Journaling: Unleash the Magic

Faith Journal: This is one of four journals I use regularly. It holds scripture, snippets from devotional readings, prayers, intercessory prayer lists, inspirational quotes, meditations, sermon notes. The notebook is a Staples Arc. The flexibility of the disc-bound system is perfect for journaling.

The ARC: This is one of five journals I use regularly. The notebook is a Staples Arc. The flexibility of the disc-bound system is perfect for multi-focused journaling.

I’m elated! Today I spent time with some really super women who meet periodically for journaling and vision board workshops. One of my friends, who spearheads the journaling program, asked that I come and talk about journaling with the group. Although I journal a lot and in multiple ways, I felt I had nothing to say that she probably hadn’t already said. My hubby, who knows how I excited I get talking about writing in notebooks and pretty papers, pens, and stickers, said–“Do what you always do. Show them what you do. Be you.” [Forgive the overuse of forms of the word “journal” in this post].

So that’s what I decided to do. I gathered as many crafting tools as could fit in my rolling scrapbook case–a zillion pens in various colors and weight, washi tape, stickers, Project Life cards and elements, Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board, paper trimmer, Martha Stewart punches, old magazines, three of my journals, camera, and iPad (of course). It would have been fine with me if we’d just sat down and played with stickers and washi tape! But I’m sure the women wanted to do more than play with pretty things. And I appreciate their tolerating me.

Journaling isn’t easy for everyone. Besides the “intimidation” of writing on a regular basis or confronting one’s feelings fully, one has to take time to journal. And that is often the most difficult part. But it doesn’t have to be so involved or time-consuming, and it should be something to look forward to.  In a life that is often too busy for words, journaling is typically the only “me time” I can manage!

I shared with the group some no-stress ways to journal. I use every method I suggested, so I know they’re quick, easy, painless, and even fun. Some of you may be looking for easy ways to journal, so I thought I’d share. 🙂

  • Morning Pages: Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, suggests “Morning Pages”–three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. “There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages– they are not high art. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only.”   You can read more about morning pages by visiting Cameron’s site: Julia Cameron Live.
  • List Journaling. I wrote about list journaling in a post last fall.  I really enjoy Cori Spieker’s (The Reset Girl’s) monthly list prompts for adults and little ones.  You can access the lists and find out more at her website:  Listers Gotta List from the Reset Girl.
  • Scripture Journaling.  Scripture journaling requires nothing more than actually handwriting and meditating on biblical texts daily.  I thoroughly enjoy the quiet time of contemplation. I’m sure there are a number of scripture writing plans available, but here are two themed plans I recently started using (If you prefer to purchase a journal for scripture writing, check out the Write the Word journal offered by The Lara Casey Shop):
  • Photo Journaling. Photo journaling requires little writing, but it requires making a concerted effort to “see” the world in which one moves. Phone cameras make photo journaling a whole lot easier. The two sites below offer inspiration and motivation for documenting life through photographs.
  • Digital Journaling.  Though some people journal exclusively using their phones, tablets, and/or computers, apps make journaling appealing even to the non-journaler.  Each of the apps listed below allow a combination of text, pictures, handwritten notes, drawings, information from websites, and digital content from other sources.  Each also accommodates folders and/or tags so we can categorize our thoughts and musings by subject or theme.
    • Day One
    • Evernote
    • Notes
Scripture Journaling. I scripture journal inside my planner because I want to have access to the day's scripture throughout the day. I use washi tape and stickers in my faith journaling.

Scripture Journaling. I scripture journal inside my planner because I want to have access to the day’s scripture throughout the day. I use washi tape and stickers in my faith journaling.

In a conversation about the importance of writing, one of my good friends, Dee, a professor in the area of health and human performance at the University of Florida (Go Gators!) pointed out that “our brains were designed to generate ideas not store things.” That makes it all the more important for us to flesh out our ideas in writing and record not only what we want to remember but also use writing to sort out and untangle all the “stuff” that gets crammed into our brains every.single.day. Writing unleashes our creativity, yes, but it also frees our minds from the heaviness of our day to day interactions and stretches our critical thinking “muscles.” I like the way Dee put it–“When we write, magic happens.”

Write on!

Giddy for Planner Goodies

Teachers and professors love their students and their jobs, but our returning from winter “break” is rarely easy.  The “vacation” is less of a break and more of an opportunity to “catch up” and plan for the last half of the academic year somehow, along with the holiday preparations and festivities.  I wasn’t looking forward to Week 1. I needed more time. To think. To just be.

