My friend, Nicki, gave me my first journal in February 2017. I’d never written in a journal before. Within a month I’d filled it with writing about Steve’s death, his wake at the Duke of York pub where he lay in his cardboard bee motif coffin, his amazing woodland burial in Wrabness conducted by my sister-in-law, a Baptist minister by day but who delivered a perfect Humanist service in keeping with Steve’s non-religious beliefs. There was so much to write about, so much grief to off load.
I started the second journal straight away and this time I wrote about my first healing trip to Sardinia. The third and fourth journals were stuffed full of notes from my 60-day journey halfway around the world. I had lots of time to write especially when I was on the 7 day Trans –Siberian train from Beijing to Moscow.
Whilst on the train I listened to an Audible book by Gabrielle Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back. I found it very inspiring and wrote deeply profound messages to myself during those long days travelling across Siberia.
Here’s an extract from my journal dated 18th August 2017. It's a set of instructions I wrote to me!
Feel the love of those all around you
Plan your next adventure
Walk along the beach in meditation and stillness, feel whole
Share your love as much as you can
Take heed to love yourself even more
Be the shining light you are already, polish your diamond within, polish each facet and see the light bounce off the walls as you walk through time
Lean towards parallel universes where loved ones still exist
Time, as we know it, is not important, the energy that’s around us is all that matters
Bathe in it, you are not alone and never have been
You know the world differently now
You know everyone is the same
There’s more goodness than darkness
Kindness is all around
Appreciate that kindness, that love and reflect it back to the people you meet along the way
I’m surprised I wrote this. I don’t recognise this as my writing. It’s amazing how grief can manifest itself in such creative ways.
Keeping a diary-style journal has helped in other ways too. I had a limiting belief, “I have a terrible memory”. The truth was that my husband was the one with the powerful memory for life’s details and that suited me. But I decided it was time to tackle this unhelpful belief.
My strategy was to keep track of everything I was doing. I write in my journal every day. Sometimes that’s not possible so I have a catch-up session looking back at the week. I’m always amazed at how much I do, how many wonderful people I meet. When I look back at my notes I’m very grateful that my life is full of incredible experiences.
I’m on journal #9 now, I don’t think I’ll ever give up because I find it so therapeutic. When I went to Sicily I kept an art based journal and for 3 weeks I covered the pages with Brusho paint, I made collages, I even included a few sketches. I completed the final page of this journal when I was waiting for my plane to leave Catania airport, there was a delay of 60 minutes. Instead of feeling fed up with the delay, I was delighted with the extra time I had to finish the final page of my sketchbook.
Give it a Try
Try keeping a diary for 21 days. They say if you do something for 21 days, you’ll form a habit which will be easier to sustain. Consider using an A4 sketch pad to keep notes. The main thing is to start. I’ve heard so many stories about people buying beautiful notebooks and feeling too intimidated to write in them. Your writing, your words don’t have to be perfect, after all, they’re just for you.
Have you ever kept a journal? Are you still journaling today? I’d love to hear your experiences