Tag Archives: understanding

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.

I AIN’T RUNNING FROM NOTHIN’

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I’m not running. I’m standing with my face to the sun. On days when the sun doesn’t shine, I stand toe to toe with my fears. I question my attachments because what got me here won’t get me where I want to go.

Laying on the beach. Solo. The wind’s blowing wild, the birds are singing and the waves are crushing my insecurities. My toe’s fucked up, but the X-ray said it’s not broken so I sip my nasty beer and eat my delicious ham sammich. I wiggle my toes a little bit to make sure this moment of solitude and serenity is real. The twinge of pain that shoots up my foot confirms, shit’s real.

The sandwich is done. I’m in a bikini that fits better now than it did in 2013 when I bought it, but I still have belly to rub. I’m rubbin my belly, fantasizing about the life I’m creating and tossing around the revelation that I’m not running from anything. Instead, I took a beach day for myself because it’s what I wanted. I made it a solo day because I only wanted to be with me. Not because life is too heavy or because I’m scared to face reality, but because I wanted to enjoy a moment with my star player.

Smiling at the water. Salt on my lips.

I’m flowing to my purpose. I’m in alignment. I’m divinely positioned and it’s all making sense now. It’s me, myself and I against any issues and it’s not aggression, but a search for understanding that shapes my perception. Watermelon juice dripping off my chin. Ice cold Capri Sun quenching my thirst. Rubbing my fat ass belly on the beach.

I’m divinely positioned and I’m feeling just fine.

Something Like a Spring Garden

Small moments mean the world to me because I know what it’s like when those moments don’t happen. I ask you to help me build something or to teach me your perspective because those are moments we didn’t get before.

As I’m growing, I have learned to look at you as a man, not just my dad. That shift in perspective helps me see you. Not your mistakes or shortcomings, just you. It allows me to extend patience and speak freely.

You’re my dad, but I choose for you to be my homie.

This is my healing. This is me forgiving. This is us growing.

Every project completed and every honest conversation is a step forward.

I’m in therapy learning skills that allow me to navigate the blocks engrained in me since conception, but it’s out here with you that the heavy lifting happens. I never say it aloud-I get that whole “taking shit for granted” vibe from you, but I’m learning-but I appreciate the times you show up. I’m grateful for you and look forward to seeing you grow because you’re never too old to do your best.

Ay Da! Thanks for doing yard work and asking to take a picture with me on Easter, that’s major.

I Wrote This For You

One time for the anxious.

The amazing people who get so hyped that they run and hide from their greatness.

The brilliant mind. Imprisoned by the troubled soul.

A condescending warden of a brain who proclaimed that the genius had to settle for average.

Mundane.

Don’t stand out.

Maintain.

I wrote this for you. Just for you.

My pen moves in sync with your racing heart. Erratic, quite manic, slightly breathless.

For you I breathe.

For you I share my pen’s sweet release in hopes that my vulnerability will remove the invisible shackles from your feet that keep you from your greatness or the hand from your throat that suffocates you and takes your ability to speak.

These words I write are intended to touch your soul.

You are great

Brilliant

Genius, in fact.

Take the step. Leap of faith.

Share your art. Share your heart.

Watch it break in the hands of few, feel it thrive and swell in the minds of many.

You are gifted, needed, necessary

And when the anxiety gets heavy

And your heart aches from fear,

Remember, you are exactly what’s been prayed for. The greatness you fear is what you’re made for and when you want to run, lean in-your breakthrough won’t break you.

If no one is there, I’m here.

Remember, I wrote this for you.

Quiet Moment

Whether you give up on all your goals or pursue them with everything you have, the world around you keeps going. It seems like everyone is doing everything everywhere. It seems like everywhere I turn someone is getting married, having children, or reaching their career goals. It’s so easy to get lost in what everyone else is doing because it looks so…nice. In March, I fell off track. I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted from exercise, writing or anything else so I dropped everything. I just completely stopped.

After a mediocre work day, I was scrolling through Instagram when my friend’s post came up. The photo and caption are both so simple, but they hit so hard. Though his post focused more on perseverance and growth, it made me consider the importance of being quiet. I’m a talker. I hate small talk because I’m awkward, but I love to talk. Regardless of whether it’s about stars, food, or cracks in the concrete, I love to talk. When I’m having a hard time with certain things I prefer to talk through them regardless of whether I’m talking to someone else or seeking expert advice from myself, I talk. The day I saw that photo I received a rejection email from a job I’d recently interviewed for. I wanted to cry and talk but I was at work so I opted out of the convo and crying session. Instead, I blinked a billion times and turned up my “Dreamville” playlist until I couldn’t hear myself think about the sting of another rejection. In that moment with J. Cole’s Friday Night Lights mixtape intro playing in my ears, I was quiet. Aside from the few words coming through my earbuds, my mind was completely quiet for about thirty seconds. It was like I’d pressed a reset button and was allowing myself to process more than just that moment.

That thirty seconds and this photo made me realize how powerful silence can be. It helped me bring my focus back to what truly matters to me and not what looks good on other people. The fact is, I needed to be honest with myself. What was I doing to make me see the results of my exercise? (Side note: I was overeating during meals and rewarding myself with snack cakes/candy bars when I’d complete a mediocre workout so there’s that…) Why was I being so critical of everything I wrote, instead of enjoying the therapeutic feeling of clearing my mind of things that I couldn’t talk about? What made me ready for the job that I wanted so bad? Did I even truly want the job or did I just want the job because of how it would look? If it wasn’t for silence, I would probably still be pouting over the fact that things aren’t going the way that I expected them to go.

I’m finally out of that slump! The first step was honesty; the second step was action. Don’t make the action more difficult than it has to be by telling yourself that you can’t do it or focusing on your previous failures. When it came time for me to act, I allowed all types of negative thoughts to keep me from doing what I knew I needed to do for months! Ultimately, I learned that I had to take a moment to be quiet every once in a while. In my quiet moment, I brag to myself about my accomplishments, forgive myself for the mistakes that I’ve made that I can’t seem to let go of, write down two things that I’m grateful for, and take a final moment to breathe because the best is yet to come.

“Real, sustainable change doesn’t happen in a moment. It’s a process.”

-John C. Maxwell,  Today Matters