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Journaling on a Daily Basis

In the book “The Artist’s Way” you are instructed to journal every single day.  It’s called morning pages, and it consists of 3 pages of streaming thought.

The first time I tried this I was shocked at what I was writing.   My mind was full of rage.  I was angry at my husband.  I was mad at my son.  Everyone around me was annoying, loud, obnoxious, distracting, and doing it all on purpose.

It took a week for me to get my rage onto paper and then the weirdest thing happened.  I lost a lot of the anger and frustration I felt on a daily basis.  How could journaling, putting my most private thoughts onto paper, actually have a tangable, positive impact on my daily actions and reactions?

I stopped questioning that it worked.  Journaling did help to focus my mind and center my life.  I can’t say that I stuck with it religiously.  Weeks would go by and I’d avoid writing.  I used old standby excuse that “I’m too busy” when really the reasons were “I’m lazy and don’t like what I’m saying on paper.”

It’s not a good feeling to realize that 99% of your thoughts are selfish and angry.  It was an eye opener, but not one that made me feel great about myself.

But after awhile, different thoughts started to swirl.  Ideas for quilts.  Plans for new projects.  I would journal about my insecurities and miraculously, my insecurities stopped being a hindrance to my daily life.

Keeping a daily journal isn’t easy.  It’s not always pleasant and can make you see and confront things you may not want to see and acknowledge.

I can honestly say that I haven’t been 100% on morning pages until now.  This week I started something completely new with my journal.  I began each day to write a list of 10 things I love about myself.

Starting a day with this list, a list of love, has been an amazing change.  How can I be anything other than happy when I start the day with love?

Dissatisfaction happens.  We all have bad days.

But to start the day with love in your mind and your heart, I believe that’s the best thing in the world.




2 Responses

  1. I have been gratitude journalling in one form or another since 2001. It has totally changed my life. I write down five things per day for which I’m grateful. It forces you to think outside the box and stop focusing on what’s wrong with life, but rather on what is right with it. It was an amazing transformation.

    The year that I did TAW, a bunch of things were wrong with my life, and I remember re-reading my morning pages with a highlighter (week eight, maybe?) and being SHOCKED at what it was that was making me miserable. I suspect if I were to do it again, it would be the same old thing, which is a bit of a disappointment, because it’s always my workplace for me, and I think if you don’t like your job, you should MOVE FORWARD and I can’t believe I don’t listen to my own advice. Seeing as it’s a recession, you know, it’s hard to quit a ‘good’ job. That being said, I find my zen peace at night at the sewing machine, and I have enough down time at work to explore sites like yours or teach myself other things. And I have a big enough stash that I can fart around making tote bags or other smaller items that give me a sense of immediate satisfaction.

    Still, there is nothing like completing a huge quilt. Every step of the process goes on my daily gratitude lists, in that case!! 🙂

  2. Leah, I can understand what you are writing. I have had a bad couple of years. Somedays I could not go to sleep. When I feel that way have have to write… I write and write and write… Then I can go to sleep. Now I have two journals, because if I want to share something I don’t want people to see the hurtful things I have written. I have a happy journal and a sad, angry, mad journal.
    I like your idea of starting the day with 10 things I like about myself. That may help me get out of bed in the morning, after dealing with the say last 12 months.

    On a happy note, my oldest daughter had our 1st grandchild on January 8th. Life is starting to turn around. 🙂

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