Welcome to Day 11 of the 31 Days Series It Works for Me!
I have journaled off and on since junior high school. Although I had a few traditional diaries as a kid, complete with lock and key, the first journal that I really clicked with was just a big, 5 subject spiral notebook.
It was full of entries soaring with joy and occasionally sinking with histrionics. Although reading back over it now makes me roll my eyes at all the heightened emotion ... I'm really glad to have it as the memories of everyday life in seventh grade begin to fade.
Journaling still works for me, and I always have a big five subject spiral notebook going to write my thoughts down. I've tried fancy blank books and diaries, but for me nothing is as comfortable as a casual spiral notebook. There's no pressure for fancy handwriting, no expectation of lofty words ... just blank pages with lines.
Early on, I didn't realize the calming effect journaling had on me, I was just compelled to do it. Now, I recognize the antsy feeling I get if I haven't written in a while as a need to just put my thoughts down on plain paper. It's my way of being heard. Writing helps me figure out what I think, and sometimes when life takes me apart, writing helps me put myself back together.
My journal isn't meant for anyone but me, but even so, if I write negative things the pages don't stay. Some days there's an abundance of what I've come to think of as "ICK" ... so I write it all out,
from my heart to the page ... and then it goes in the trash.
I'm certain that practice has saved me many a nasty conflict.
Once it's down on paper, all the power in the negative feelings dissipate
and I can move on to something better.
In her book, The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron encourages daily journaling, which she refers to as morning pages.
Morning pages is the place to rant, vent, moan, groan, seethe, cry ... whatever is on your mind. She encourages writing specifically three pages. Why? Because somewhere in there, your natural optimistic voice begins to take over, the "ICK" seeps away,
and you write yourself along to positive solutions.
After years of journaling, just picking up the pencil and spiral is hugely calming for me, and I always finish writing with a lighter heart.
I'm all for keeping a journal ... it works for me!