Journaling is a form of meditation. It helps bring awareness to your inner self. It dusts the corners of your mind out and brings clarity. At least it has for me.
Last year, I was wandering around the craft store, Michael's and found myself staring at their journals. Like many writers, I love journaling, but I'd always used plain old notebooks. The journals at Michael's had writing prompts, which was something new to me. I decided to purchase a journal with the prompts featured on the right and told myself I would journal at least every few days.
Routine journaling quickly became something I looked forward to, rather than a chore. The prompts helped my ideas flow naturally, brought me self-awareness and connected me to the present moment.
Below are some realizations I've had throughout the past year simply by journaling with awareness of the present moment:
- I care a lot more about what people think than I realized -- I discovered this when I was journaling in a coffee shop and found I was writing about what people might think of me! Now this is something I am trying to work on.
- It is challenging to focus on being in the
present moment -- writing what I "hear" in the present moment is especially difficult for me. I have found that I take the noise or quiet around me as routine. Journaling has taught me that it's beneficial to sit back and listen.
- Writing goals on paper is empowering yet frustrating -- I have met some of my goals, but not all of them...and I have not yet met my most important goal of publishing my novel. However, journaling has inspired me to take real steps on the path to publishing my book, and pushed me to start this blog!
- Reflecting on learnings and self-development is critical to understanding yourself as a person and as a writer -- looking back on my journaling from earlier in the year, I see myself struggling in some of the same ways I am now, but I also see areas of major improvement that I've made along my personal mental health journey, my journey professionally, and my journey as a writer. Being able to reflect on our own development helps get us out of thinking patterns that no longer serve us.
Just for fun, below are some blurbs I wrote responding to the "what I am observing" prompt:
Blurb from January (winter) from my apartment:
I like the sun setting from my 9th floor apartment, It's quiet here. I hear the lights buzzing a bit and the cars below. Honking. Sun reflects off a nearby building. My hands are shadows over this yellow paper. My mind is empty and full, happy and sad at once. The stillness and melancholy of winter.
Blurb from August (summer) from the park:
I see birds waddling around on gray gravel, some at the feeder, some in the tress. The sun and shadows of trees on my page...a little breeze on an otherwise stifling hot day. River water moves slowly, glistening in the sun. A man in a gray shirt is running his second lap around the river. A father and son are walking on the stone wall ahead. I hear cars in the distance. A yellow butterfly passes. A beautiful oasis in the city center.
This post is not intended to be promotional, I just love this journal from Michael's. But if you like it too, here it is: https://www.michaels.com/mindfulness-guided-journal-by-recollections/10538196.html
Labels: awareness, breaking habits, diary, goals, inner self, journaling, mental health, self-reflection, writing