I listen very carefully to what my readers and customers say. You are heard. I understand your frustration, sadness, and confusion when you don’t know what your body is doing and can’t seem to get any help. That is why I wrote, Total Body Meltdown and the 65 Reasons Why.
But, the one thing I haven’t really addressed completely yet are statements like:
- I haven’t ever felt well. I can’t imagine what that feels like.
- I’ve always been in pain. What will I do when I am pain free?
- I’ve always suffered with this. What will life be like when I don’t?
So, the first section of this post will give you a tool that you can use to explore what your life could be like when you create more wellness – Treasure Mapping. Then, in the second section, I will share its sibling – Journaling. Finally, I will give you specific examples of how to journal for health.
What is a Treasure Map?
I was first exposed to treasure mapping when I read Shakti Gawain’s book, Creative Visualization, in the late 1970s. Since that time, visualizing goals has become accepted as an effective success practice. Treasure mapping (sometimes called, “creating a vision board”) is a fun way to learn to visualize while eliminating resistance to change. Jane Alexander, journalist and author, describes a treasure map as:
a large piece of paper covered with images that reflect a goal, a desired outcome, your ultimate dream. The idea is that, by giving your subconscious a graphic blueprint of what you want and need, it will work at ways of making that a reality.
She goes on to quote Shakti Gawain:
A treasure map is an actual physical picture of your desired reality…It is valuable because it forms an especially clear, sharp image which can then attract and focus energy into your goal. It works along the same lines as a blueprint for a building.
Resistance and Treasure Mapping
Very few people like change, and they build a whole menu of excuses about why they can’t. You may have your own. You might recognize this pattern – you think about voluntarily making a lifestyle change, for example, giving up caffeine. Then, you hear in your mind a thousand reasons why giving up caffeine won’t work. For many, this repeating litany of excuses will stop them from giving up caffeine, even though this will increase their wellness, until such time as the pain of drinking caffeinated drinks is more difficult to deal with than the pain of changing this habit.
Of course, resistance is much more complicated than the above paragraph would lead you to believe. The mechanisms in the body/mind/emotions/spirit complex to keep you alive and safe are quite intricate. It’s not my purpose today to explain these processes. I just want you to be aware that those repeating defeatist thoughts are your resistance to change.
The beauty of treasure mapping is that it’s fun. Making a vision board engages your creative side and avoids triggering your resistance. So, it’s a holistic practice that brings all your gifts and talents to the table. How empowering!
How to Treasure Map
- Poster Board, any size
- Glue/Glue Sticks
- Magazines, Newspapers, Photographs, Prints of Digital Photographs
NOTE: If you don’t have old magazines or newspapers, you can contact your local freecycle (Google it) and ask people to save and send you theirs.
- Go through magazines, newspapers, photographs, and prints of digital photos.
- Cut out any pictures or words that jump out at you. Don’t judge this process. Just clip what you like.
- Save these photos in a file (or files) until you are ready to put your Treasure Map together.
- Continue to clip pictures until you feel complete. That’s the same kind of feeling you have when you are satisfied at a meal. 🙂
- NOTE: If I find that I have clipped “mountains” of pictures, I will sort them by topic and then have a folder for each topic. Some topics I’ve used are family, vacation, home, fashion, exercise, and so on.
- When you are ready to create your Treasure Map, put your poster board on a flat surface (table, clean floor, etc.) and have the glue stick and scissors (in case I want to change pictures) handy.
- Begin arranging the pictures and words on the poster board. You can really play with different combinations until you like what you see.
- NOTE: Most of my coaches have said that if you use a face on the Treasure Map, put a word over the eyes so that your subconscious mind sees the image as general instead of specific.
- When you are happy with the arrangement, start gluing the pictures and words down.
- You can continue to add pictures or words until your Treasure Map feels complete.
- Hang the Treasure Map where you can see it. (I put mine on the back of my bedroom door, so it is the first thing I see in the morning.)
- A very effective practice is to focus on your Treasure Map for at least five minutes a day. One area might jump out to you, or you might just like to take it all in. Imagine what being, having, doing what you have envisioned would be like.
By spending a little time every day creating or focusing on your Treasure Map, you can easily put together a blueprint of what a “well life” would look like for you. By spending five minutes every day looking at your Treasure Map and imagining yourself in the life you created on the Vision Board, you are engaging your conscious and subconscious to work together to create change in a joyful way.
