Monday, January 9, 2012

From the heart and onto a page

It’s winter where I live. This is a time for hibernating, for staying inside (or going inside), for comfort foods and for reading books or indulging in those quiet, indoor activities. Here in Illinois when spring comes, I can’t wait to get outside, go for walks, plant herbs and flowers and open my windows to let in the fresh air.

Today I’ve been thinking that I want to take advantage of this indoor time and get back to journaling. I keep several journals—sometimes writing in them regularly and other times, more on an as-needed basis. I have a journal in which to write what’s going on inside and around me. I have a Dreams Journal to keep track of those things I long to do someday. I have a Gratitude Journal to remind me of how thankful I am for all life’s blessings.

And I have a “Value Journal” recommended to me years ago by my spiritual companion at a time when I felt especially devalued in my workplace. She encouraged me to make entries into this journal when I received affirmations and compliments, to note the person, the date and the situation as well as what was said. She invited me to check in my VJ whenever I needed a boost. And, believe me, I have gone back to read some of the entries and gotten that shot in the arm I needed.

What do you need?
Do you have some inner work you need to do? Would some type of journal help you? There are so many types in addition to those I’ve named—and so many ways of journaling. Some people draw pictures rather than write, and these don’t have to be professional artwork. The art can be a simplistic drawing that represents what you’re feeling. Some people just write words or phrases rather than full sentences. And although I’m a trained journalist as well as a life coach, I do not edit my journal writings. I simply let my thoughts flow onto the page.

Journals are for your eyes only. These aren’t for publication, so you need not worry about grammar and punctuation. Let the thoughts flow onto the pages without censoring.

If this interests you, find yourself a lovely journal that appeals to you and feels good in your hands. Or just buy an inexpensive notebook. The important thing is to start—and to express the deepest longings of your heart. You might be surprised what you’ll learn about yourself and about life!

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