Amazingly, I got through the week and ended a lot stronger than I thought I would–ahead of the game for Week 2.

What made returning to work a little brighter?  A wonderful planner package from a friend/colleague, Cy. Just seeing this box stuffed with goodies made me giddy.

IMG_5654

Planner Box Put Together by Cy

I didn’t go through the box carefully right away. I wanted to wait till I could take my time and appreciate the items one by one.  After a much-needed two-hour nap Friday afternoon, I emptied the box and all the goodies.

Interested in a closer look?

IMG_5653

Paper for Planners

Cy had this paper cut for use in her planners. Because I liked it, she shared some (read: a lot) with me.  Some of the paper has now been punched for my 7-ring classic planner and my disc-bound planner.

Sticky Things!

Sticky Things!

One can never have enough sticky notes or washi tape for planning.  I don’t know where most of these came from, but I know the washi tape sample and the washi tape (story tape) roll came from PaperPlusCloth. Cy had the “Dream Big” post-its cut for use in planners. The tiny size works for me!

Christmas!

Christmas!

I’m ready for Christmas 2016 with these goodies! The package was originally intended as a Christmas gift, but the winter break was too short and too wet, so we could never find a time to get together.

Notecards!

“Girlfriends,” by Ty Wilson

These “Girlfriends” notecards were designed by Our Own Image, a company that is no longer doing business. I’m a little sad about that. I like their work and mission to create “products to celebrate life and family events.”  I’ll have to give a closer look at the notecard another time.

Planner Clips, Labels, and Elegant Notes

Planner Clips, Labels, and Elegant Notes

No planner is complete without planner clips, quick note sheets, and labels for quotes and motivational phrases.  The gold glittery planner clip was made by Cy. The yellow and gold planner clips were made by Bumble Bee Mom Designs.

Pouch

Pouch

I love having lots of cute pouches to keep the “little things” together, especially since I do some planning and a lot of postcard and letter writing away from home. It’s nice to have pretty pouches for the supplies I keep with me.

Pink and Purple!

Pink and Purple!

Let’s just say, “love!”

Foxy Foxes

Foxy Foxes

I’ve really been “digging” cute foxes lately, so I really appreciate Cy for including these in the box. They fit perfectly in my planners.

Foxes in My Planner!

Foxes in My Planner!

I forgot to include the mini fox clips in the “fox” photo, so I’m showing them to you with a peek at how I used the other fox items.  The bags make great planner pockets.  The planner charm pictured was also made by Cy. She gave me that for my birthday.  🙂

"Sweet Girl" by Cy

“Sweet Girl” by Cy

Cy has gotten into making washi tape “dolls” for her planner. I covet every one of them so far. She made a glamorous doll all decked in purple for me last semester (I still have to give her hair), but these are copies of another of her dolls that I l-o-v-e. I will be cutting these out and making bookmarks and embellishments with them. The copies do little justice to these little girls made with pen/marker,  washi tape, and torn natural papers.  They are A-dorable!

IMG_5644

“The Complete Artist’s Way”

Last but far from least, Cy included a collection of Julia Cameron’s three Artist’s Way books in one-volume.  She had to stop me from buying The Artist’s Way several times, assuring me she had a copy in her storage she no longer needed.  I wasn’t expecting a brand new book still wrapped in plastic!  I suspect she never made it to her storage, but I’m looking forward to this journey!

I’m already having fun with every item in the box. I’ve punched the papers, list pads, and notes for my Arc and my DayTimer. You see (above) the foxes are having their own kind of fun.  I have too beautiful journals for my Artist’s Way journey.  I’m looking forward to playing more.

Journals!

Journals!

I’ve been a “planner” since the late ’90s, but somehow dropped the [good] habit after Hurricane Katrina.  I picked it back up last year because I was beginning to forget too many important things. Sticky notes and iCal were not working for me, so I’m happy to be reacquainted with organized planning.

I enjoy my planner and taking the time to plan out my weeks, months, and year.  I add stickers and washi tape and other embellishments because it gives me joy to flip through my planner and see all the pretty. I’m a “minimalist” when it comes to decorating my pages; I need as much space as I can to write everything down.

Just FYI (because I know this matters to planner girls)–I’m using my original leather DayTimer given to me [free] as part of a promotion the company was doing in the late 90’s.  The quality is simply way above par.

Thanks, Dr. Cy for the happy package of goodies and for making the first week back a bit brighter!

[Note: Sorry about the quality of the pics. Phone pics in dim lighting don’t always work–especially if you refuse to use the flash].