Awake in the World

Journaling is a way of taking a trying experience and finding the nugget of gold in it.  Our word choices and the stories we tell can create and form our experience of life and altar our future.  An exercise from renowned professor of psychology and expert on writing and wellness, Dr. James Pennebaker, guides people to take an event they perceived as negative and find the good in it.  Some people say, ‘writing makes me feel worse.’ But sitting down to write may release negative feelings and allow you to discover the positive through writing about the experience.  Identify any kind of good that came out of the event.  Instead of saying it was ‘bad,’ write it was ‘not good,’ for example.  Even people who were victims of very challenging illness and accidents can transform their perception and see the experience as an opportunity to be closer to God or consider it was a way to have more compassion for other people. Writing out daily gratitude lists that focus on specific moments and describe the experiences in detail uplift the mind as well.  This helps particularly during the holidays when we often tend to focus on what we want and don’t have.  Another writing exercise might include sending out letters and Christmas cards with uplifting, personalized messages.  Even a small, kind word written or spoken with a smile can make a difference. 

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at

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