Who are your people? They might be the family members you grew up with, they might be old school friends or you might find them walking amongst your coworkers. But often, you need to look beyond your obvious circle. With a little extra time and effort, you find them. When you do, you know it. When you are with your people the energy in the room buzzes and time takes on a natural flow. That’s what happens when I’m with my people and we get into our journaling and writing projects.
I recently shared a post about My Heart Writer Sisters and the keen connection I feel with them. A fellow blogger and empty nester, Janice (Travel With the Stings) commented on that post. She shared her desire “to reconnect with the outside world and to get her life moving on now that her children have grown; that she yearns .. to feel close to others.” Janice’s comments got me thinking more about “finding our people.” How did I come to find my journal-writing friends?
While raising kids, we’ve all had quality relationships, likely built on congruent parenting views and the communities attached to our kids’ activities. When we first became empty nesters, we were also acutely aware of others who were at this phase and willing to commiserate on the empty house, the empty room and the pantry overflowing with food.
But after all the empathizing, what’s left? The kids are off living their own lives. It is time for us to reconnect, but with what? Our old friends, our spouses, our lives before kids, ourselves? Maybe, at this stage, we take our existing relationships to a new level. Or maybe we need to seek out new ones.
Now, we look at our current relationships in search of deeper, quality connections. We long to find those who buy into our dreams wholeheartedly, those who get excited by our processes and all the experiences that come with those dreams. By finding our people, we enrich our lives.
To some it may appear that this group of ladies fell in my lap but, in reality, it was a process. I realize I never would have found them if I hadn’t connected with myself, and all that was important to me, first.
I really owe it all to my true and trusted friend – my journal. Journaling is the best way to know your self, bar none. Through writing, we tap into surprising knowledge we have within ourselves. My journal writing commitment led me to Journal to the Self training through The Center for Journal Therapy, which lead to a women’s writing retreat where I found my wonderful, supportive women.
If you’d like to give journaling a try, here are some prompts for empty nesters.
- The simple question “What is going on for me now?”
- What activities bring me the most joy? Before kids? Now?
- What do people praise me for? What am I naturally good at? What are my skills? What do people thank me for?
- If I had limited time, how would I spend it?
- What am I doing when I’m at my best?
Once you delve into writing and get reacquainted with You, you must “open your heart and take a leap of faith,” as Sarah, my Heart Writer Sister pointed out. That’s what it takes. Take a risk; get out of your comfort zone. Volunteer where your interests lie, sign up for that class, attend a conference, and go to an out-of-town retreat.
When you know yourself and commit to your interests, you find your people. When you connect with those who support your endeavors, you feel energized and the world is a better place.
Be warned, once you start you’ll see results, and you might very well wind up with shelf full of journals, a jar full of pens and, if you commit to what you learn, new and exciting relationships with your self and others!