Tag Archives: growth

Brain Dumps: You Should Add Them to Your Routine

My Introduction to Brain Dumps

My introduction to brain dumps was actually in the form of “morning pages”. I began doing my morning pages as part of my practices when reading The Artist’s Way. Later, I heard Tim Ferris mention using brain dumps as a way to have a more productive day on his podcast. I hadn’t been prioritizing my morning pages anymore. I had become fidgety with anxiety. Anything more than five minutes of still meditation (guided or otherwise) felt nearly impossible, but the idea of sitting for ten or fifteen minutes and writing seemed less daunting. I gave it a try. I sat for a few minutes with my Self Care Everyday journal and wrote. They weren’t complete sentences, it wasn’t a story or poem, it wasn’t even cohesive thoughts. It was freeing because there was no right or wrong, no expectation, just release.

Who Should Do Brain Dumps

Short list: everyone. Longer list:

  • Anyone who is creating a better life in any way
  • Anyone who is making decisions
  • Anyone who knows what it is like to have to hold many thoughts in their mind at the same time
  • Anyone who feels anxious, overwhelmed, or like their mind is overflowing with information
  • Someone who is working to determine their emotional triggers and needs to keep record of the people, places, and things that impact their feelings
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Therapists
  • People in therapy
  • Employees
  • Creatives
  • You
  • Me

How Do You Brain Dump?

First, let me make something clear: You don’t have to be a writer, artist, or creative person to do brain dumps. Second, there is no “wrong way”. Now, clear at least five minutes from your busy schedule. I prefer doing brain dumps in the morning and before bed, but you can take this practice throughout the day. Just grab your preferred medium (pencil, pen, paint, marker). I prefer to use my Release and Reset Clarity Journal: Use Brain Dumps to Declutter the Mind journal because at the end of each seven days, there are lined pages for me to evaluate my recurring thoughts and reset by making proactive decisions for the coming week. No paper? Use a sticky note, paper cup, napkin-whatever you can find. 

Take three deep breaths (because, science). Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Go! 

Write.

Scribble.

Doodle.

Do whatever gets the thoughts out of your mind. Your sentences don’t have to be complete. Your words don’t have to be spelled correctly. Your lines don’t have to be straight, perfectly curved or even meet. 

When you’re finished, you can keep it, throw it away, or burn your thoughts (be safe, please). Take another three deep breaths (still science). Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.

Add brain dumps to your routine for a few days. Come back and let me know how it benefits you.

If Words Were a Hug

I would be lying if I said that this is how I expected my life to be. I’m grateful, but truthfully, most days I’m frustrated with myself. I can be so hard on myself, as if I could see the future when I was making decisions. I’m further along than many, but I’m far behind where I want to be. I’m in an endless cycle of burnout and exhaustion on this “journey” to figure out what actually matters to me. Healing isn’t always pretty. It’s not just hot baths, flights and flowers; some nights, it’s crying in the mirror and saying all the things that you want to hear from someone else, until you feel safe and loved. This is the result of one of those nights.


I love you.
I love you.
I love you.”
I’m sitting in front of the mirror. The room is illuminated by the dancing flicker of the flame from my chakra candles.
Green for my heart. Orange for my Sacral.
Nobody exists but me.
Nobody is coming to “save me”.
Tears fall, but I keep talking because I need to hear it to feel it.

I love you.
I love you.
I love you.
I forgive you.
I forgive you for the times you didn’t listen to your intuition.
I forgive you for putting the pleasure, joy, and well being of others ahead of your own.
I believe in you.
Today. Tomorrow. Every day.
Clear the noise and know that I am proud of you.”

As a smile spreads freely across my face and the salt of my tears touches my taste buds, I am reminded that all is well.

Let this be a reminder to you:
All is well. Though you may not feel it now, you are whole. You are loved. You are valued. Every day.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

QUICK SUMMARY

There are many reasons that things catch on and go viral. Contagious: Why Things Catch On takes a practical dive into 6 key elements that make things interesting enough to share.

