The word “journaling” brings to mind a collection of colored pencils creating dreamy words in calligraphy with flowery doodles in the margins. It also makes me think of stacks of journals piled up in a corner waiting to be read and read again. This gives me a little anxiety since I’m a minimalist in training!
I used write in a journal quite a bit, but found I only wrote when I was mad or hurt and I sure didn’t hold back my feelings when I wrote. There were some pretty strong words on those pages! Occassionally, going back and re-reading those words helped me to resolve issues but mostly, it only brought back the hurt. I certainly did not want to leave a legacy of a sad or angry person if I died and someone read them!! Additionally, I didn’t want all that negative energy sitting in my home. So one day I gathered up all my journals, had a little ceremony in my backyard, set them on fire, and watched as all that negative energy was set free.
“Ways to Journal” was the topic of the most recent episode of one of my favorite podcasts called 10 Things to Tell You by Laura Tremaine. Even though I haven’t kept a journal since my fire ceremony years ago, I listened to the podcast and was surprised that I do journal just not in the traditional sense.
Mirriam Webster defines a journal as “a record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept regularly for private use.” Turns out, there are a multitude of ways to record those experiences, ideas and reflections. Laura shares 10 of them.
Here is how I journal:
I make lists to document things I am grateful for.
I keep a book of letters. When I found out I was pregnant, I bought a simple composition book and started writing letters to my baby who at that point, was the size of a blueberry. While I don’t write in it everyday like I used to, I have 3 notebooks full and I have kept writing these letters for over 7 years. Sometimes its words of wisdom, sometimes a list of his physical traits and his favorites, sometimes it’s words about the joys and the struggles of being a mother, the disappointments and mommy guilt and learning how to give grace to not only others but ourselves as well. Mostly, its about how much joy he brings to my life and how much I love him.
I use what author Julia Cameron refers to as “morning pages.” I don’t always do them in the morning and its not always the 3 pages as specified, but I do sometimes just spill words onto a page without rules like spelling, grammar and punctuation. Its nice just to dump all the thoughts from my brain, even if they are jumbled. When I complete my writing I review it, jot down anything that might be useful and then toss it in the trash. Yep. I just throw it away.
I blog. This blog is very much like a journal except that it is not only for my private use. Its a document of my journey I want to share. I’m hoping others will share their journey with me and I might learn a little about myself along the way.
Currently, I’m very interested in what Laura refers to as affirmation journaling. This is writing down statements that you want to happen in the future as if they have already happened. There is a section for this in The 5 Minute Journal, and Rachel Hollis talks about this in her lastest book, Girl, Stop Apologizing. By the way, if you have not read this book yet, girl, go get it!!! Nobody gets me fired up like Rachel Hollis. I just finished the Audible version, but it was so good I might have to just see it in print. I do, however, recommend the audible version becuase Rachel doesn’t just read the book, she puts all her energy into each word. Im ready to get focused!
Do you journal? I’d love to know why or why not.
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