I wanted to share with you some of the tools for personal growth that I’ve been using as of late to get a handle on my time and be more intentional about where my energy is going. There are four tools in particular that have had a huge impact on my life and my mood: tarot, automatic writing, meditation, and weekly planning.
What I love most about these tools is how they help me feel grounded and get me to connect with parts of myself that I don’t often connect with. They also help me to slow down and savor my experiences (especially with my daughter), to be more aware of the thought patterns and stories that I carry around with me, and to pay more attention to what I need to function at my best in the world.
In the last few months that I’ve been doing these things, I feel like I am more organized and on top of things, I know what’s expected of me, and I’m more intentional and planful about how I’m showing up. And when I don’t do them, I notice a huge difference. I feel more scattered and unsure of what to do with my time.
Tool #1: Tarot
Tarot has become a powerful tool for insightful self-exploration. I love doing weekly and daily spreads to help ground me in the week and day ahead. I also love tarot as a way to reflect on what I’ve been doing and to help me see any patterns or make sense of any struggles that I’ve come up against. When I use them, I feel more grounded and in tune with who I am and how I want to be showing up.
Some of my favorite 3-card spreads:
- What to do / What not to do / What will bring me joy
- A reflection of me / A meaningful intention / A message from spirit
- Issue Guides are helping with now / What my Guides want me to know / How I can connect with my Guides
- What to expect / Unexpected / Theme of the day
- What to be aware of / What to remember / What to let go of
A favorite weekly spread:
- Theme or general energy of the week / What I most need to focus on this week / Challenges that may come up this week / Strengths can I use to overcome these challenges
- Interview on N+F with Leslie McAllister of Juju
- Tarot for Personal Growth board on Pinterest
- Decks: Universal Waite* + Sacred Creators Oracle
Tool #2: Automatic Writing
Automatic writing is a tool for self-discovery that helps me access the wisdom and guidance I need in the moment. I find that automatic writing is able to get me deeper than straight journaling and provides me with more meaningful information than Morning Pages. So what is this magical tool? It is a way to connect with your higher self, spirit guides, and our unconscious through writing. I’ve found that I do best by writing it down with pen on paper, but you could also use a computer to connect in this way. The most effective way for me to do automatic writing is by first setting the intention for staying open, taking a few deep breaths, and then starting my session off with a question like, what do I need to know right now? so that the writing can unfold. The best part about automatic writing is that the more you do it, the easier it becomes to sit down and write.
I know that doesn’t sound super helpful, but I promise it’s an easy process. The resources below go into more detail about what it is and how to do it, so if this is a tool that interests you, I’d suggest clicking around and reading a bit more.
- How to do automatic writing
- Automatic Writing 101: 10 Tips and Techniques
- How to Channel Your Soul Through Automatic Writing
Tool #3: Meditation
Meditation is something that I chose to focus my time and energy on for The 100 Day Project. I knew that I needed a little extra motivation to stick to a daily practice. 50 days into the project, I’ve realized a few things about meditation and what it does for me. First, it helps me become more aware of my thoughts and patterns, which is a seriously powerful tool for creating positive change in my life and mood. Second, I’m less reactive to stressors — which I happen to have a lot of with a sassy 4-year-old at home. Meditation has also led me to make other positive changes in my life because I’ve been more aware of how I’m feeling mind, body, and soul. Finally, because I’ve been meditating at night, I’ve noticed that I’ve been sleeping a whole lot better. Heck. Yeah.
The only requirement I set for myself when I started with my 100 Day Project was to spend at least 5 minutes each day meditating. That could be as simple as focusing on my breath for 5 minutes, diving into a longer guided meditation, or even listening to something like binaural beats. So far, I’ve done all of the above, as well as meditating in the shower and bathtub, outside on a walk, and in Shavasana following a yoga practice.
- The what, why, and how of meditation
- Breath Meditation
- Binaural Beats (actual meditations can be found through a quick search on YouTube)
- Some of the guided meditations that I’ve been using
- Meditation Oasis
Tool #4: Sunday Forcast
I’m the kind of person that barely looks at her calendar and often doesn’t realize that I need to be somewhere until I’m supposed to be leaving. So taking the time to sit down on a Sunday and look at what I have going on during the week and also what I want (or need) to get done for the week has been a gamechanger for me. It allows me to be intentional with my time and to make a plan for how I will get it all done. It also helps me to prioritize my time more effectively while also spending time doing the things that I value: connection, self-care, being outside, etc.
What I ask myself in order to get my week in order:
- What do I have on the calendar for the week?
- What do I need to get done?
- What do I want to get done?
- How does it all fit in throughout the week?
- Am I focusing on what I value most? If not, what can I do to bring my schedule more into alignment?
- What will we be eating this week? What do I need to prep?
- What is my intention or theme for the week?
The whole process takes like 10 minutes to do (minus the menu planning, that can take an hour with all of my food restrictions and how much cooking I do at home). And I typically write it down in a notebook because I do better with remembering it all that way.
- The Week Ahead Spread ($2)
- A post about Christine Kane’s Sunday Summit
- 20 productive things to do on a Sunday from The Blissful Mind
While you can do each of these tools on their own, there is something magical about how they work together and support each other. At least that’s how it’s been for me. If that sounds like too much, or if you’d rather try them one at a time, I totally feel you. Pick the one that you’re most curious about or feel like you need the most in your life right now and start there. You can always add more in once you feel settled into your new routine.
Take a listen!
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