I thought J was for Joy, but I had a long day and my Joie De Vivre left the building. I contemplated J being for Jealousy, but nobody wins with that big monster. J is also for Juniper, Jonquils and Jasmine, but I just don't feel like prattling on about plants. Blah Blah Blah, etc.
Journaling it is then!
At any given time in my life, since I was about 8, I had a journal or three- of some sort. It all started out like many young girls' journaling journeys do, with a Diary.
As in “Dear Diary...”
Peel back the layers of adult language and some intellectual maturing and I still do the same thing.
I write my thoughts and feelings down in reaction to my life.
When I was a little sprout, I wrote about my teachers, my peers, my family and whomever I was wrapped up with- in my heart, in my diary. Nothing has changed, aside from the fact that I do not have a tiny little lock on the journals I write in.
It's cathartic at times and irritating at others to keep a journal. Getting those long days out on paper can be the just the venting I need, but if all I did was have a series of unfortunate events, or I feel depressed to the maxx, I need to escape that mire and laugh, not spew. If I turn to writing it out on that kind of day, I may dig myself deeper into an even worse mood. Yuck!
About six long years ago, I started journaling first thing in the morning, as suggested in the book The Artist's Way, but lost juice a month or so into it. That habit didn't stick so well. It felt like work, and work before I get out of bed might as well be pleasurable, right?
That definitely was not pleasurable, but it was helpful.
Journaling first thing when I woke up let me get all that sleepy headed commotion out of my brain and onto paper. It let me voice my fears and anxieties before I began my day. It also helped me remain focused and clear the proverbial Air.
On second thought, it was a great idea!
Journaling is a meditation, is therapeutic, is an exercise.
I usually journal daily and find that it frees me up to access deeper parts of myself, parts which may take much longer to appear had I not allowed myself to clear the space for them to rise to the surface. My creativity even amplifies when I journal devotedly, since I jot down ideas for visual projects instead of filing them away in the chaos of my mind. My emotive awareness becomes even more apparent to me by my merely looking at my handwriting as I free-write, which shows me areas I need to address, dismiss or ponder some more. The sheer joy I receive from writing, no matter how delightful or awful I believe the entries are, becomes my own intimate experience that nobody can judge or intrude on in any way. I rather appreciate that fact. For some, journaling is their only way to connect, even if nobody reads their words. The process of releasing that which is within is essential to us all.
Some fun Journaling theme/book ideas:
The Artistic Journal- use collage &/or art supplies to express what's in your heart/soul/mind.
Poem/Haiku a Day Journal.
Food Lovers Journal- include recipes and photos!
A Healing Journal- to honor your own restorative progress.
Journaling Options I LOVE to USE:
Bring your journal to a place you never would think to, and write-
Try it at a busy bar, in a church, in a parking lot on a rainy day. The sky is the limit!
Log your day from the exact time you begin writing the first word and work backwards through your entire day.
Try to write from a perspective as yourself at 8 or 88.
My favorite papers to journal on include:
Graph paper spiral notebook [4x4 squares per inch,]
Silky, hot-press cotton paper journal made of a heavy stock,
Notebooks I can draw or paint in that are not so thin that the goods bleed through.
But I will write in pretty much any notebook, journal or log.
My favorite writing implements include:
Fountain pen. YUM!
Felt-tip Sakura India ink pens- in 005 point or slightly thicker.
Rollerball flowing gel ink pen. Smudgetastic-o!
But if it writes, I wouldn't even mind using a crayon!
Joyous Journaling to you all!