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Journaling for Self-Discovery: What's Your "Wow Moment"?

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When contemplating your own personality and potentials, it can be helpful to focus on defining moments, or snatches of your experience that you remember as particularly potent, rich, and/or formative. There are certain moments in our lives that have a profound, transformative impact on us: witnessing a spectacular display of nature, meeting a charismatic kindred spirit, experiencing a spiritual or religious awakening, leaping head-first into a wild adventure. These "wow moments" knock the wind out of us, open our eyes to brand new worlds, and change our perspective on life. They don't happen every day, but their effects last for years. What are some "wow moments" you have experienced in your lifetime? Write about one of them and relive it as a positive journal therapy activity. 1. Reflect on the most pivotal moments in your life. Which experiences can you truthfully say were life-changing in a positive way? Jot down a short list in your journal if it helps you sort through your thoughts. For example: • That trip to the capitol when I was a junior in high school.• The first conversation I had with my future husband.• Giving birth to my child.• The week-long silent retreat I went on alone.• My trip to the Grand Canyon.• 2. Read through your list and instinctively choose one of the events. It may be the most or the least dramatic, the situation that influenced your future a lot or only a little. Choose the event that your heart tells you to focus on. 3. On a new page in your journal, tell the story of your "wow moment" as if you were recounting it to a close friend. Set the scene by describing all the details you can remember—where you were, who was with you, how old you were, what time of year it was, what you were wearing, what events led you to this point. 4. Write about your pivotal moment, making sure to talk about your feelings before, during, and after the event. For example, if you write about your trip to the Grand Canyon, describe the trip that got you there, and your first view of the Canyon's expanses. Describe how your body felt as you took a few hesitant steps down the trail. Remember how it was to look up at the rim of the Canyon from below, and how you felt as you worked your way back up. Detail your thoughts and physical sensations, from physical exertion, to encounters during the adventure, to your mental and subconscious perceptions. Then write about what happened in the time immediately after your Grand Canyon adventure. 5. Why was this a "wow moment" for you? What about it changed you? How did this event shape you into the person you are today? Write down your reflections underneath the narrative. Your "Wow" moments are few and far between, so recounting them in your journal is a great way to make the most of them and reap benefits from them for a long time afterwards. Moreover, by detailing your "Wow" moment in a journal, you are taking possession of its power, committing its character to memory so you can carry it with you always.
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