I recently heard a yoga teacher say: “The practice of yoga is knowing your body and your unconscious habits. In knowing yourself, you welcome opportunity for changes.”
In other words, knowing yourself and your unconscious habits allows you to identify patterns that may not be helpful in your life. It opens the door for opportunity to make changes. In yoga, knowing your poor posture allows you to strengthen those muscles you need to walk around the world with more flexibility and confidence.
There is a parallel with one’s emotional and spiritual life.
Knowing yourself, your thought processes, core beliefs, and emotions can offer an opportunity for lasting change.
In our fast paced society with smartphones and twitter feeds, it can be difficult to slow down enough to understand and know yourself better. As a Christian, it takes discipline and trust to slow down, look inward and then upward towards the vertical. When we look to God and spend time listening, we can enter His rest. It is here that we can allow the word of God to do its work. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
One simple way to slow down and be open to this process is journaling. It could be a traditional notebook or even your smartphone. There are apps out there to help you!
Journaling can be an invaluable way to know yourself by processing your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings and how they affect your everyday life and major life decisions. You can start out by stating what mood you’re in and chart what thought, person or event triggered it. Ask yourself questions like: When have you felt this way before? Never? Often? As an adult or a child? What thought is attached to this feeling? Is the thought rational or irrational? How can you rewrite that inaccurate recurring thought to make it more rational or accurate? How then does it feel? How does this all relate and connect with your spiritual life? What might God be saying to you in truth and love? After all, He knows all our thoughts before they come to be.
What if I told you, that one hour a week to slow down and process holds the possibility to change the course of your life?
“Great events, we often find, on little things depend, and from very small beginnings, have oft a mighty end.” -From “The Power of the Littles” Anonymous