Confession: I’ve never really liked to write. Ironic, huh?
This may also be the prime time to mention that I am the sixth grade writing teacher in our district. Ha! However, getting to be a part of this blog is changing my outlook on writing. Writing can be so rewarding in its raw, unfiltered form.
In our last blog, I mentioned changing our mindset to see the beautiful, and unload the “junk” in our minds. Easier said than done, of course.
Some of you may be thinking, “Okay Caiti, that’s sweet and all that you want to be positive, but how can I tangibly process all that I’m going through?”
On top of creating a positive mindset, I think it is also important to look for an emotional and mental outlet to help us process and let go of the day’s worries and stressors.
For me, archery has been my outlet for several years. The physical exertion and mental precision required to draw, release, and accurately hit a target both relaxes and stimulates me in a way that I find therapeutic.
If you don’t have a hobby that provides an outlet for you, I encourage you to begin exploring your interests.
But let’s face it...there are days when for one reason or another I am unable to drive over to my parents’ house, get set up, and enjoy 30 minutes or an hour of shooting.
So what do I do to reflect and release on such days as this?
Surprise! I write. And even though it hasn’t always been my favorite means of passing the time, I’ve found that when I have a purpose for my writing it is actually a wonderful outlet.
A dear friend of mine shared this technique with me several years ago during a Bible study. It is such a great means of reflection, whether you would like to do so for spiritual reasons or if you would like to modify to just process and let go of the day. I’ll show you how to use it both ways.
This technique is called Peak, Pit, Praise, Prayer. It takes as little or as much time as I like and really helps me to quietly reflect on my day. So grab a notebook and let’s get started!
All you have to do to set up this little reflection is to draw a big plus sign from edge to edge of your paper. This divides your paper into four quadrants, one for each category. Go ahead and label each one and date your page.
It’s interesting to be able to go back and look at these after some time has passed, to see where you were mentally and emotionally at a certain point in your life. It’s even better to look back and see so much growth from where you’ve come!
The first quadrant is “Peak.” What was the highlight of your day? Did something special or exciting happen? Maybe you just had some small successes that made you feel productive and energized. Jot those down. Use bullet points, paragraphs, whatever fits for you.
The next quadrant is “Pit.” This is where you let yourself vent on paper about any hardships you may have faced today. If something is particularly weighing on your mind, explain the feelings you are having and why.
The third quadrant is “Praise.” I love this one! No matter what religion, race, or social status we may identify with, we can all find things to be thankful for. Write down as many of these as you can think of and don’t stop! This is the best medicine for a long day.
The fourth and final quadrant is “Prayer.” You could also choose to label this quadrant “Plan.” This is the area where you can write your prayers of thanksgiving and requests, or an area where you can plan your course of action for turning those “pits” into “peaks.” Make this your own!
So there you have it. If you could use a little extra help in reflection and changing your mindset, I hope that this little technique will give you some helpful direction.