Journaling, I know. Lame. But hear me out. There will never be a friend, support, or tool better than a journal. It seems totally nuts that I’m saying that, I was the BIGGEST skeptic. I had all the excuses not to journal – no time, what would I write about, I don’t need PROOF that I’m broken, pfft (eyeroll). However, I’ve learned, the hard way, that part of growth is stepping into those excuses, letting go and relinquishing control. I know. It IS nuts!
My whole life I would buy journals, but I would never commit to the practice of journaling. I would keep track of things, and make a bit of an effort for a week or so, but it always made me VERY uncomfortable. Who would EVER want to spend that much time alone with themselves? Yikes! But I kept acquiring journals. I have always loved stationery, pretty journals included. I could spend HOURS in the store. During University I did – no money, so we’d go wander the isles and touch stationery. NO JOKE! The smell in a stationery store literally brings a smile to my face. Pure joy.
As part of my confidence mentorship with Michele Gustafson one of the tools she recommends and teaches about is the practice of journaling. The discipline, the process, the benefits. There are millions of people that will tell you how to journal, sell you a journal, decorate a journal, organize a journal, etc., but the best part is what happens when you ACTUALLY journal.
“[Michele] has sparked a dim ass light in me and it feels good to nurture myself.”Delaina Jan 2017
For me, journaling was about what happened to me when I fully committed to the process of journaling. I cleared away the mom fog. I made time for myself. I re-learned what my values are – not as a mom, or a wife, but as ME. It was then that I could remember myself and see how resilient I was. I remember the emotions I experienced when I dropped Ember off at preschool and the emptiness of Axton being in school full-time. I was given so much time alone I didn’t know what to do with myself. It wasn’t until I took the time to shut-up, get out of my own head, and listen to myself – I realized I had only a very dim memory of me. Journaling gave me a path back to myself and permission to value that self. I accepted my resilience as part of my fabric rather than the episodes that defined me. From my journal: “I think it would be appropriate to say that I was scared to listen. Intuitively I know I’m strong (I’ve been through some hard shit), but to be still, quiet, listen and trust the process has reaffirmed that I need to be priority.” 2017
I needed to spend some time with myself.
I’ll share what worked with me, but it’s very important that you find a system that works for YOU. You could try a quick 3-point gratitude journal, an emotional release journal (like I did), or a personal planning/bullet style. Whichever you feel comfortable trying. Some things I recommend:
- Buy a new journal, agenda, note book. Fall in love with it so you’ll WANT to spend time together. (I can’t be the ONLY one that loves a pretty new notebook?!)
- Schedule time for it and stick to it. Start with 5 minutes a day. I do my journaling before the kids wake up with a nice hot coffee.
- Just write. In English class we call it “stream of consciousness” writing. Even if you’re writing “this is crazy, I don’t even know why I’m doing this, blah blah blah…” You get the idea.
I know you feel like there is just not enough time in a day to friggin write in a stupid journal, but trust me (and the process) and give it an honest try. And give yourself grace, it won’t be perfect. It shouldn’t be perfect, no one is perfect. But there’s a TON of stuff to learn about yourself inside your journal if you’ll be brave and give it a shot.