I Can't Help You If I Don't Help Me

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The Little Bit Journaling Challenge began on December 1, 2016.  In the days prior to the start of the challenge, I was going through an emotional valley.  It was a deep one and I couldn't figure out how to get myself out of it.  I thought about writing in my journal.  That's supposed to make you feel better right?  It works for some other people that I know.  But every time I thought about that big ole empty page staring at me it felt like another pebble from the top of my mountain dropped on my head.  Then it came to me.  Let me get a schedule of writing prompts prepared in advance so I have a starting point for my writing if I need one.  I started thinking about and researching journal prompts and adding them to a calendar.  And then - another light bulb moment. I can't be the only one feeling like this.  The holiday season is full of so many sad days for so many people.  I wonder if I should invite others to join me with this journal writing?  So I called a friend - she loved the idea,  That was all I needed.  

 I started promoting the challenge and asking people to sign up if they were interested.  It would be a great way to wrap up 2016 and get ready for 2017.  By the time I emailed the first topic, 35 people had signed up to join me.  We share our thoughts about the writing topics and some share aha moments.  And some people don't share, but they gain encouragement from our discussions; that's just fine by me.  We are into our second week of this challenge and are now 50 strong!!  It feels so great to know we are on this journey together.  

A dear friend and supporter of all things Little Bit expressed their confusion about the journaling challenge and how it was aligned with the mission of The Little Bit Project.  They felt that the challenge was diverting attention and energy from the other things that we do.  How is this challenge helping the homeless?  How does this relate to providing food or other necessary items to people in need?  I gave a quick answer, but I'm a deep thinker.  I continued to think about the question and check myself - is this REALLY all connected?  Why, yes it is.  

The mission of The Little Bit Project is to promote positive social change by initiating acts of kindness and offering programming that supports people in transforming their lives for the better.  At the root of things, that's exactly what this journaling challenge is all about. Each of the writing prompts in the challenge touches on some level of self-discovery.  We are identifying goals, strengths, shortcomings and desires.  Moreover, we are looking deep inside of ourselves to pinpoint obstacles we place in front of ourselves while on the way to achieving our dreams.  We are listing next steps and making action plans to help us see some of our goals to fruition.  We are getting in touch with the truths of ourselves - past and present - and we are fortifying ourselves to meet the future head on.  This challenge is, if fact, one of the first Little Bit activities that has directly addressed the section of our mission regarding supporting people with transforming their lives for the better.  For me, this is the same thing the flight attendant reminds us of every time we prepare to take off.  "Secure your own mask before assisting others."  Through this journaling challenge I am making myself stronger from the inside out.  That will enable me to be there for the people who The  Little Bit Project serves on a deeper level.  And that is what it's all about.