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Twelve-step complementary guide to your healing journey.

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

  1. Keep a journal/diary: have a dedicated journal for your healing journey. What to write? anything...insights, experiences, feelings, triggers, observations, dreams etc. Some prefer to do it digitally, some the more traditional pen and paper. I have tried both and I prefer the latter. There is a certain therapeutic effect for me when I use the pen and paper type of journaling. The scribbling and the flipping of pages is relaxing me. You choose which one works best for you.

  2. Have a daily gratitude practice: Best to do this the moment you wake up in the morning or before going to bed. There are two ways that I like doing this, first is to list at least five things I am grateful for the day as specific as I can and second, is to choose 1-2 items and go deeper into those by identifying what exactly am I grateful for about this person/event/circumstance. For example: I am grateful for the delicious basil chicken dish with rice because 1. It is spicy just the way I like it 2. The rice smells good and fresh 3. The ingredients are fresh 4. It was not too salty nor too sweet 5. The cook is so motherly

  3. Do something different and new: Try something new! Something you have always wanted to try but was afraid to do so or you felt you weren't ready for it. Example: backpacking/traveling alone, join a meet up group, meet new people, enroll in a cooking class, learn yoga, etc. Go for something new that excites you!

  4. Observe, Observe, and Observe more

  5. Keep learning: Read a book, listen to podcasts, learn from others (counsellors, life coaches, therapists, friends, random strangers). Doing this daily and regularly is best. The best time is early in the morning and just before you go to bed.

  6. Listen to triggers: By triggers I mean anything/anyone that makes you feel uncomfortable, upset, angry, sad, lonely, hurt, etc. Take careful note of these, write them down. These triggers have messages and they are very efficient doorways to your healing. They show you parts of yourself that needs healing, or shall I say, attention and more love.

  7. Declutter/minimize/simplify: This step is huuuuugeeeeeee! I cannot emphasize enough how simplifying the different areas of your life can help with your mental and over-all wellbeing. You can start the way you want to start. Have a check at the books of Marie Kondo, Cal Newport, Fumio Sasaki, Joshua Becker, and Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.

  8. Meet your alters with compassion: Find yourself and discover the different versions of you. You may discover versions of you that you'd like and versions of you that you do not like (aka your shadows). For the latter, it is best to drop any judgment but rather approach these parts of you with curiosity and compassion. Be aware of the specific needs and characteristics of each part.

  9. Move: Choose your movement of choice. It could be walking, jogging, a stroll in the park, yoga, swimming, dancing, hiking, etc. Whatever that is do it regularly and have fun with it. The energy in our system needs to flow, it can't remain stuck within us. Give it a try!

  10. Change your diet: Serotonin, a major neurotransmitter responsible for your mood lies mainly in your gut! So why not give your gut the best food it deserves, for the best mood you deserve! What we eat greatly affects our mental and overall wellbeing. We cannot really separate physical health from mental health, isn't it? Take care of your body ( I hear you, I know you are trying or have had tried your best. So I would suggest take every step with compassion and understanding towards you. Once your body is ready, it will let you know. By diet, I do not only mean physical diet or food. By "diet" I mean, everything you take in your system. The kind of thoughts, emotions, and energies you take in matters. Be mindful and change them when they're no longer serving you a purpose. Again...when you are ready. There will always be this one thing and one step that you would be ready for at the very right moment.

  11. Act on inspiration and follow your joy: sometimes we can feel stuck in life and not know what to do next. This can come in a form of an insight, a spark of life, an inspired idea and the like. When we experience this, we are to act and respond as soon as possible before the spark wavers down. One of the reasons why this is recommended is because we do not violate any of our 'cells' and/or 'parts' that make it difficult to move forward. Acting on inspiration and following our joy is akin to an open door in life while the rest are closed. When we follow our joy, sometimes the outcome does not matter because the process in getting there is a joy in itself.

  12. Surrender: this is the most difficult yet the most profound and most life-changing. It is difficult as at times it can feel like death, the death of our identities, the death of what we think defines us and life. The death of the ego, the death of the need to know, the death of the need to control and know the future. Surrendering is the willingness to 'be' and 'flow' with life. Surrendering is also about trusting and having faith in life and that a higher power exists and because it does then we can relax and enjoy life to the fullest.

In case you find the articles helpful, I'd appreciate a coffee. Also, feel free to send me a message in case you have questions and topics that you would like me to write about.

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