Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Journaling Highs and Whoas

I have been journaling up a storm lately.  It is one of the things I do when something is bothering me (my recent problem with a client that ended up in a divorce from him), figuring out my next moves for a trip that I and the family are taking, and getting into bible journaling (more on that next week).  Sometimes I forget that part of this writing a blog is teaching you how to make the most of journaling, and how journaling can do wonders for your mind, body, and soul (prayer is another), allows you to have some clarity to some of deepest thoughts, and allows you to look back on it as a lesson learned.  So today, I am focusing more on rules and regulations of journaling, especially when things do not exactly go your way, and I have a small little trick up my sleeve that will help you boost your confidence about journaling.
Image by David Schwarzenberg from Pixabay 
First of all, a little scalding if you do not mind….
There I said it, and I meant it.
We, as humans, tend to do what as known as self-deprivation.  We like to tear ourselves down and we like to take others along for the ride. 
Take, for instance, food.  Now I do not know what happens in your house, but in mine, a conversation inside my head goes a little like this (It usually starts in the car, yes, the car):
Me thinking: “I am hungry, what do I want to eat”
Next thing I know, I go through my favorite foods and cuisines: “When was the last time I had sushi?” (last week).  “Do I want it again this week?”  Maybe, but how about Poke (pronounced- “Poo-kay”- a Hawaiian dish that has made it to the mainland United States that is quite delicious (at least to me))?  “What about Mexican?” The list goes on and on, and continues for about 5 minutes.   When I have settled on something, I will as myself if I want something sweet with it? If the answer is yes, then I will get it, feel guilty about eating it, then write in my journal about how stupid it was for me to get it in the first place because I am fat, I am saving for this trip, and it is that time of the month.
Please, please, please, say that you either made a mistake for eating the desert (or eating out in the first), or say “next time I will think twice before I eat out”.  I am telling myself that as well.
Tip #1:  Affirmations
One of the things I am learning to post not only on social media but in my journal as well as positive affirmations.  This is a clip I found on YouTube.  This is Jessica, and she has a morning affirmation that I like.  This was shot in 2011, but the attitude should be the same then as it is now.  She explains in the mirror what she likes and only that.  It is all positive.  While you do not have to climb on the counter in your bathroom like this spunky, little 4-year-old (who is probably in middle school now), have that same enthusiasm in your journal, as she has in the video, which you can see here.
Now with that, you can place your problems in your journal, and you should, but do not say how stupid you are, hate is such a strong, powerful word, and mention how you will come out of it.
OK, let’s move on….

Your writing.
Tip #2: Write like you are in school

I say that because I realized how bad my writing has become and it is creeping into my blog posts.
I have certain saying that I put in my journal that I do not say when I write out blog posts, or at least it should not.  For example, in the beginning of this post, I wrote, “It is one of the things I do when something is bothering me (my recent problem with a client that ended up in a divorce from him), figuring out my next moves for a trip that me and the family are taking, and getting into bible journaling (more on that next week)”.  I almost wrote, “figuring out my next moves for a trip that I and the fam are taking”.  This part of the sentence would have been reserved for my journal, not this blog post.  The professional way of writing is to avoid all personal abbreviations because not everyone will understand them.  How many people would understand that the abbreviation “fam” is actually “family”?  Probably less than .1 percent.
So my tip for you is do not separate your journal writing from your former writing.  This includes business and school. Now, if you do not work or you are not in school, this naturally does not apply to you, but get in a good practice anyway.  This includes spelling and grammar.
This is not sponsored, but I use a program called Grammarly.  I have mentioned this site a few times, but it has really helped me.  I am on the free version, which does not go deep into the grammar part, nor does it correct that part either.  It is reserved for the premium part.  Once you pay for premium, it will check and correct everything, but while it is doing this, please learn from your mistakes so the program does not have to correct you again.  I know by next month; I have to pay for it because now I use it in place of MS Word’s spellcheck and grammar check.  Now MS Word’s spell and grammar check will still do its thing, but Grammarly will go behind it, in case the feature misses a problem.
Tip #3:  Have fun with your journaling
I have mentioned this before, but have a mixture of journaling posts.  You can have your hardcore journaling where you are upset with something and you need to have it solved.  You can have your project journaling posts where you are working on a project, having to list your project, materials, and cost estimates.  You can also have your maternity, baby, and child update journals, where all you list are what is happening that day and how are you feeling and so forth.  All of that is fine, but do not forget to stop and smell the roses along the way.
What do I mean?  Add humor to those posts.  Add a little fun, positive fun in your posts, so when you look back on these posts, you can laugh a little as well.
For example, I am doing a project journal.  I am redoing my craft room. I am finding do much humor in planning the craft room, my small space, and even choosing my furniture and the cost of that furniture.  I decided to go the Ikea route, (not sponsored) like so many crafters.  The reason why this furniture is often choosing is for the flexibility of this furniture and in comparison to the most costly furniture, it is cheaper.  Now if I only put in the boring stuff, how can I look back and laugh at when I was building my Alex drawer units only to find out I put the wrong screw in (you do know that the instructions do not come with words, right?), or had the wrong measurements to the space I was putting them in? humor help with the spots that no matter how much you feel like you have not done anything, you have really accomplished a lot.
Tip #4- find a quiet spot.
It does not matter what you do in that spot when you write, make that spot as free from distractions as possible.  For me, it is my bedroom.  I have a television in the room, but it no longer works.  I also write in the craftroom, late at night.  The only problem is the cat, who wants attention, but when she realizes that I am in my zone, Gizmo Elizabeth will go and lay down.  This is when I feel alone and serene.  Sometimes, I will throw on a little gospel or some of my favorite types of music and chill when I write.  This now my new way of writing my blog posts as well.  No television, no distractions.
This is how I would like to see you writing in your journal, both handwritten and digital.  This is the only way you can get put your true thoughts and be your true self.  Raw, and uninterrupted.  Put on your favorite music, I suggest no harsh rock music, but maybe a rock ballad.  Same if you listen to rap, hip hop, or even Holy Ghost feel-good praise music.  Now is the time to quiet the mind and relax.  Sip your favorite beverage (yes, ladies wine is allowed), and start writing.  My drug…uhm…. drink of choice tonight was pumpkin spice latte coffee with a couple of McDonald’s cookies I picked up on my way from my parent’s house. 

 Tips and Tricks
I always say no matter what is going on in your life, writing helps.  Screaming only escalates the problem.  It helps you to let go.  No, you do not have to read it back right away.  In fact, wait a few months after it is over with.  With breakups, that is a totally different situation and something that you should read back years later.  For abuse situations, burn the entry, or at least read it when you are ready to read it.
Add humor when possible.  Write your entries like business or school documents, such as spelling and grammar corrections, but not for the idea.
One last tip.  If you handwrite your entries, decorating is allowed, as long as you can read it.  No one likes to lift up a sticker just to read an entry.
Have fun, be safe, and do not beat yourself up if you make a mistake.  You are only human.
God bless you.


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