Another shuffle of the mood index cards brings me to the mood of alertness.
An alert person is awake and aware, perhaps having heard an alarm go off, or having received a more metaphorical wake-up call.
Being alert is a great thing. It helps us forge ahead with our projects and feel fulfilled at the end of each day. It’s easier to focus on important tasks, write lists and get into action.
However, unless our attention is gainfully employed and we can find a useful focus for our alert state of mind, we may have a tendency to think too much, over analyse or get ahead of ourselves and develop unrealistic goals.
So being alert is very much about being present, dealing effectively with any alarm bells that may be going off, and focussing on what we can reasonably and safely achieve right now.
Helpful inquiries might be:
“What am I waking up to?”
“What alarm bell is ringing?”
And always find a way to anchor this alert mood by getting curious about it. How does it feel in your body to be alert? What is your attention most immediately drawn to? What tendencies do you have to get ahead of yourself?
An extract from The Journal Writer’s Handbook by Juliet Platt