Tag Archives: self reflection

List Your Self! Do Lists Help?

Does anyone have this book “List Your Self: Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery”?  or any similar books?  Do you find that answering questions in random list form helps you?  I write lists in my journal all the time; places I want to visit, places I already have visited, movies I want to see, books I’ve read, books I want to read, places I’d like to move, jobs that sound fun. When I was younger I would write lists of baby names, now that my oldest is about to enter college I find myself writing lists of colleges, majors I think would be fun for her, I bought a book full of lists of things she should do for each grade in High School to prepare for College. 

I have always liked self-tests, quizzes, journaling. But this idea of making lists of random things for self-discovery, I’m not so sure of. When I make the above lists, they don’t just sit there – I scour the internet for more information, add books to my reading list, add movies to my Netflix list, request information from travel agencies, colleges, etc.  What am I supposed to do with a list such as “List the Ways the Full Moon Affects Your Behavior” or “List the Names of All your Past Bosses.” The first one, I don’t believe the Full Moon affects my behavior at all – so that will stay blank. The second one, I don’t remember any of my boss’s names prior to the job I have now and the one I had prior – so I guess that would be a good exercise in trying to dig into my memory?

Some lists I’ll never fill in because they are not applicable to my life. Some I would like to fill-in, and it is rather depressing that I can’t. “List all the things that always make you laugh.”  My kids. That’s it, that is all I can think of!  “List What Consistently Worries you Each Day” Well – that one is easy and most of it revolves around money or how I am raising my kids!  “List Your Sunday Rituals” I don’t have rituals. But then there are the ones that maybe I should sit down with, ponder, and really put some effort into such as “List all the actvities you’d do if you weren’t so afraid” or “List all the Qualities you love about being human.”  “List all the things you just don’t want to think about.” Well, if I don’t want to think about them, don’t I have to think about them to list them and maybe I just don’t wanna?!  There is a whole section devoted to things such as your higher power, prayer, soul, spirit, miracles, blah, blah, blah that I’ll maybe use as scratch paper for more important “Greater Truths.”  Oh – and my favorite – “List all the things you can prove are true.”  You really think this one piece of paper is big enough to list every provable fact in the world?????

 

So – have at it! What are your experiences with this book in particular or with lists in General?

Advertisements

Questions to My Long Lost Friend…

Dear Journal:

How is it possible that I have written in you so infrequently as of late?
Why are so many of your pages blindingly empty?
Have I been sucked into the digital age, further than I would care to admit?
How am I no longer drawn regularly to your hard red cover,
your crisp, beige pages – smooth under my hand – Continue reading Questions to My Long Lost Friend…

Contradictions

I am a complex creation full of contradictions
can’t place me in a box for your own easy categorization.
I am weak and strong,
insecure and confident,
lonely yet never alone.
I am a mother who loves deeply,
yet a daughter who still wishes she’d known a mother’s love.
I love deeply and passionately
am hurt easily, yet forgive just as easily.
I am giving and compassionate
but will not be used or taken advantage of.
I do not like solitude; I am comforted by noise,
I like to stay busy but sometimes am overwhelmed by all life’s to-do’s.
I am a hopeless romantic who has been heartbroken,
yet mended the tattered pieces,
so that I can be whole when I find my life partner.
I’m on the verge of being an atheist
yet still find comfort in the beauty and ritual of my old church,
am spontaneous and adventurous and despise the word structure,
yet have learned to live a life that is very scheduled most days
with work and school and children and obligations.
I love learning and reading and writing,
poetry probably saved my adolescent self from self-destructing.
I am a bleeding-heart liberal
who pro-created with an ultraconservative country boy,
and am now raising two amazing daughters who want to save the world.
I spend most of my money on experiences, not things,
love to travel, fall in love with a place but never go back, as I want to see the whole world first!

I

I cry easily at movies, but keep it together through death and crisis
I feel emotional pain like daggers through every inch of my body,
yet barely feel a dull discomfort from physical “pain.”
I am weak when it comes to love, men, chocolate,
strong when it comes to pushing through without sleep,
taking on just one more thing, or quieting the nightmares of the past.

I am soft and gentle and nurturing
with my kisses, my touch, my caress
yet can whip you with the words I unleash from my tongue when crossed.
I can hold you when you are hurting and make you feel safe and comforted,
and then unleash a wild, passionate, sexual side you never saw coming.

I write love poems and send flowers
and do all the other romantic things most girls expect done for them,
but never think to reciprocate.
I allow the traditional roles of man and woman to be blurred sometimes
yet still appreciate when you take the lead, open my door,
offer to take on my burdens or be my protector.

I have a life and a mind that are constantly full of stimulation
don’t like to sit still for too long or be quiet,
prefer music as a backdrop for all life’s activity,
yet am calmed and comforted just by the sound of a strong man’s voice
and rest the most peacefully in sturdy arms.

My heart is fragile, I’m full of optimism and hope,
I love deeply and passionately, am easily disappointed,
my heart can be shattered into a million pieces
yet I always recover, I can put the pieces together
I can trust again and love again and never become bitter.

My vision for my life is so clearly formed
it’s hard for me to adjust sometimes when things don’t work out,
but I always do, I surrender to life’s changes
because to resist, to give-in, to quit, to let go of hope, to never love again,
would be to allow my soul to stop living.