10.17.2007

writing it out::wellness wednesday

The art of journaling has held presence in my life for quite a while now. I don't remember exactly when I got my first journal...nor is that first journal still in my possession...but I do remember spending a considerable amount of time with a pen in my hand during my adolescent years and on into college. I have two shelves in my armoir that are stuffed to the brim with journals...a few of them have been written in till the last page, some of them don't bear any proof that anyone has ever turned their pages, and most of them have been started on and then abandoned due to my decision that what I was writing about deemed worthy enough of an entirely NEW journal...and so the pages are filled up half-way and then...nothing. I ran out on them...with the sincere intention to return again someday and fill the remainder of the pages with new perspective and insight. Yes, journaling...and less specifically...writing...has always been a way of processing for me. Often times, when I have something important to discuss with someone, I find that I start writing them a letter in order to get a better idea of what I am trying to communicate. Somehow getting my thoughts out on a page helps me find words and images that I normally would completely overstate or mess up entirely if just speaking without any kind of "gathering" beforehand. And really, the process for me is where I find truth and wisdom...because I am exercising my mind with my heart and the two are coming together to form something beyond what either can do on their own. I like seeing words appear in my handwriting that I didn't really have to think up...they just came out in script and they tell a story or speak a truth or mend a hurt. There is something incredibly healing about writing out words that form sentences that speak ideas that change thoughts...which in turn changes the world around us. I've recently begun to believe in the power of writing daily. Sure, I have always loved to write...but it would usually be in spurts and waves or in specific mediums like letters or essays or jumbled lines of thought. Working through the book, The Artist's Way, has helped me to adhere to the challenge of writing consistently...every day. When I can take that time out of the ordinary circumstances of life...and get OUT whatever is being held WITHIN...I walk away from that exchange feeling like a much healthier person. And so...as the book suggests...I have been writing at least three pages each day for the past three months or so...and it has proven to be a very rewarding ritual for me. It isn't always easy, mind you, to sit still enough to fill up three pages while there is much pulling for my attention all around me. I am lucky if I get it done...usually it is between bites of breakfast with my little ones...or while I am listening to the sounds of play around me...being interrupted with cries for mama to fill up a cup or to save someone from the dangers of the imaginary river running through our home or to bring a baby to my breast to let her nurse to her heart's content. I will admit that more than I would wish for...the pages get left behind in order to care for more immediate matters...like stinky diapers and hurt feelings...but I usually come back to them in the quieter hours of the evening. If I am lucky...I can accomplish my commitment in peace with a cup of tea or a handful of chocolate covered almonds...and on a special occasion...by candlelight with a glass of wine! The intention is there each day, never the less...and I believe that any amount of writing will do...it is just about the exercise for me. It is a time for me to ask questions and to listen for answers and to tap in to what is going on with Jessamyn...with all of the beautiful mess that is going on inside of me...so that I can better understand how to navigate through this life. And I have found that once it is OUT..it frees up my time to be filled with the kind of living that I am hungry for...the kind that is full of creativity, love, curiosity and courage...the kind that radiates possibility and encourages hope...much like the new pages of a blank journal.

3 comments:

Nonnie said...

It seems to be a very therapeutic ritual....writing.
I think it is a wonderful idea, and know that several of you have embraced this.
I have memories of writing in a few journals at different times in my life....but I didn't keep it up...just like you, the daily demands seemed to get in the way.
Maybe I need to find a beautiful book, or make my own, that welcomes my thoughts once again.
Never too late to start.

amanda said...

I am in admiration of you for keeping your morning pages going with little ones to care for. This is very encouraging to me as a mother. There is room for it if you make it a self-care priority.

Do you have artist dates with yourself too? You should blog about them :)

daisies said...

like you, i have journals piled up filled with words as long as i can remember and heh heh i also have journals that are mostly empty pages, half finished thoughts and wonders, i have journals that fill up in a month and journals that span years ... i really need to get back to daily writing as well, thank you for that inspiration :)