The power of journaling and having a chocolate orange day - Dale Darley
The power of journaling and having a chocolate orange day

The power of journaling and having a chocolate orange day

A few mornings ago I missed my journaling. I’d woken in the small hours in pain and thought instead that I would get some water, a cup of white tea and read.

After wrapping my back with castor oil and clambering back into bed, it did cross my mind to write, but the desire to read was greater, and so I succumbed. What would I write anyway? I hate this f***ing pain. It’s not that I felt angry, wearier, I wanted some time away from my thoughts, I wanted to be wrapped in the arms of peace. Soon I was asleep.

After a healthy breakfast and checking my diary, I knew I had time to be with myself and create the space I needed for my first client of the day.

Once I’d spoken with my client, I had a cuppa and a small piece of raw chocolate Srummy Yummy.

To my knowledge most people love chocolate. What’s not to love? My favourite is not Terry’s Chocolate Orange, although I understand why they are so popular and have scoffed a few in my time… Before I moved to the healthy side.

You will have noticed that at Christmas the makers of Chocolate Orange market the product heavily. It is a time when sharing a slice of your life and special moments with your loved ones are on your mind. A time when you might want to indulge in something naughty (chocolate naughty…).

Between Christmas and New Year is when most people decide to change their lives. Spring is another time I think that we do something similar. Today is the start of Chinese New Year and the year of the Earth Dog. I wonder if this is a time when people also set intentions and declutter their lives?

What are your intentions for the coming month or year?

And even like me when you are not feeling quite so chipper. Some of those decisions include leaving a partner or job, maybe doing something outrageous and possibly following long-held dreams.

Take a moment now and consider what are those dreams?

When life is feeling a bit challenging, I think that this is when journaling is immensely helpful. As is taking time out to reflect. I call these chocolate orange days. Days when nourishing your soul becomes your priority. And here is why.

Chocolate in this context is raw chocolate, not the sickly mass produced stuff that is offered up as chocolate. Made from the cacao bean, it is really a nut and as the name implies, is chocolate in its most natural form. Raw chocolate is loaded nutrients just what you need when you are not feeling yourself.

For a chocolate orange day, you need delicious, nutritious food. Which might include raw chocolate and why wouldn’t it? It is a great food to nibble as research shows that chocolate boosts serotonin and gives us that feel good factor.

Orange is a colour that makes me feel good. I love orange; it fills me with warmth, energy, happiness, creativity and communication. Just what you need for a day of journaling and reflection. Orange is also the colour of the sacral chakra and is an important emotional centre. When you think of orange and the sacral, consider how you can open yourself up to nurturing and start to use this intuitive connection with your soul.

Orange also reminds me of autumn and the trees awash with colour just before they let them go. In this sense, you will also be letting things go ready for new growth.

What is a chocolate orange day?

It is a day of reflection, a ‘you’ day and an opportunity to nourish yourself between the pages of your journal and reflect. It is a day to get rid of your rubbish, declutter your life, re-evaluate your strengths and weakness, change your mindset, set a vision and think about how you can walk towards it.

Chocolate Orange - is it time for a chocolate orange day_ #writinginspiration #writerslife #writingforthesoul #bookcoach #osteoporosis

A chocolate orange day describes a day when…

  • You have a realisation (aha) that something has to change.
  • You have a reaction in a way that you didn’t expect that sends thoughts washing around your brain. Simply notice, what you notice
  • You take some reflection (breathe…) time to work things out. A day for letting things sink in and starting to consider the meaning of recent events and contemplating why, what, how and what if. Then finding creative answers to your questions through journaling.
  • You take relevant action and say yes to changing something. Making good conscious decisions.

The power of journaling

Do you journal? If you do, taking time to read through your journal entries and seeing if you can make sense of the events that have led you to this day is always powerful.

You will, I am sure, notice some patterns.

  • What patterns of discontent can you see? What is this saying to you? Take the dis of and look at what would make you content.
  • Does your journal show you what you do day to day as inspiring and motivational? Do you feel passionate about what you are doing? What has to happen to get you to a place of peace with who you are?
  • What about the toxic people and relationships that show up and make you so unhappy? What has to happen to move them out of your circle of bright stars?
  • Notice your writing, does it show up as fed up, stressed, angry, sad, happy, peaceful, calm or any number of emotions? What does that say to you?
  • How about the feelings you get after you’ve eaten something? Is it time to change your diet? Not start dieting, but eating in a way that serves your temple. Take menopause (if you are a woman); this is a perfect time to re-assess what you eat so that you don’t get hot flushes and sweats at night. For me, with this recent osteoporosis diagnosis, it is about finding about how my body works and what bits are now out of balance. Then noticing what happens when I add certain supplements or eat in a certain way. Or what in life is eating you?
  • What does your writing look like? Handwriting changes to reflect a mood, what does this tell you?