Here is an example of one of the Treasure Maps I’ve worked on. I hung it on the back of my bedroom door and spent at least five minutes looking at it daily for over a year. What I found is that many of the changes I visualized happened quite easily over that year, despite any challenges I experienced before I made the Treasure Map.
People have journaled since ancient times. Think of cavemen drawing on the walls of caves to memorialize their interactions with the world. This was their journal. Think how powerful this tool is considering the very earliest records of man were created in this way.
Thrive Global, an organization developed to help people deal with stress at work so that they don’t develop burnout and can be more creative, shared:
Ever wondered why history’s great minds including Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Andy Warhol, Leonardo Da Vinci, Marcus Aurelius, Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, George Bernard Shaw and Maya Angelou would spend so much of their precious time writing things that will never be seen by another soul?
One of the most prolific podcasters and success coaches, Tim Ferris, calls journaling:
the deloading phase in life….I use it as a tool to clarify my thinking and goals, much as Kevin Kelly (one of my favorite humans) does. The paper is like a photography darkroom for my mind.
What Are the Benefits of Journaling?
VeryWell Mind lists these benefits for journaling:
Journaling about traumatic events helps one process them by fully exploring and releasing the emotions involved, and by engaging both hemispheres of the brain in the process, allowing the experience to become fully integrated within one’s mind. Journaling can also help you to focus on areas of your life that you’re like to focus on more often, as is the case with gratitude journaling or even coincidence journaling.
As for the health benefits of journaling, they’ve been scientifically proven. Research shows the following:
- Journaling decreases the symptoms of asthma, arthritis, and other health conditions.
- It improves cognitive functioning.
- It strengthens the immune system, preventing a host of illnesses.
- It counteracts many of the negative effects of stress.
How to Begin Journaling
- Lined Notebook or Journal
- Pen or Pencil
- Colored Pens
NOTE: I use colored pens as my coaches said that changing ink colors stimulated participation by your right brain.
The easiest way to start journaling is to create a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is a notebook you write and draw in that is dedicated to showing your gratitude for the blessings in your life.
When you are not feeling like your best self, starting a gratitude journal is easier than you think. Find five things you are or could be grateful for. Write them in your journal. Put your journal aside for the day and repeat the process tomorrow.
Some people when the begin this process, can only keep repeating the first five things day-in and day-out. This is perfect, because as you spend a few moments every day to focus on what you are grateful for, more things to be grateful for miraculously appear. After all, focusing on gratitude will help you be more grateful.
Personal Planning Journaling
Another journal that is easy to start is a personal planning journal. When you begin this type of journaling, as part of your wake-up routine, you write your goals for the day, meetings, etc. in your journal. At the end of the day, you can check off what you’ve accomplished and decide whether you want to move what is left over to the next day.
Again, there’s no need to be a perfectionist about this journal or about your goals. You’re just planning and noting.
Emotional Release Journal
If our parents worked out their stress on the family, then chances are we repeat this behavior. An emotional release journal is a choice to work out our stress and negative emotions ourselves. In this type of “diary,” stream your emotional reactions to events, without judgment. Keep writing until you don’t have anything else to say. You might also want to note in the future how making a certain entry in your emotional release journal changed how you dealt with a situation.
Journaling for Health
I talk about journaling for health in my FAQ about supplementing calcium and in ReSet the Yeast Connection. You can consider journaling for health a fact-finding mission. You probably will start with a question, like:
- Should I supplement calcium?
- Am I supplementing too much calcium?
- Should I eat wheat?
- Is eating potatoes good for me?
Self-Experiment and Journaling
I often tell customers and readers to self-experiment. Instead of relying on “expert advice,” you can find out for yourself. For example, someone could eat potatoes for 48 hours and journal about how they feel. Then, they could stop eating potatoes for 48 hours and journal about how they feel. At that point, compare what you’ve written, and you’ll know whether potatoes feed you or feed your microbes. Your body will feel good if potatoes are right for you.
Should I Supplement with ReCalcia?
In my ReCalcia FAQ, I say:
The platform you need to start with is finding out how much calcium is in the food you eat. We have a chart in the ReMyte book that gives the amount of calcium in specific foods or you can look online. Otherwise, start a food diary where you learn how much calcium you eat on an average day.
