If you haven't, read this post first. It's the first part of making. This post is for using what you made.
Spot patterns that you keep repeating in your life, whether something good that brings you positive results, or something that needs to be improved or changed.
This is not about dwelling or being stuck in the past but about looking at your life as a whole, and how you can move it forward from where you are at the moment.
You will see what you always gripe about, what never fails to make you happy, what you keep wishing for. In recognising these you discover ways on how you can start making small changes in your daily life so you will gripe less, be happy more often, and make more wishes come true.
You will discover the small and big unconscious things that you do that lead to certain results. For example, I have seen how being consistent and specific in writing down what I want to happen or to have often led to the fulfilment of that thing. Writing concretises your desires, pulls them into the tangible worlds, and gives them a pathway to reality. At the same time, I also saw how my tendency to say yes to avoid displeasing anyone led me to many painful situations, and eventually I learned to start saying no.
Gather and harvest creative seeds — I found seeds for poems, stories, and even artwork as I expressed myself without reservation. I wrote the entries with untempered emotions and thoughts. Afterwards I get to go over those entries again with an eye for insight and inspiration. Believe me, something will come up, especially if you have chosen to steer your life into a creative direction.
Add notes to yourself. I have marked wishes and hopes that were granted (there were those!) I have even argued with my old self, having now gained a better perspective on Things — and you realise that you are not stuck and you can change your opinions when you have had more information and experience. I have also lifted and expounded on old subjects I was not able to go more deeply into at the time.
I also like adding images and sketches as “comments” to myself. Also I like the idea of layering writings through time so that the whole thing is dynamic not static. Sometimes I revisit a subject in a new entry in my current journal.
Enjoy the memories especially when the photos complement the writings.
Appreciate all the good things, even and especially the small everyday ones that we often easily forget. You will see that there were a lot of good even when we tended to spotlight the drama of the bad.
There is also something to be learned when what you write contrasts with what you see or capture visually. Soon you learn to live your days with more awareness and less default. You begin to record with more meaning and intention. And in the process you find that you are setting the directions for your life instead of letting others define it for you.
Forgive yourself. Be at peace with who you were. Look forward to who you are becoming.
You will definitely see something that disappoints you. We all have those moments.
You will see your mistakes. But remember it is all in the past. Do not get trapped into reliving them and punishing yourself. Move forward. (But I have also seen that old mistakes were sometimes blessings in disguise, or necessary steps — something that is only possible to see in hindsight. Learn to recognise those too.)
You are more than your past. You are constantly changing, growing, evolving.
Congratulate yourself for having survived thus far. Continue the journey. Be grateful that you are actually able to hold the map of your life in your hands. Do not waste this moment to become more of what you need to be. Be awake, be aware. Read between the lines. Everything is hidden in plain sight.