Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to read Lesson 1 and at least consider beginning a journal. Please keep in mind that a journal (or writing notebook) as it’s often called in school, is a great tool for your children, as well.
Today I happened upon a quote by Rumi, a 13th century poet and scholar, whose words still resonate today:
“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.”
That has certainly been my experience, especially when I journal. Settling down and allowing myself to get in touch with my thoughts and feelings enables me to “hear” the secrets of my soul and ultimately impacts the way I live my life. In these posts I will share suggestions and techniques for journaling. More importantly I hope to share the personal benefits I’ve experienced and entice you to give it a try.
Lesson 2 – Write Big, Write Small
Writing Big: More often than not, I simply open my journal and begin. I write for at least ten minutes, guided only by where I am in that particular moment. My only goal is to capture and reflect on my experiences. Sometimes, I wind up writing about something that occurred days or even years ago. Sometimes, I am very much in the present and my entry reads like a diary. No matter. I am in a sense “saving my life”. I love that idea. Literally, I am saving the day. Figuratively, journaling often enables me to regain my balance, gain clarification, or solve a problem. It feels like I’m saving my life. Don’t be afraid to “write big”. Just let it rip.
The element of surprise is one of the best things about “writing big”. It’s like getting in the car and just taking a drive with no destination in sight. You start the car and trust the process. That same sense of fun and freedom can be yours when you simply begin to write, enjoy the journey and allow it to surprise you.
Writing Small: Young children have a tendency to write “bed to bed” stories. You know what I mean. They are stories that include every detail of an experience from the very beginning to the very end. Cute, but often filled with boring details. As a teacher of writing, I often help kids to “narrow the topic”. Once they realize they can zero in on just one aspect of their story, their writing improves dramatically.
Perhaps there is a big topic on your mind today. You feel as though you could write a book about it. Feeling overwhelmed right from the start can deter progress. Here’s a easy technique I picked up somewhere along the way…
- Trace your hand in your journal
- Write the topic in the palm of the hand
- Then, on each finger, write one aspect of the topic
- Pick one finger and write about that idea
Give yourself a hand and start small, jotting down your ideas about one simple aspect of the larger topic. I used the topic, “Sheltering-in-place” as an example. This is about Day 36 for my husband and me. Undoubtedly, it’s a big topic. Here’s how it broke down for me: 1) Things I miss, 2)Benefits, 3)Fears & Worries, 4)What I’ve Learned and 5) Feelings/Beliefs about how it’s being handled. Give it a try!
Want to Win a copy of this book?
On April 30th, I will be giving away two copies of this delightful book by Aimee Chase. I will randomly pick one current follower of this blog and will also pick one new follower of this blog to receive a copy. If you not already following, just click and you may win. Present not Perfect can be used either as a journal or simply to garner ideas. This colorful book is chock-full of information, quotes and prompts to spur you on.