The “food diary” I mention here is a journal. In this application I would write down every food I ate that is calcium rich and the number of milligrams of calcium in that food. Then, I would total the milligrams at the end of the day. I would make these entries for at least week so that I can average the amount of my calcium intake for a typical day.
Then, I would be able to follow these suggestions for using ReCalcia:
Once you know that, you can decide whether calcium supplementation would work for you. Dr. Dean suggests that if you eat 300 mg or more (but less than 600 mg) of calcium-rich foods, you can consider using 1 teaspoon of her ReCalcia Calcium Solution. If you eat 300 mg or less of calcium-rich foods, then you can consider using 2 teaspoons of ReCalcia. You can also use the slow start program with this product, starting with 1/4 teaspoon a day and building up to either 1 teaspoons or 2 teaspoons per day.
If you consume 600 mg or more of calcium-rich foods, then you don’t need calcium supplementation at all. Dr. Dean follows the EU and WHO guidelines for calcium supplementation which recommend that 600 mg of calcium per day is sufficient calcium for most people.
Journaling to Prepare for a Yeast ReSet
Step Two in Getting Started with the Yeast ReSet says:
Fill out the Candida Questionnaire and add up your scores. Make a note of the date and time in your ReSet Food Journal and write down your scores. Your food journal can be on paper, on your computer, or on your smart phone –I‘m sure you can find a diet diary or diet journal app! If not, I‘ll create one!
Step Two continues:
As you read this book and get ready to start the program, keep your ReSet Food Journal close at hand. Journaling is an important step. Often we lose sight of the morsels that we snack on and therefore lose sight of how much we‘re actually feeding the yeast.
A ReSet Food Journal helps you to identify times of the day when you are more likely to eat for reasons other than nutrition. It‘s important because you want to know what‘s driving your eating habits besides yeast.
What‘s going on emotionally when you eat? Write down the time of day, everything you eat at each meal and for snacks, and how you feel when you‘re eating. Also, write down how you felt about eating what you ate. This isn‘t about calorie counting! You‘ll gain new insights into your eating behavior that will determine your success in this program. You will be able to differentiate the voice of yeast craving sugar, emotional eating, and actual hunger. Don‘t be surprised if you naturally begin dropping yeast-promoting foods as you consciously realize what you are eating.
Also note that most initial hunger pangs, where the walls of the empty stomach rub together, are really dehydration, so you can often curb what you think is hunger with your sea salted water and really feel the difference. By becoming aware of what you‘re eating and drinking, you immediately start to gain more control over your eating behavior.
The chart I designed for people who want help creating their ReSet Food Journal appears on page 103 of the book.
What Is Triggering My…?
Journaling is a good way to find out what triggers are operating in your health life. If you write in your journal what you eat and drink, what is going on in your life, whether you are smoking or drinking alcohol, what exercise you are doing, what medications/supplements you are adding or subtracting; you can often find out how a wellness setback was triggered. Once you have identified triggers, you can choose to eliminate or deal with them appropriately.
Let me give you an example. You are a longstanding customer who uses saturation doses of ReMag and ReMyte, and your cardiovascular magnesium deficiencies have subsided. All of a sudden, they come back and you want to know why. Instead of panicking and making up stories as to how this setback happened, journal and find out. Write down everything, and then compare what you’ve written to the list of triggers found in my book, Atrial Fibrillation: Remineralize Your Heart. (Doing the research, you can do is part of what I mean when I urge you to “partner up with us and take your health power back.”)
Here are typical triggers for experience a cardiovascular magnesium deficiency:
- Air Pollution
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Dental Infections, Cavities, Fillings, Etc.
- Electrolyte Imbalance
- Gas, Bloating, Hiatal Hernia
- Gluten and Glutamate Sensitivity
- Heart Attack
- Abnormal Heart Valves
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Structural Changes
- Lung Disease
- Intense Physical Activity
- Potassium Deficiency
- Exposure to Stimulants
- Sick Sinus Syndrome
- Sleep Apnea
- Surgical Procedure
- High Sugar Diet
- Overactive Thyroid
- Vitamin D
- Yeast Overgrowth
When you journal about your day, if you find any of these triggers operating, follow through by eliminating or dealing with the trigger(s) and increase your ReMag to compensate for the trigger.
As you can see, treasure mapping and journaling are two creative, fun tools you can use to support your journey to more wellness. Using these tools will give you insights into how your body responds, why you are having certain experiences, and how to create even more health.
Dr. Carolyn Dean