I had a plan in my early 20’s of exactly how life was going to go – school, find a partner, travel, more school, career, kids, climb the corporate ladder…you know, ‘that’ path. Little did I know, everything was going to flip on its head. This is life, they say. Some things completely blew me away, like following my passion and founding my business Pure Minds & being the co-author of the bestselling book Let That Sh*t Go, and others were absolute heartbreak, like unexpected losses.
The good times are easy – we feel in tune and can breathe deep as life is flowing as we intended. It’s the challenging times that get us. The unexpected turns and the forks in the road. So how do we cope?
I love technology, it’s allowed us to make advancements we could have never imagined and connect with people in ways that were unheard of just a few decades ago. That said, it’s also an era of great distraction. It is said that we check our phones every 12 minutes and bury our heads in it 80 times a day. We scroll endlessly and especially when we are in a place of avoidance. Stuff comes up and sometimes it’s too scary to look at, so we distract.
In 2010, I hit a peak point of stress. I left my career, sold my home, put kids on hold to move to California to study mindfulness and meditation. I told everyone around me that I was going to unplug for the year – no phone, no internet, no friends, just me and the redwoods. I told my people that if they wanted to get a hold of me, they had to write me a letter. That year, I sent and received 150 letters! I also took thousands of pages of notes, in a notebook, not on a computer. It was then that I realized the power of something hand written. It’s like it flows from your mind, to your heart, down your arm and graces the pages with words your soul is aching to release.
When was the last time you received a hand written note instead of a text or sketched out a business plan on paper instead of on your laptop? You know those cards you receive on special birthdays, where someone has taken the time to tell you what kind of person you are? There’s so much more meaning to that verses a like or a comment or a ping, no?
Having been through many peaks and valleys, I have found that one place I can always go to for relief is pen and paper. I have gratitude journaled, written entries on how I’m feeling or even speed journaled trauma. It’s a good release and something about the words flowing from me give it more power than seeing it on notes or in Microsoft Word. Journals have helped shaped me. They’ve helped heal me. They’ve helped in my business or with my family plans. As far as we’ve come with technology, I hope the gift of physically writing is never lost.
And now I challenge you to write something down. A gratitude list, a little note for someone on a sticky or a paragraph to check in with yourself. Notice how it makes you feel and give yourself a pat on the back for owning your power of pen to paper.
-- Written by Nina Purewal
Nina Purewal is the Founder of Pure Minds, a company that conducts mindfulness & meditation workshops and the co-author of the bestselling book Let That Sh*t Go. She has been studying mindfulness and mediation for over 20 years. After climbing the corporate ladder for nearly a decade, she took a year sabbatical and moved to California to unplug and continue her pursuit for happiness. Her passion is to help others find calm amid the chaos.