Message in a bottle moments
Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Isn’t it romantic when a message in a bottle tossed into the sea is received by someone far away perhaps even many years later? Although Hollywood makes it look easy, the odds of this happening are pretty slim. But it does happen.
Some people have found love (albeit short lived); found ancestral information they didn’t know and formed unlikely friendships as a result of messages that washed up on a beach. Read more about some famous ‘message in a bottle’ stories here. These stories remind me of the power of writing. Putting something down on paper that could potentially reach others has the ability to transform or heal or open up opportunities for the reader in ways the writer may not have imagined. It is equally powerful when the writer and the reader are one and the same person!
For a long time, I recorded my thoughts in diaries that I kept and then moved on to writing down my prayers. I always feel emotional when I look back over my written prayers. When I see things that have come to pass, I feel motivated and when I see some things I worried about in the past they now seem ridiculous! I still maintain my practice of writing down my prayers but have also taken up journaling. To do that, I had to unlock my fear of commitment and fear of failure. With the diaries and the prayers I was writing wishes and thoughts but with journaling I now had to write actions. I knew that if I didn’t do something I had written down, self criticism would kick in. This was the wrong approach to journaling.
Journaling is meant to be a mindful practice and it has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. It is a great way to increase your self-awareness and with that should come self acceptance and self compassion. These simply mean understanding yourself, accepting your strengths/weakness and being kind to yourself and hopeful and patient with yourself when making changes. Journaling can also give you direction for the day, the week, the month and allows you to reflect on how you are doing. Apart from a record of your thoughts and actions, two things I recommend you make space for in your journal are a Gratitude list and an Ideas list.
What we focus on magnifies. Perhaps you’ve noticed this when you decide to buy a car and suddenly you start seeing that make and model everywhere! If you keep a gratitude list, you will find things to be grateful for, you will have a glass half full mindset. Because you have reflected on it, you will express it and that does wonders for relationships. The same goes for the ideas list, in fact I keep one on my phone so I can note down ideas that come to me at different times. The mere act of keeping that list opens up the filters in your brain to recognise ideas.
I encourage you to take up journaling. You could start with just a few sentences or a few minutes a day to write down a prayer/wish/action as well as someone or something you are grateful for. I bet if you check back in a few months not only would it motivate you or make you smile, you will also likely get that romantic ‘message in a bottle’ moment.