Right now do a body scan. Look at your environment both internal and external. Do you need a chocolate orange day?

Take time out. Listen to the whispering of your soul.

Take time out for your chocolate orange day enjoy reflecting, delving into memories, embracing your discoveries, and creating the start of your ‘me’ action plan.

How to spot a chocolate orange day is coming

If you are standing on a railway track, how do you know that the train is coming? You might feel a vibration, a certain energy and hear a rumbling noise. How long you stand there and wait is your choice. Will you jump off the track in time and avoid being squashed? Or do you wait until the last minute and get away with your life by the skin of your teeth. Or worst of all do you stand and let the train kill you?

The truth is you have probably known for a while and not listened to your soul. Don’t let it be too late for you.

Right now I’m nowhere near the track. I’m listening, and I’m taking the time out. I’m journaling, reflecting and I know it is the right thing to do. I’m journaling so that I can write a book about my osteoporosis journey, or how I intend it to turn out. Which is the reversal and back to full health.

How can you make a chocolate orange day work for you?

Firstly do not eat a chocolate orange, unless you make it yourself. Or perhaps some delicious gluten-free cake?

Put aside a day where you can nourish your mind, body, soul and spirit without interruption. This means being kind to yourself and doing what feels right. Prepare yourself, find some quiet space, meditate, take a bath or go for a walk. Have a nutritious breakfast and make sure your day’s food is pre-prepared unless preparation is part of what makes you feel good. Have lots of water handy and head off to a beautiful space. The environment in which you reflect will have a significant impact on your ability to connect with your soul.

The journaling and reflection cycle

  • Grab a pen and paper. Writing always helps me to reflect. If you have your journal handy, read through it making notes as thoughts, ideas and realisations come up. Explore these through further writing
  • If you want to start from a blank page, write, doodle or scribble what comes up as the thing or things you want to focus on for this day
  • Look at the sky, daydream, meditate or walk in between your writing sessions. I walk my dogs. Notice what comes up for you. You will get many aha’s, reactions and ideas about what to do. Let these flow to you and make no judgement
  • After each writing and reflection period, make a list of what comes up and ask yourself which is the priority. Reflect on what that priority means to you
  • The number of times you read, write and reflect is up to you. When you are done read through your musings and get a sense of how you feel
  • When you have finished, look at your actions, decide which one you want to work on first. A mind map is a great way to find connections. Take a word that describes your thinking point and then add five more words that connect to that word. Once you have those words create an action point
  • When you have your action points, write down your first thoughts about the things that need to change. Reaction moments are when you get your first hit of understanding, and you are tossing your realisation around in your head. You might cry, shout, laugh or bang your head against the wall. You are in-between aha moments and mmm?! moments, and you are now rolling them back and forth between your conscious and non-conscious brain. The thoughts that come to you in these moments are not always the answer to your question; they are a starting point.
  • After a walk or similar, it’s time for thinking. By giving your unconscious mind an opportunity to do its thing, real answers will be ready to come. Sometimes you will think that they are the answer and get very excited to rush off to implement your brainwaves, but hold your horses and let them brew. Better ideas are yet to come.

Sleep on your day

Once you have rested and given yourself more time to reflect on your writing and reflection cycle take some time out again and then come back to ‘think’ about the relevant action. You have been through realisation, reaction and reflection, and now you are in a position to take appropriate focused action. Strategies can now be formed. You decide how this gets you one step closer towards your vision and you put it into an action plan.

  • Write down what actions you will take, by when, what help and resources you need and what the steps are.
  • What came out of your chocolate orange day?
  • What has to change?

Days like this often help us to understand where our mission in life lies. It’s a time to reflect on that book you have been yearning to write. Books are a fantastic way to reach another and inspire them to become an inspiration to another.

Connect with me if writing a book about your personal story and inspiration is something you want to bring into the world.

101 days of being me

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Dale Darley

Strategist, Coach, writer and author. Helping you to make sense of your ideas and personal stories so that you can create simple strategic direction and design the right products and services for your business. Mum to three dogs and a family of swallows. Life without cake is a life unlived.

  • Lovely post Dale. Thank you. I love the idea of a chocolate orange day. Food for thought. Shelley

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