visit a forum online. Compliment someone through social media. Physical: Exercise a few minutes.  Try a yoga class.  Take a walk listening to uplifting music. Eat a meal or …