And then some

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“Let me be who I am, and then some,” wrote Mary Oliver in her essay Building the House. (From Upstream, 2016, p. 164.)

Imagine that. Going all in on who you are. Even the parts you might sometimes hold back or worry are just a little too much for public consumption.

My “and then some” might be more experiments with uncertain outcomes, more eye contact, more idealistic enthusiasm (or would it be enthusiastic idealism? I’m not sure.)

What is your “and then some”?

 

Making today better

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I almost didn’t post this one. While the notion that each of us plays a significant role in the quality of our own days usually energizes me, today it feels like a lot of pressure. I think I’m feeling a bit of proactivity fatigue, if there is such a thing.

After some thought and a walk with our pup out in the sunshine, I decided to accept the fatigue rather than fight it and, to my surprise, felt better almost immediately.

So here’s my thought on this prompt: One thing I can do to make today better is to be open to the day as it unfolds — without rushing it or forcing it, and with the knowledge that it isn’t over yet. Its proportions haven’t been fully determined. There’s still room for joy or adventure and I’m open to the possibilities.

How about you and your day?

 

Journal prompt - your day and your natural disposition

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At first, this one felt quick and easy. Reading, writing, and making, in some form or another, are almost always included in my daily routine and they feel as natural to me as breathing. Done. On to the next thing.

Except . . . the more I thought about this prompt, the more I found myself considering the daily tasks that do not suit my natural disposition. (Some days it’s a pretty long list.) But there’s a sense of possibility, I think, hidden in this prompt. Perhaps paying close attention to the things that make the most of our strengths and interests might also offer hints about new ways to approach or connect with the things that don’t. I do love it when a journal prompt takes an unexpected turn!

How about you? Which parts of your day suit your natural disposition?

 

Journal prompt - important moments

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Even on the most routine days, there are important moments. This prompt makes me think about those unscheduled, unplanned moments that we notice all at once, while they’re happening, or hours later, when we have the chance to take a breath and think back on the day.

Reflecting on the events of my day, one moment that feels important was opening up to a friend and colleague about a difficulty I’ve encountered and requesting a short postponement to some work we’re doing together. I worried I was letting her down, but her understanding and support turned my day around and I can’t wait to take the next steps together.

Which of your moments today felt important?

 

Secret journal prompts

Update, April 10th, 4:00 pm EDT: A quick note to let you know that this secret journal prompt giveaway is now closed. Thank you so much to everyone who commented for sharing your replies to my journal prompt. I loved reading them all! I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be sending out a secret package to Jill, Larraine, Deb, Fantasia, Donna, Mariam, Laura, April, Skye, Beth, Amy, Mo, Julie, Hayley, and Robin. I decided to choose everyone! I’ll be in touch by email within the next day or so to obtain mailing instructions. Thanks again, so much, for journaling with me. :)

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This project is a little more experimental than my usual experiments, which I kind of love — because who knows where it might lead? — but it also makes me more nervous than usual about posting it.

It was actually ready to go last week, but when the time came to write about it, I couldn’t figure out how to explain it. It’s journal-related, so there’s definitely that, but on a very small scale. I’ve made just five little packages with my printed painted pages, each with a mailing envelope and a smaller envelope inside containing three secret journal prompts.

Even now, I find it difficult to narrow the explanation down to one primary motivation. It’s partly about the colours — I’d like more excuses to paint and scan and print. It’s partly about finding better ways to reach out and connect — these pages and prompts come from a joyful place in my journaling and I’d like to share that in a personal, tangible way. It’s partly about seeking out new possibilities and new perspectives on the sorts of journals I make — maybe I’ll discover a new way to deliver prompts or encourage journaling that I hadn’t considered before. And it’s partly about creating a little magic — just for the fun of it.

Practically speaking, the prompts are small enough to be tucked or taped into a journal or stashed away in a pocket or drawer for future discovery. They’re just 2.25”x3” when folded. I’d like to send these five tiny packages out into the world and while the number is small right now, I’m open to making more, if this turns out to be something you’d like to see on a regular basis.

If you’re interested in receiving a little package from me, leave a comment in reply to the journal prompt below. In two days, on Wednesday, April 10th, at 3:00 pm EDT, I’ll choose five comments at random, announce them in an update to this post, and follow up with an email to each of the five commenters to obtain mailing instructions.

Here’s your prompt, one of my favourites: One thing about your day today that is exactly as you would like it to be.

 

New emergency journal pages ... for the bumps in the road

There was a long afternoon, not too long ago, when I was thinking of giving up on one of my dreams. This guided journaling dream right here, actually.

While I was giving it a good mulling over, another thought came to mind instead: what if there was a journal page for moments just like this? An emergency journal page that tackled the scary and discouraging and worrying stuff head on. A journal page with lots of colours and lots of prompts that was right there with you in the moment, reminding you that this was just another bump in the road and that you are strong enough and smart enough anyway to make it over and beyond it — and the next one, too.

Long story short, instead of giving up on one of my dreams, there’s a new set of journal pages in the shop. The first one is free for you to try — from my resilient, dreaming heart to yours.

 

New journal pages on the way

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Putting the finishing touches on a new set of journal pages. These ones are for the bumps in the road. I am convinced that journaling in these moments helps us see through them and beyond them; it helps us reconnect with our better, wiser, and more hopeful selves. Looking forward to sharing more later this week.

 

The soul knows

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From my recent margin notes and into my journal — the soul knows. A haunting thought or a hopeful one? A bit of both, I think.

I considered making a prompt of it, perhaps “one thing your soul knows”, but it feels like it requires further explanation. Back to the drawing board for now.