Well, we are one month into this year. How has it been? I bet it has you feeling all kinds of feelings. And so I thought this month’s theme should be feelings. Feelings cover a wide spectrum from positive to negative, active to passive. But they all serve a purpose, and have value in our lives. Let’s explore some of our feelings in this month’s journals. *Sample journals are below.
Week 1: Joy (the feeling of laughter)
- What is the best way to laugh?
- What are some of the benefits of laughing?
- Write about a time you laughed until your stomach hurt.
Week 2: Disgust
- What is a food you think is disgusting?
- Why is it important to feel disgust (sometimes)?
- Write about a really disgusting experience.
Week 3: Anger
- Have you been angry about something recently? What was it and why did it make you feel angry?
- Who gets angry more men or women?
- Why is it sometimes important to feel angry?
Week 4: Happiness (the feeling of contentment)
- Write about a happy memory.
- What is the happiest time of day for you?
- Write some tips about how to bring more happiness into your life.
I think the best way to laugh is to spin in circles. It doesn’t matter if you sit on a spinning chair, or run in a circle, or spin like a ballerina. I think spinning in circles feels funny, it also makes us dizzy so we see the world funny. Spinning in circles is also a silly activity, so we can feel in a silly mood when we do it. This makes it very easy to laugh. If you are ever feeling like you need to laugh, I suggest you try spinning in circles.
When I was in the 10th grade, I sometimes took public transport to school. One morning, I was riding on a streetcar. Little by little the car started to fill with people. I was sitting in a forward facing seat, but right in front of me was a side facing seat. There was a middle-aged man sitting there. He was biting his fingernails. Usually, I’m not bothered by other people’s habits, such as fingernail biting. To each their own, right? But he was really gnawing on his finger. Then, he took his hand from his mouth to inspect his finger. It was bleeding. And what was worse, there was blood on his mouth, too. It sent a shiver of disgust down my spine. He went to bite his fingernail some more, and I couldn’t stand it. I reached out my hand and stopped him. “Don’t do that,” I said before realizing it. Soon, the very powerful feeling of disgust melted into an even more powerful feeling of embarrassment.
A few weeks ago, I had a bad experience with another parent at the park. The long and the short of it, I felt the parent wouldn’t let their child play near me because of some bias. I felt really hurt by the experience and so I told my husband about it. He just said, “you are imagining things.” Which made me so angry! And the anger was made worse by my inability to express it clearly in Japanese. I just gave up and left, going for a walk to collect my thoughts. While I was walking, I wondered why am I so angry? It made me reflect on exactly what happened in the park, maybe I had misinterpreted the situation. And even if I hadn’t, there was no need to be angry with my husband about it. But being angry, had now left me feeling more at ease about the other parent. Once my anger had cleared, it was like my other emotions had settled too.
Recently, the happiest time of day for me is just before getting out of bed in the morning. These days it is a little cold in the morning, but it is so warm and comfortable under the covers. Miku agrees, so she snuggles close to me and asks a thousand questions like, Where is daddy? Where is my teddy bear? Where is mummy? Are you awake? Can we read a story? Is it time to go downstairs? I think she is trying to spend as long under the covers as possible. It makes me happy just lying there listening to her.