The other day I was doing some rearranging of bookshelves and found myself exploring a cubby hole filled with some of my old journals. Instantly, the task at hand was derailed. I began exploring and reminiscing with the words jumping from the pages as if they were on little pogo sticks bouncing back into my consciousness.
Some of the journals were years old. Words written ages ago yet the memories of what caused me to write them were fresh. That discovery was a little surprising because I maybe hadn’t thought about the event in a long time.
Frustrations, hopes, and dreams were scattered across the pages. I could remember the emotions I felt when writing the pages. Most of the scribblings and writings were outlets for affective change. The change that comes from emotional roots.
However, I could quickly see that some of the writings were written launchpads for effective change. One of the changes was writing for the blog here at The ReFeathered Nest.
And I had not acted on everything…yet.
In some other areas of my life I had been like a bird sitting on a branch preening my wings, stretching towards the wind. But, I had not taken the flight…yet.
Affective Change vs Effective Change
According to the dictionary, affective is an adjective meaning influenced by emotions or arousing emotions. It is roughly meaning with emotion. It’s used in psychology, where “affective” disorders are conditions characterized by emotional problems or mood disturbances, though it does appear sometimes outside psychology.
The much more common Effective means (1) producing a desired effect, (2) in effect, (3) actual, and (4) impressive. It’s a word of action.
Many times I know my writing is more “affective”. I’m writing from my emotional perspective. I reflect on how I’m dealing with life’s events. Many times I put my words on the paper (or the screen) as an emotional outpouring and rarely return back to the writing to read it again.
I was so proud of myself to read the content of those journals and realize that I did create effective change. Many of my outpourings in my journal were of my struggles when our son left for college. The emptying of the nest was expected. I was thrilled for him. I was thrilled for the “new” life my husband and I would have with each other. I was able to journal through those years and use those writings as a catalyst for what is now “The ReFeathered Nest.com.” I created from my writings and experience a website for other empty nest moms that may have been struggling when their kids left home (or started getting ready to take the flight).
From those journals and writing, I’ve been able to create eBooks, worksheets & articles all of which were birthed from my affective writing. Affective writing birthing effective writing.
But, reading some of those words from the old journals compounded with recent events in my life solidified that I couldn’t spend much more time poised on the branch like a little scared bird. I have more things awaiting flight.
What if I dedicated 2015 and used my writing with more of an “effective” writing in my personal life? What would happen if you could use your journals to create effective change in your life? What spectacular and beautiful things are waiting for you?
What would it mean? What could you do?
It’s great to get all those feelings out and to write and journal with your affective emotions. The release of those emotions is beneficial to your heart, mind, body and soul.
However, what could happen to your life if you wrote more effectively?
What if you not only poured out the emotions, but created effective goals, ideas and thoughts that produced change in your life?
Change is scary. Some wise person once said “The only one that likes change is a wet baby”. Yet, Gandhi even said we should “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Yes, sometimes that change is entirely within your personal sphere.
When facing an emotional obstacle, I sometimes imagine myself standing in a circle drawn on the ground. I have to change, and only have control, of me inside the circle.
But, I think I would like to try to be more bold on change. Intentional change. Courageous change. Effective change.
I don’t want to continue to be the little bird perched on the branch waiting to fly. I’m thinking you may not either.
I’m ready to spread my wings…and wait for the updraft =) Are you ready to take flight with me?
Here’s an idea for you.
I love to do the following exercise I’m going to suggest to you. I’ll be devoting the remainder of January to journaling in this exact way in the new journal my son and DIL gave me for Christmas!
1. Get up 15 minutes early every morning and before you do ANYTHING, sit down and write. Write what spills out of your foggy brain.
2. Write daily for 30 days during those 15 minutes. Close the book, and don’t reread anything you’ve written. Just write.
3. What happens after 30 days? Come back to the blog to find out!
Kim Steadman is the COOP (Chief Online Operating Person) for The Re-Feathered Nest. A place of encouragement for moms entering the Empty Nest Zone who are ready to RePurpose and ReDesign according to God’s purpose for their lives now that the kids have flown the coop. Kim can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRefeatheredNest and on Google+ at +Kim.