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.

Journaling for Fun and Sanity

I have written about journaling before and how I use it to help me.  About a month or so ago I got out of the habit.  I was talking to a friend a lot via email and texting and just kind of put the journaling aside which is not a good thing for me. 

 Journaling catches all the wild ideas, runoff and runaway emotions, the incomplete thoughts, the stupid and unfounded worries or suspicions that don’t really make sense, and all the excuses we make for why things didn’t work, why we can’t do them right now, why we can’t afford this or that and so on.  When I don’t journal, all those things just kind of build up into an emotional bubble that will eventually pop somewhere and on someone. 

 Journaling is a great outlet and can be used in so many different ways.  I wish I had started journaling years ago in some of the different ways I use it now.  I have a few journals I write in every day, but I also have a dream journal for those dreams that just stick around and need further contemplation, or investigating.  I have a prayer and meditation journal which is a great way to keep track of issues, and the resolution of them.  I have a writing journal that holds outlines for future story ideas, characters that have walked into my head and might make their way into a story someday, and even scenes or sketches of places that I might use later.

 Dr. Wayne Dyer mentioned in his book “Excuses Be Gone,” that if you want to change a habit, sometimes you need to speak to your subconscious mind and tell it that you are now aware of that habit and you intend to change it.  This makes you more aware so that you recognize the action the next time it comes into play, and it triggers your mind to stop and make a decision to either do what you have done in the past, or change things and go a different direction.  I do this in my journals as well, I write it out and then remind myself to go back and read it to make sure I am still aware and still going in the right direction to change those habits that I want to get rid of.

 If you haven’t been journaling or haven’t kept up a journal, then I urge you to pick up the habit.  It’s a great way to put down goals, track progress, realize dreams and make things start to take shape in your life. 

 Cherry Coley ©