A vital part of the journey of personal growth is developing awareness of where the problems lie in the way life is currently.

You might know the surface problems; maybe you feel dissatisfied in your career, maybe the passion has disappeared from your marriage, maybe you cannot stop drinking no matter how much you want to. These problems are huge problems in themselves, and can cause you a tremendous amount of pain, but could there be more to them than meets the eye?

The “stuff” we see in our behaviour is a reflection of what is going on at a deeper level in life. Behaviour is a product of our thoughts and emotions, as well as patterning and conditioning that has been instilled into us since childhood. Most of our actions aren’t guided by the conscious mind, but reactions to the activities of the unconscious mind. Our behaviour, therefore, can be called a symptom of what is happening in the mind and the spirit.

When there is a behavaiour you don’t like showing up in your life, you may find that simply trying to change the surface behaviour, the symptoms, doesn’t work. Like the smoker who tries to quit but is defeated by a really challenging day at work, or the undomestic goddess (me) who dreams of a tidy, organised house but always seems to be surrounded by clutter.

The outer world is very much shaped by what is going on with the inner world, in our mind. It is shaped by how we feel about ourselves and situations, and the language we use.

One of the gifts that Yoga gives us is to help us along this journey of self discovery, so that we can uncover the patterns, thoughts and emotions that shape the behaviour we demonstrate in life, so that we can process and heal. Only when we begin to do this can we truly affect the symptoms, and change behaviour with any lasting sustainability.

When we start to listen to what is going on in the mind, and tune into our inner wisdom, we come to realise that we actually have a whole heap of knowing about what is best for us and what we truly need to flourish in life.

There are many strategies you can use to experience this growth in self awareness. One very powerful method is journaling.

esther nagle and dale darley in conversation

I was lucky to talk with my friend Dale Darley on livestream at the weekend, on the subject of self discovery and wellbeing. Dale has recently discovered that she has osteoporosis, and has been engaging in a tremendous amount of journaling to learn more about herself, her body and how she feels about this life altering diagnosis.

In this sometimes hilarious, sometimes thought provoking, sometimes heart wrenching conversation, Dale and I talk about how self discovery came about for us both through writing. Dale also shares some powerful tips for you to get the most out of your journaling practice, while magnificently not telling you how you *should *do it. We discuss the importance of the language we use to talk to and about ourselves, and how it can create growth or keep us stuck. Dale also shares some amazingly helpful guidance about nutrition and the importance of making sure we are nourished physically, emotionally and spiritually in our lives.

There is so much juicy information in this conversation. Take a look here, it is about an hour long. If you are interested in personal growth and wellbeing, which, as you are on this website, I’m guessing you are, grab your notebook a cup of your favourite herbal tea, take a few deep breaths, and dive in!

You can learn from Dale’s wisdom and expertise in her Soul Writers Academy, where she offers a variety of courses to help you grow through writing

I’d love to know what insights you get from this video, please share in the comments below, and let me know your favourite journaling practices.

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Esther Nagle
Teacher, writer, speaker at Balance and Breathe
Esther is a former alcoholic, smoker and all round stressed out mess. She found the path to health, happiness, freedom and joy through Yoga. She is a passionate advocate for the power of Yoga, and time in Nature, in bringing balance to life, and giving you control over your health, happiness and wellbeing.

Esther is a powerful public speaker, writer and author. Her first book, Bent Back into Shape, Beating Addiction Through Yoga, has gained many 5 star reviews and has helped many people along their recovery journey.

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