my wall collage, chrome filter on iphone, june, 2014

Recently Susannah, one of my favorite bloggers, shared this check-in post. In it, she lists what’s she’s currently reading, feeling, smelling, tasting, listening to, creating, wanting and pondering.

I love this list because I think it’s a valuable way to check in with ourselves. It’s a simple way to stay attuned to our inner selves.

By writing a list like this we convey to ourselves that yes, I am important, and yes, I’m listening, I’m all ears, You are truly being heard.

In the spirit of tuning in and being heard, here’s my own list:

Reading … bits and pieces of Art Made From Books by Laura Heyenga, Shel Silverstein’s poems and The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes.

Feeling … overwhelmed and terrified about my book. Funny enough, I never imagined how vulnerable, exhilarating and intimidating writing a book really is. And it is. All these things.

Smelling … the fresh scent of laundry detergent.

Tasting … an English muffin with creamy peanut butter and boysenberry jelly.

Listening to … silence punctuated by the rustling of the leaves, the whir of my laptop and the scampering of a squirrel (who loves to hang out on the roof and sides of our screened-in porch).

Creating … playful prompts for my book. The above is a snippet of a collage I created on my wall to inspire me.

Wanting … genuine relaxation, a long bike ride with Brian, a huge salad, soothing and warm soup, and a retreat to finish my book.

Pondering … the beauty outside my window, the brevity of life, the weight of writing.

If you’d like to create such a list, you can add other words, which might help you delve deeper: wishing, yearning, needing, savoring, smiling about, loving, realizing, learning (about yourself and your world).

You can do this daily, weekly or monthly. You could devote an entire notebook to your regular check-ins. (How cool to read that a year from now!)

I’ve started doing a similar kind of check-in: a logbook, where I jot down what I do each day and how I’m feeling. I got this idea from Austin Kleon. He writes about keeping a logbook in his great book Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative and in this post.

According to Austin in Steal Like An Artist:

A logbook isn’t necessarily a diary or a journal, it’s a little book in which you list the things you do every day. What projects you worked on, where you went to lunch, what movie you saw. It’s much easier than keeping a detailed diary, and you’d be amazed at how helpful having a daily record like this can be, especially over the years.”

I agree. Keeping a daily record of your doings, happenings and feelings can help you spot patterns and better understand yourself, your needs, your likes and dislikes, what triggers your joy and sadness, what lifts you up and what weighs you down.

Checking in with ourselves, in general, is a powerful way to listen to the roars and whispers of our bodies, our hearts, our souls.

Do you keep a daily or weekly journal? What are you currently reading, creating and wanting?