9:45 AM: My day begins sitting in Honda dealership, waiting for a nail to be removed from a tire … it is probably a good thing that there is a sensor that detects such “incidents’ and alerts – thereby allowing me to avoid a possible accident. It is however, a wrinkle in my day’s plans and unfortunately, I’ve had too many of these messages that were “false alarms.” Most precipitated by extreme drops in the temperature – which was, coincidental – so it seems – the same circumstance this time.
Last Thursday, February 23, we had temperatures in the low 60s. Spring had arrived. Everyone was out. That next day, the sensor message came on: “ low tire pressure…” Since I’d experienced this same message too many times – all false – before, I was skeptical but of course, I needed to know, and thus, my raison d’etre for being here today. And as luck would have it: not a “wolf cry!”
So, as I wait, I write, journal, as my time – MSQT (morning solitude and quiet time) was shortened this morning. Knowing that I was probably going to be here a while, I brought my morning journaling tools: iPad/iPhone; paper journal and pens; settled in the lounge, fixed myself a cuppa caramel latte – ready to read and write…
In my email: an article from Mindful.org. Aimed at newbies, the article lists seven “expert-recommended” writing tips to help newbies (and even oldies, such as me) “find ourselves on the page.” Good prompts as well as a useful tool for looking at my own journaling habit…so, as I read, I thought: “this is great for today’s blog post!” You can find/read the article at https://www.mindful.org/7-exercises-to-help-you-journal-your-way-to-mindfulness/?
Here are the 7 tips:
1. Write your personal story: I began in 2009, I suppose with this blog and in 2014, started a project that I’ve dubbed my AmaZe project, initially scrapbooking stories of my life. Last March, 2022, I decided to digitize all my handwritten notes, using the app DayONE. To date, I’ve entered nearly 600 stories to this digital notebook. I’m currently taking one more pass through the alphabet and- fingers crossed- hope to finish before the end of this month!
2. Break down bigger goals: My usual approach is to create a mind map; I also have a bad habit of jotting random thoughts on any ol’ available piece of paper. Not a good technique so I’m working on at least using the paper and dedicated tech solutions: DayONE and Apple Notes to corral them into some semblance of order…
3. Keep a gratitude journal: My goal is to create a “Ten.10.X” daily entry, listing the events, activities, etc of the day. This I generally hand write in my journal and I aim for the evening – before I fall asleep. I need to work on this…evening might not always be the best time of the day for I’m likely to fall asleep…
4. Try my hand at ‘artistic journaling’: This can and does take many forms, from stitching to collaging to drawing to snapping photos from my walks or gatherings with friends or catching the sunrise, sunset, seasons, the sky, etc… I get to know my own creativity – what appeals to me, what I can and will do … I like this aspect of journaling – a lot!
5. Untangle thoughts/feelings thru journaling prompts: Most days I begin writing by hand in my journal. This is a habit I’ve had for two dozen plus years. I’m more awake in the morning than the evening, so if I need to think through an idea, insight, new piece of information, inspiration, etc, I’m likely to do so mornings…
6. Go inward with reflective writing: Areas of concern, interest, books I read, questions aroused, ideas generated and plans made or to be made fall into this area…I probably describe this as “thinking out loud” with pen and paper.
7. Release stressful emotions with a “word dump”: Tho’ I seldom use this technique, I sometimes take a deeper look using the convention of “plus delta” – what are the pluses and what changes could be made? And then I write.
I hope that this look at how I engage in “mindful journaling “ offers some ideas and tips that you might try. Enjoy! Write on!