Hello kindred souls, I just wanted to pop into your space with a little blog post about my journaling habits.
I personally try to journal daily - note that word TRY - I don’t quite make it everyday yet, but I am currently writing about five days each week in my journal. On those mornings I have tried so many different ways to journal, from Mel Robbins 5 Second Journal (a really great read BTW), to using prompts, to Julia Cameron’s Artist's Way Morning Pages, to just writing randomly. And not one of those methods stuck with me for more than a month.
So I decided to create my own short list of what I wanted to track. It has slowly morphed into a comprehensive list, with eight items.
How I felt when I woke including current pain levels (helpful for my medical team)
How I want to raise my energy level
Personal project is for the day
Endi of work tim
Word of the day
Short prayer that I choose out of my box
What I am grateful for.
Feelings Upon Waking
When I write about how I felt upon waking, it allows me to take a few minutes and really feel each part of my body. This is a good way for me to get grounded into the day and to take stock of what I can expect from myself throughout the day. I started including my current pain levels so that I can track trends, fluctuations and have a general idea of any changes I should mention to my team. It also allows me to be clear and honest with my family about what I may need during the day.
Raising my Energy Level
In taking time each day to plan an activity that helps me feel more energised, I am more likely to actually do something for myself. I have written such mundane things as taking a shower, and more spiritual things like meditating. Often I write more around paying attention to my inner rhythm and honouring myself throughout the day by following it more closely. This is a good reminder for me that I cannot always go at breakneck speed and charge through the day, but that I would rather stop and be more mindful and pay attention to creating ways to feel calm during my precious time on this planet.
My personal project idea comes right out of Mel Robbins book (not an affiliate link) and it has helped me create time for myself, not just for financial gain. I have written about filling in my Goal Getter Yearly Life Book (yep, this one is an affiliate link, her books and courses are grand!), a beautiful workbook written by Leonie Dawson. This workbook is great for helping me clarify my goals and working towards achieving them. I have written simple things like get out and WALK, because being healthy is a great personal goal.
End of Work Time
I write down the end to my work time everyday (unless I am on holiday, or going to an appointment in the city), because if I don’t create a time to stop, I may keep going well into the night. Doing that always, always, always steals energy from tomorrow. I also have noticed that I can be better focused when I know that there is a clear stopping time.
My words currently reside in a pile beside my desk and I chose the one at the bottom of the pile. Sometimes I cringe at the word as it feels so out of place in my current reality. Though I have noticed that when I dig deep into my soul, I can write a very revealing sentence or two about it in a way that really brings my world into a new light. The words in my current pile include build, guard, nurture, journey, persist, honour and other uplifting types of words. I would love to create a deck to share with the world at some point.
My prayer cards came from Brigid's Grove, and they are lovely. Sometimes the prayer is a simple reminder to allow the light to work through me, or to pay attention to my heart and soul's yearnings. Other times they remind me to connect with the world or to remember that I am worthy, simply because I exist.
I choose two affirmations from my list and I sometimes write them out in different words. Words that reflect more where I am right now, than when I wrote them on the list. I have created a deck of sixty affirmations, it is available on my Etsy Shop here.
The last part of my current journal practice is to write out five gratitudes. These have included people, running water, electricity (can you tell we recently had a longish power outage), the beauty that surrounds me, a part of my body that needs a little love (strong legs that carry me everyday, a quick mind that gives me the words to create, etc.), a situation that has been resolved, etc.. Sometimes, when I’ve had a couple of down days, I really struggle to come up with the minimum five and other days the list is ten gratitudes long.
That, sweet Kindred, is how I write in my journal. May I offer encouragement for you to find something like this that works for you? Maybe writing isn’t your thing, so an art journal, or an interpretive dance might work (though you may find it challenging to track the interpretive dances from day to day).