THE 6 ELEMENTS – STEPPS

  • SOCIAL CURRENCY
    • People crave societal approval. They want to be liked, but they also want to feel special and like they know something that others don’t
    • Word of mouth is a form of currency
    • Remarkability, exclusivity, and scarcity boost word of mouth by making people feel like insiders
  • TRIGGERS
    • Environmental reminders that keep you top of mind
    • Examples of triggers: Peanut butter makes you think of jelly; ketchup makes you think of mustard
    • Associating your brand with a specific trigger brings your brand to the top of consumer minds more often
    • Good triggers are those that are seen frequently, happen near where your desired outcome takes place, and are strongly associated with your product (not extremely broad/general)
  • EMOTION
    • “When we care, we share”
    • People share things that are interesting and/or useful
    • You want the emotion to trigger action (examples of emotions that result in action: rage, awe, excitement) so that your brand is shared
  • PUBLIC
    • It needs to be seen for social currency and triggering purposes
    • People do what they see others do because of social proof and herd mentality
    • Behavior is public, but thoughts are private so you need people’s actions to support your brand, idea, or desired outcome, not just their thoughts
  • PRACTICAL VALUE
    • People pass along practical, useful information
    • We measure value in relative terms meaning that we compare things to our reference points and expectations. If we expect a bill to be $400, but it is actually $100, we will be excited because it costs less than we expected; however, if it was $600, we would be upset because it costs more than we expected.
    • When setting prices or creating promotions, consider the consumer’s expectations and use the Rule of 100
  • STORIES
    • Narratives carry information
    • People dispute reviews on a website, but they are less likely to dispute a person’s story
    • Make your brand, product, or idea an integral part of the story to make sure that it doesn’t get left out of the retellings

The STEPPS don’t have to all be used at the same time to make something go viral, but the more that can be included, the better. This book was concise with limited redundancies making it a great resource for anyone interested in making their content reach larger numbers of people. I don’t usually read books more than once, but this book will stay on my bookshelf as a reference tool.

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Trust the Process

For a while, “trust the process” was my motto. I was saying it for every situation as a means of reminding myself that God’s plan is perfect and that everything will work out in due time. I had been repeating the phrase during meditation, in the shower, as I exhaled in a difficult yoga pose-all that. I felt so strongly about the phrase that I was telling other people to keep calm and trust the process, too. It all seemed so simple and so soothing until one day when it wasn’t.

I don’t remember the exact situation, I just remember how it made me feel. I remember the bitter taste in my mouth, the tears that filled my eyes, the heat that rushed over my body, and the uncontrollable urge to lash out and let loose on the first person I saw. Luckily, nobody was there. It’s no secret that I have trouble expressing and managing my emotions, it’s one of the many things that I’m unpacking and working through right now, but on this day my emotions seemed like a burden I didn’t want to carry. I remember sitting on my yoga mat in front of my crystals and just crying. Normally, this is when I would take deep breaths and repeat “trust the process” until I calmed down but that wasn’t an option.

I went from feeling everything to feeling nothing, numb with confusion. Trust the process…what process?! I sat there on my mat with Bob Marley on repeat wondering what my granddaddy would do. What about grandma? What about Grip? Bob Marley? Jesus? Anybody?! How would anybody else climb out of this depressive state? I couldn’t come up with anything, which just made me more frustrated. I cried hard until my head ached and I got up, showered and went to work like nothing had even happened.

Fast forward a few weeks to when I was having a conversation with one of the most amazing people in my life and everything clicked: you don’t just trust the process, you have to learn to trust the process. Trusting the process is a process in itself! It’s not always pretty and it doesn’t always make sense because sometimes it isn’t what you expect or think you need it to be. I remember hanging up the phone and going straight to the shower. I stood under the hot water thinking about why I quit “trusting the process”. Why the sudden shift? After much deliberation and critical self-talk, I realized that I put too much emphasis on the idea of trusting the process and not enough emphasis on trusting God and myself.

Reflection helped me realize that in every situation where I thought things were at their worst and there was no way out, something beautiful happened. I had to get through the storm to enjoy the rainbow and that’s how my life has always been. The storm was God giving me the strength I needed to pull through because He has an amazing life for me, but I’ll have to work for it. I had forgotten that, though. I was screaming “trust the process” and not using any of the skills or knowledge I had been blessed with.

When you want something, you must work for it. All those cliché quotes about nothing worth having being easy to attain are true. Are you trusting the idea of trusting the process or are you truly trusting God and yourself? What does it look like for you to trust the process? Take some time to really think about it, because when things get hard and you want to quit or don’t understand why it all has to be so hard, you’ll need to circle back to your answers. On the road to be great, you are an ever-evolving artist and your life is your artistic expression. Open your mind and your heart to growth and trust that along the way, you’ll learn all that you need to get to where you want to be.

Trust the process. Trust God. Trust yourself.