writing curaJOY

Why you should be writing

Writing heals. Writing calms. It connects and brings self-awareness. To write, we have to slow down our busy minds and focus on our purpose. It requires us to reflect on our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and see them clearly–which is why journaling has been found to benefit one’s long-term mental health even more than assistance from therapists. This process of reflection engenders self-awareness. curaJOY’s Shining Moments are personal narratives of when people’s character strengths helped themselves or their communities. Both the reading and writing of Shining Moments focus our attention on what we’ve done right, character strength goals and when we were internally rewarded/fulfilled by these inner strengths. One of my favorite authors, Epictetus, writes “You become what you give your attention to.” Shining Moments begins a positive reinforcement cycle by exploring inwardly for those moments and consequently seeking to demonstrate character strengths so we can create more Shining Moments.  Growth only starts when we put our attention and first recognize where we are, our strengths and weaknesses so we can enhance those inner strengths that we wish to possess.

When I first ask students to write Shining Moments, many of them come up empty and tell me they haven’t done anything great. They picture only news-worthy efforts at a Nobel prize level like Malala or Gretchen to be worthy as Shining Moments. That reasoning is akin to fledging falcons in their nests thinking they can’t immediately dive and soar like full-grown falcons so they might as well not try.

Start by asking yourself when you
1. Felt confident
2. Understood another person’s perspective
3. Worked well with someone else (teamwork) to achieve a group’s goal
4. Bounced back from a setback/disappointment and didn’t give up.
5. Restrained yourself from doing something that you wanted to but knew was wrong

Really dig deep and try to identify at least one example each from your life. This is no easy task because you’re not used to explorations like this. Start writing them down, and after a week, share a moment when you were the happiest with our community.

Caitlyn Wang Avatar

Responses to “Why you should be writing”

  1. clarissamzshen Avatar
    clarissamzshen

    This is surprisingly deep, considering the fact that the age range is six to eighteen, I believe. Most people do think that the small, kind actions they have done are incompetent to the ones who have impacted the world. But with every choice you made, you literally guide the world.

    1. Caitlyn Wang Avatar
      Caitlyn Wang

      Yes, we are all connected. It is people who form stereotypes, cliques and discrimination, so it’s also up to people to break them. We can’t control other people’s action, but we can choose our own actions and steer the world to what we want it to be. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” is repeated so many times because it is true. Why should the perfect world, ideal life just drop in our lap? Dreams come true because you MAKE them come true. Nobody else know, as well as you, what your dreams are exactly, so if you want a say in how your life will turn out, you need to take ownership with your actions.

      One additional benefit of writing Shining Moments or even the steps you take in trying to come up with a Shining Moment is that you inspire yourself, erase self doubt and give yourself the courage the go onto do greater things. 😺

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