An Exercise in Faith: Realize The Truth That There Is Order And Continuity In Life
As an emergency room nurse, I know that the traumas and dramas of life can be confusing to deal with because they can be acute or chronic. More often than not, even if it is an isolated accident or incident, it is built on top of other many small moments of time that package together into the story of your life.
Oh, you just broke your arm, did you? Or maybe you’ve been dealing with your sick mother who lives with you and she forgot to call the doctor for her follow up appointment and you recently lost your cell phone, so couldn’t call for her….besides you were too busy dealing with that to remind her. Then you find your phone under a large stack of laundry only to discover that somehow, the iCloud has lost all your contacts and appointments for the entire month! In a panic, you quickly turn to leave the room and stub your toe on the shoes you didn’t put away, failing down and breaking your arm. Yes, you just broke your arm (today), but the nurse in me knows there is always a back story and a message to take away.
Overview: You’re doing too much and it’s time to slow down and pay attention!!
We live in a society that lives and breathes by the clock. Appointments, next day Amazon deliveries, calendars filled with precise and moment to moment happenings. For these reasons of the mundane, it’s very easy to lose track of the bigger spiritual picture, the why something happened, when it happened, and what exactly it was that was so painful. I find that writing and using your journal to make a timeline is a valuable way to make these underlying issues and dynamics visible in a short period of time. This can help you understand things on a whole other level and can bring healing to your life. It will reveal significant incidents, ongoing dynamics, as well as the periods of life that felt relatively safe and happy.
I started my journal when I was ten years old. I still continue my love of this practice decades later. Writing down my thoughts, feelings, and memories of the undeniably amazing and crazy journey called life helps me express everything I feel. A useful type of journaling I often do is what I call timeline journaling. It gives me an overview of what I’m going through as well as the space and time in which I went through it.
I’ve done two versions of timeline journaling in my life and both have been extremely helpful.
#1: Graphical Line Model
A graph is an excellent way to see your trends, to know how you’re moving up or down. Draw a line on a piece of paper from left to right and then placing a 0 on the left side and your current age on the right side. Then relax and take a few deep breaths, really get into the emotion and core of yourself. Place a mark along the graph where you instinctively feel or rationally know something major or traumatic happened. Maybe it was a move, the birth of a child, losing a friend, or one of your family members changing jobs.
Once you have your timeline graphically represented, it is easier to make sense of the overarching themes playing out in your life. *Note: The gaps in between the marks or “flatlines” I refer to as the stabilizing or calm influencers. They are there to help you assimilate and let out the old and bring in the new.
#2: Numerology Timeline
The second way involves going a little deeper into the spiritual realm, as it involves looking at something called the Personal Year. Google any major numerology website for more information, but in a nutshell, think of your Personal Year cycles as short, one year sections of your life. The idea is that each number holds a specific vibration and that vibrational influence is with you during that particular year. For example, when I outlined my life using my Personal Year numbers, I saw that I met my husband in a personal year 6, which is about home, family, and highlighted relationships, and got a divorce in a year 9, which is all about completion, unraveling, and letting go.
The Personal Year cycle is calculated by adding your month of birth, your day of birth, and the current year together, then reducing to a single digit. For instance, my birthday is 9/16, so I can take 9+1+6+2+0+1+9 = 28 then 2+8 = 10 then 1+0 = 1 to determine that my Personal Year for 2019 is a 1. I can expect this year to be about new beginnings, taking the initiative, leadership, and independence. (Oh by the way, this is the year that I launched my new website, and will be moving locations and starting a podcast).
I typically use an Excel spreadsheet to do this one, as it is faster to enter the digits. When you’re as old as me, it saves time from having to make over 40 years worth of data. That being said, I typically highlight certain timeframes in my life that I’m especially curious about, as opposed to doing my entire life review.
Regardless of what time frames you choose to look at, I suggest the following:
Make the 1st column the current year, the 2nd column your personal year, and the 3rd column a listing of you major life events. Then look for common themes.
Having a bigger picture, picture of my life was very healing. The “ah-ha” and “no wonder” feelings brought many moments of solace when my mind was trying to make things work out that energetically weren’t supposed to. Having a timeline of events and seeing the natural ebb and flow of my life made sense to me on both a logical and emotional level. Because of this, the last time my Personal Year 9 came around, which happened to be 2018, it wasn’t as big of a surprise to me when I lost 5 friends who were no longer an energetic match to me or when it was easier to let go of old concepts I didn’t need to believe about myself anymore. It was time for all of that to go and it moved on, as if on cue from the universe.
The last helpful piece of timeline journaling is that it helps the overly mental person, like me, see the forest through the trees. When each overly thought out planned out tree of opportunity topples down on you, it might be because of a nearby avalanche and not just because the universe is personally trying to ruin your life. It is the time to remember there are always bigger forces and reasons that things happen the way they do.
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