Twenty-five years and fifty pounds ago, I made a daily decision to journal my thoughts and feelings. After years of stuffing and avoiding my truth, it was a commitment that forced me to stop going through the motions and instead go through the e-motions in order to feel, deal and heal.
Although tempted by the gorgeous leather journals I’d always admired at boutique book stores, the practical gal in me opted for spiral notebooks. Before Children (B.C.), I would wake early to purge on paper doing my best not to judge, but simply give a voice to the emotions that bubbled up. I would write until I had nothing left to say or until it was time to hit the shower – whichever came first.
This discipline proved fruitful bringing me more clarity and joy as the latest research on positive intelligence supports. As I released my pain, frustrations and disappointments on that white, wide-ruled paper, I became stronger, healthier and found a willingness to take 100% responsibility for my personal growth and happiness.
After Children (A.C.), my journal entries were limited to the girls’ baby books doing my best to capture memories that would otherwise fade unlike the mask of pregnancy that remains no matter what cream, treatment or SPF I’ve tried or applied.
Years later, after sharing the stage with Simple Abundance author Sarah Ban Breath, my journal writing shifted to one of gratitude. Her recommendation to write down five things you are grateful for before going to sleep stopped me from obsessing over what wasn’t accomplished. After all, it’s impossible to feel stress and be grateful simultaneously. Moments didn’t have to be monumental to be appreciated. Giving thanks for having a pillow on which to place your head was good enough. This daily practice served me for years before busyness and business travel interrupted my habit. My recent best consists of thinking without inking my gratitude seconds before slumber.
However, since power in the pen exists, I’ve recommitted to one sentence daily in my journal. Some days it’s simply a feeling that needs to be expressed, acknowledged and appreciated. Some days it’s filled with purpose and intent toward a desired goal. All days that one sentence scribbled on the page brings me a sense of peace and clarity. May you also journal your way to joy.