Tell me about your day

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The longer I journal, the more I appreciate the stories of our days. Short enough to wrap our heads around, long enough to recognize the actions and reactions, big and small, that made a difference.

When we tie those stories together over weeks and months, moments become patterns, choices become paths, and, if we’re so inclined, the insights that emerge become opportunities for transformation. It’s a line of inquiry I find endlessly fascinating, with boundless potential.

If you’re up for sharing, tell me a little something about your day today. What’s one thing, big or small, you did today that made it better — more productive, more impactful, more enjoyable, or more interesting?

 

What if you don't even feel that way anymore?

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I read a passage recently about using reflection to be mindful of old emotions in new circumstances. I wrote in the margin and then my journal: what if you don’t even feel that way anymore?

It’s such a simple formula for letting go of an old hurt or insecurity. And when you do, it’s incredibly gratifying to realize you’ve grown to the point that something that might have ruined your day once upon a time, is now easily dismissed in favour of more constructive thoughts and experiences.

 

A Year In The Life Journal Calendar

Just in time for 2019, I made a printable journal calendar! It's jam-packed with more than 200 prompts that make it fun and easy to capture a memorable moment every day from January 1st to December 31st.

I’ve always believed that journaling brings together two important actions — the creation of a unique life’s record and the opportunity to find meaning and direction right there in the middle of it all.

But the longer I journal, the more I see that there’s even more to it than that. Equally valuable to the record created and the meaning and direction chosen is the potential for journaling to develop, strengthen, and broaden the mind and spirit.

The longer I journal, the more fascinating details I notice out there in the world, the more often I’m able to turn my attention to the things that matter most, even on my worst days, and the more deeply I’m able to appreciate each step along the way.

Long story short, it’s not just the journal, it’s the way that journaling sends us out into the world with curiosity, a desire to notice and take meaningful action, and an ever-better understanding of how to make the best of our own lives in our own way and in our own time.

Even if it starts with just a moment or two of reflection each day in a printable journal calendar.

Sending you my very best wishes for the remainder of 2018 and for a year to come filled with wonder and boundless possibilities for discovery.

 

To see it all as if for the first time

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I’ve been reading up on critical reflection and making lots of margin notes. This one — to see it all as if for the first time — made it into my journal last week, along with snippets of paper I lined, dashed, and dotted.

It’s part reminder and part inspiration for future printables — to find new ways to see and experience everyday events, to remember how it felt the first time, to notice the little details that make repeated routines unique, to be grateful the first time and the hundredth time.

I’m thinking it might come together in a new 10 minute journal page. I’ll keep you posted!

 

What Is And What Could Be

As I was scrolling through Pinterest recently, I noticed the quote, “I see you in colours that don’t exist,” by poet Paul Matsumoto. Have you seen it before? I hadn’t, but it struck a chord.

I feel like this all the time. And not just in seeing people, but in so many of my experiences of the world. I find myself drawn to a vision of the world that doesn’t quite exist. Don’t we all? My vision tends toward kinder, slower, more accepting, less painful.

I often wonder how to incorporate that sensation into my journaling in a way that is constructive and rooted in everyday experience, but that also leaves room for expansion of the colour palette. It’s a constant challenge. It’s a fine line between aspiration and fantasy.

The truth is that I don’t know exactly how to do that yet. But it feels good to try. Today’s journal experiment is a step along the way – thinking about ways to bridge the gap between what is and what could be. It’s up in the shop if you’d like to take a peek.

For now though, do you carry a vision of a world that doesn’t quite exist? What does it look like to you?

 

Everyday Moments - This Week's Journal Page

This week, I'm writing a small blurb in my newsletter about finding meaning and beauty in everyday moments and now I can’t stop thinking about it. 

It's an idea at the core of my journaling – and my life. This is hard to write -- maybe it shouldn't be -- but I think I revel in everyday moments because I find day-to-day life really hard. My natural disposition is pretty dark. Negative thoughts come far more easily to me than positive ones. So the positive stuff I do, write, and say – it’s almost always intentional, deliberate, fought for, chosen over something negative. 

And you know what? I'm grateful for whatever it is in me that makes me work to find the good. It means I am always on the lookout for silver linings, for interesting things I missed in my initial evaluations, for bright spots and points of connection in the people I meet. It helps me take fewer things for granted. It helps me judge less and care more. It helps me love my life. And, for the most part, even when life is especially hard, I really do.

That’s what I want to share in my journal work online, the search for the good and the meaningful and -- most of all -- the finding of the good and meaningful in places we have access to right now and in moments we are experiencing right now. I have the feeling I’m not the only one who has to work hard for both. 

This week’s printable journal page was an exploration of that search. Today, I cut and pasted two sections from the page (and some pretty pastel paper!) into my little notebook. I’ll write about the effort I’ve put into a collaboration with an amazing partner that led to an opportunity for us to speak at an international conference next week and I’ll work hard to frame this experience as an adventure – something to be enjoyed rather than worried over.

How about you? What efforts and adventures have you been up to so far this week?

 

Journal Prompt - Seeing, hearing, feeling

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I love prompts about noticing -- because there's so much I miss when I'm not paying attention. I also love prompts with gentle juxtapositions -- like looking outside, then inside in the moment.

Right now, I see snow -- lots of it, I hear machines -- the fan on my computer, traffic outside, a rumbly furnace, and I feel ... hmm, honestly, I feel hopeful in this moment. Which I'm glad I noticed.

How about you? If you stop right now, just for moment, what do you notice?

 

Journal Prompt - A life well-lived

This is one of my favourite prompts. On the surface, it looks like a big-picture prompt, but deeper down, it has reverberations you can feel on even the most ordinary days.

The last time I journaled this prompt, more than a year ago, my three things were: making a positive contribution, nurturing and celebrating loving relationships, and never stop learning. They haven't changed in the interim, but writing them again today gives me a renewed sense of purpose. It reminds me that I can experience everyday events in ways that matter to me -- like greeting a stranger with a smile, taking time to share memorable moments with my daughters, or noticing something about my world that I hadn't noticed before. It reminds me that each day has a part to play in a well-lived life.

How about you? What's on your list?

 

New Front Page

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Gave the website a little makeover with a new front page. It's mostly me, explaining what I do, but it's also my love letter to journaling. I hope you'll take a peek. I'd love to know what you think!

 

Sensational Reading

Are you journaling your bright ideas, your meaningful moments, your wild plans for the future? Each entry, even just a sentence or two, tells a small part of your unique story – as you become the person you know you’re meant to be -- and I’ll bet it makes for sensational reading.