Journaling A Past Time, A Legacy, A way to stay Sane!

journalsJournals, blank books, are one of my favorite things to get as a gift, to buy at the store, and to give to a fellow journal writer.

They have so many different journals to choose from now.  There are leather bound journals, silk bound journals, painted journals, journals with flowers, dragons, landscapes, designs, and just about anything you can think of.

There are big journals, small journals. pocket sized journals, journals with lines and without.  There are journals with questions to help you think of what to write, to write down your memories, or dreams.  I love journals.

This year has been really hard.  I have felt quiet lost at times, missing my parents so much it hurt.  I fell into a deep depression for a time.  It took awhile and a lot of effort to get back up out of the darkness that was threatening to swallow me up.  My journals helped to save me.  I could write whatever I wanted and not worry I would offend or upset anyone.

For the first year after my parents died I kept a journal where I wrote letters to my mom everyday, sometimes several times a day.  I had been so close to her, I was used to talking to her everyday, and it was a way for me to keep talking to her, to gradually accept that she was gone, but would never be forgotten.

I shared many things in my journal written to her.  I told her a lot of the things I wish I had had the time to tell her when she was here.  I apologized for some stupid mistakes.  I shared some new experiences with her.  Then as the year drew to a close and my journal was almost full, I realized it was time to let go.  I was okay with that.  My journal had allowed me to hold her close for awhile longer as I grieved.

There’s not a day when I don’t still miss my parents and wish I could talk to them, but I’m better prepared to face a future now, and I know that they are somehow watching over me.

If you’ve never tried writing in a journal then I encourage you to give it a try.  Keep it safe, keep it private.  Unless, you are journaling with a friend or spouse where you each take a turn writing a page. Free your mind – learn to journal, try it, you might like it.

Cherry Coley (c)

Side note*  there is an App for smartphones called “Momento”  it is a daily journal.  You can even set a reminder and it will ask you – “how was your day?”  It’s a great way to start keeping track of your memories and the moments in your life.

Books Books and more Books!

booksI love books.  They are one of the greatest gifts we have! Wonderful tomes filled with fantasy, recipes, life experiences, and information to entertain, feed our bodies and minds, encourage our spirits and expand our knowledge.

What an amazing ability and opportunity we have to learn to read.  It is right up there at the top of the list of my things I am thankful for!  Probably second would be the ability to write and type.

I read constantly. I don’t believe in information overload.  There’s no such thing.  Our brains expand as needed!  You can fill it every day and it won’t run out of room or memory like your computer will.  Amazing!

Since I read a variety of books on a steady basis I am going to start a friendly book review.  I have come across some pretty wonderful books along the way and I can’t think of a better way to show appreciation than to review them honestly and give some verbal applause and kudos to those who put in the effort to share knowledge.

What have you written lately?  A letter? A recipe? An encouraging email? Kindness expressed is never wasted.

Cherry Coley (c)

Being Thankful

candleBeing thankful is good practice.  Keeping your mind tuned in to all the things in daily life to be thankful for will change your perspective and give you a better attitude. 

 You might not like the job you go to each day, but it is paying your bills and allowing you to keep things that make your life comfortable and easier.  You might not like going to the grocery store, but thank goodness we don’t have to hike miles to get there, or are required to grow our own food or make all of our own clothes and shoes. 

Isn’t it nice to not have to go to the stream or to the well to pump water, then boil it to be able to bathe or cook?  Isn’t it nice not to have to go find a bush or walk to the outhouse like our grandparents and their parents did?  I am so thankful for indoor plumbing!

 You might not like to read, but isn’t it nice to have so much information available just by typing a few words in a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing?   Isn’t it amazing that we have such extensive libraries where we can check out books that were written in places all over the world, and by authors both modern and from centuries past.  What about e-books?  Now there are so many books to choose from on just about any subject you can dream up, available with a click of your mouse.

 You are no longer required to read in daylight or by candle light.  Now you can read anytime the notion hits you.  You can read on e-readers, your computer, your tablet or phone.  It’s amazing the information that is so readily available in just about any form you can think of including audible books, CD’s and even cassette tapes.

 While on the subject, it’s it terrific that we can write and publish at will now?  What an amazing thing that we can write articles, protest, give opinions, or write blogs at will and about just about any subject!

I am thankful to be living here, right now at this time in history, because truly right now is a great time to be here.

Cherry Coley (c)

I Have A Purpose, I Do

I have read many books in the past about living with a purpose, finding your purpose, discovering your purpose, and on and on. 

They are the soul-searching books that suggest you do steps much like these: 

  1. Identify what you want
  2. Identify what you’re willing to do to get there
  3. Figure out the obstacles in your way and how to deal with them.
  4. Set definite goals.
  5. Set forth a plan of action to get you where you want to be.
  6. Achieve success

 It all sounds like good solid advice and it obviously works because people buy and read the books, right?

It’s just not all so cut and dry like that.  It’s easy to type out what you “should” do, but the actual getting down to the nitty-gritty and “doing” these things is not so easy.

 I used to get really frustrated with the self-help type books because they would make lists like the one above and being a somewhat literal person, I would stop in my tracks right there, especially if the book had assignments or exercises you were supposed to do in each chapter. 

 I would stop reading the book until I had time to really devote myself to doing what was suggested in the chapter.  Usually I would make it through about three chapters then get distracted or my time would be required to work on some other project and it could be days, weeks, months, even years before I’d make it back to the book again.  By that time I’d have to start over because things change over time.

 One of my problems has always been that being a really creative person and one that is interested in, well, everything, I get distracted easily and try to do too many things all at once.  When I was a teenager my grandmother used to shake her head and say, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”  It took me a long time to really grasp what she meant.

 After making some disastrous and not so pretty decisions with my life, not really concentrating on any one single thing long enough to “master” it and just bumping along life’s road trying this, working with that, and falling down enough times, I can say that there are three skills I have found that I needed above all others. 

 The skills I needed to fine tune, had I worked on them sooner in my life, would have allowed me to be in a far different place than I am now after learning 20 years later.

  1. Self-Discipline
  2. Focus
  3. The art of meditation

 These skills go hand in hand, and though I THOUGHT I was utilizing them throughout my life, I really wasn’t.  I was giving half-hearted efforts as needed along the way instead of really applying these skills and making them a part of my daily life.

If you truly want to live a life with purpose, then while you are doing your soul-searching, finding out who you are, your limits, your needs and what you really want to do; take the time to develop self-discipline, focus and learn a meditation technique that will work for you.  Fine tuning these things as you go will make a world of difference and when you finally do discover your focus you will be in an excellent position to focus your attention, have the self-discipline to go after what you want, and know when things get stressful you can seek meditation to clear your mind and gain perspective, then you will find you know how to deal with the obstacles and keep going.

 Cherry Coley ©