Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The power of the pen

I'm a big believer in writing down my goals.  Whether it's a simple "to-do" list, or a combination of short and long-term dreams, I jot it down.  Steve is always teasing me that if I don't make a note to myself to floss my teeth, it won't get done.  I have pads of paper and something to write with by my bed, in the bathroom, in every bag, all through the house, and of course, my main "office":  the car.  Of course I admit I'm one of those people who will forget something if it's not written down.  But in addition to the daily tasks and appointments I want to remember, I have turned to writing down the bigger, more significant life goals I hope to attain.  I have a friend who, shortly after writing down every specific quality she desired in her future husband, met the man who possessed every one(and of course married him!) .  While I don't believe every wish will come true immediately after it's written, I do feel that to have something in writing keeps it in the forefront of your mind, and in your consciousness, which helps guide you towards that ultimate goal.  Putting your goals, wishes, dreams, and desires on paper, whether it's finding the perfect partner, the ultimate house, or just a few trendy wardrobe items you need for the season, is like planting a seed.  You keep coming back to it, and eventually it will grow.
As soon as I was diagnosed with amyloidosis, I started a journal.  Not a super-high-tech-sophisticated-online-blog like this one, but a pretty one I found at a stationery store.  Through much of my first stem cell transplant I journaled pretty regularly, and I had more than enough time on my hands to do so.  Once I came home and eased back into the normal routine, more and more weeks would pass between entries, but I kept going back to it off and on.  Every now and then something inspires me to go back and flip through the pages and I'm always amazed at how many goals I've achieved.  Now my journal looks like it's been corrected by a teacher, because I like to put a big red "X" near things that I've accomplished.
I thought it would be interesting to share a few excerpts occasionally in this blog since so much of where I am today started with a journal entry.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Yesterday afternoon I recieved the DVD The Secret in the mail.  No card, no familiar address. 
I started watching the DVD last night and....I was changed!  I want Steve to watch it too...I want to share it with all my friends!  "What you focus on expands".  No more being glued to the internet and amyloidosis-related websites...I'm focused on being healthy, healed and DONE with all of this.
"What we think is what we become"...indulging our darker impulses only leads to dullness and confusion.  From this point forward, I believe I am healing at this very moment, I'm visualizing the wounds on my kidneys shrinking and disappearing, and they are returning to a perfect, healthy state.

Sunday, April 15, 2007
Maybe I was meant to write a children's book from this experience?  There is hardly anything on Amazon that deals with a parent or mommy being sick except for cancer-related topics.  I don't have cancer...maybe my book won't necessarily be about amyloidosis (that's too big a word anyway), but just the experience of a parent having a serious condition, needing chemo-like treatment and having the side effects, as well as needing to be separated for a period of time.  Is this what I was meant to do?  Every situation has a lesson, or a gift; how does this situation serve me?  Perhaps I'll write a children's book to help kids cope with separation due to illness?

It's very cool to look back and see how much of what I wrote several years ago has come to fruition.  In addition to journaling, I've also made vision boards on large pieces of thick cardstock.  Remember how we used to make collages with words and pictures cut out of old magazines?  That's exactly what they are, and they're pretty fun to do.  They were never done in a day...I just kept adding to the posterboard until it was full, and then I would start the next one, and just keep working on it.  I have three huge vision boards which I keep tucked between my bureau and the wall of my bedroom, so every now and then I can pull them out and see which dreams have become reality.  I took the same idea and created a vision binder out of a pretty 3-ring binder with those peel-and-stick photo pages.  I love flipping through this book of inspiration and seeing how far I've come.
With the amount of time I spend at the computer, I decided to merge these two ideas over the last couple of years.  One day I sat down and created an Excel spreadsheet with my goals one, two, five and 10 years out.  Here I write in detail every aspiration I have, whether it be my own personal health and fitness, our family finances, travel plans, or details of our dream house.  I revisit this document every few months and update it, but the key is to write down the goal as if it's already happened.
Another way I put my goals in stone is very simple...I name a file folder for them.  "What you focus on expands"...so when I create folders for emails I wish to save, I name them for the result I'm shooting for:  "Total Perfect Health", "Bestselling Book", and "Our Dream House" are way more positive and inspiring than "Medical Crap", "Book Info", and "House Stuff".  So far the "Total Perfect Health" folder is working for me, and we have made some nice changes to the house over the past couple of years.  I wonder what that "Bestselling Book" folder will bring?!

I set up a Facebook page for my book here: 
Come visit and click "Like" so I can share more illustrations and updates with you!

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