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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Journaling for Growth

As a little girl, I was fascinated by the spiral bound notebooks that my mother kept with her Bible.  Each day I remember the stack of Bible, notebook and coffee as one of my first morning remembrances.  It was on the kitchen table, the coffee table or sometimes already removed to the counter where it would stay until the next morning.  Honestly, I don't think she wrote daily, but the notebook was always available, always nearby, a constant in our home.

To me, part of being a grown up was keeping a journal and so I began my own journaling practice as a teenager.  I expected to make a diary that documented by days, but what I found was a place to process the parts of life that weren't easy to share.  My journal became the safe place to ask myself challenging questions, to explore risky possibilities and to speak the scary or wonderful truths that I explore at different seasons in life.

Keeping a journal allows me to express and explore thoughts that may be too tender to speak in real life - yet.  The handwritten page is often the first place that I allow myself to speak what is in my heart.  Sometimes the thought is proven untrue, but needed to be heard (if only by my self).  Other times the writing gives life to the seed of thought and my understanding grows.  Always I am more self aware and self affirming by reading back over the things I've written before.  It's amazing to see patterns emerge.  It's scary to have when the same fears or struggles remain page after page, journal after journal.  It's amazing when I recognize growth and maturity.

This documentation of my own life, the great and the small moments has become a treasure to me.

 Yes, I hope that one day my children will read some, but they may not.  The real value has been in allowing myself to process feelings and ideas.  To give worth to the words within by writing on paper.  To give space to myself for expression.

For me, journaling is both a discipline and a hobby.  It's not something that I require of myself, but that fuels my soul and provides a historical framework for my evolving self.

What ways do you document your days?  Do you keep a journal? a diary? a calendar of days?  What fuels your soul from within?

Related Links:
The Art of Keeping a Journal @ The Art of Simple

A New Beginning @ Far From Flawless (I love a new journal!)

Your Own Greatest Resource @ Far From Flawless