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I love feeling good. While it comes easier to me now, that hasn’t always been the case. Thinking back to my old journals, I have a sneaky suspicion as to why. I filled thousands of pages with the saddest stories: how I was broken, how so-and-so had hurt me, my fear of this-and-that, how I hated my body. It was a well-written anthology of my own misery. This, my dear friend, is no longer how I journal.
These days, my journal practice is very different – beautiful, simple, and pleasurable, how I desire to feel.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I still have bad days. I just don’t use my journal as a means to continue the misery. I use it to inspire me to a better mental and emotional state.
My journal has a simple purpose: to inspire myself to cultivate more appreciation, beauty and love.
When it comes to journaling, here’s my ideology: If you’re going to tell a story, tell a beautiful one. (tweet it!)
This is just how I do it. And, I’m not saying that it’s right or wrong. It just feels extremely right for me.
Here’s what it looks like:
My Morning Love Note
One thing I’ve learned is that no matter how hard life may seem or what problems I’m facing, there is always something to love. That’s why each morning I write a love note (or you could call it appreciation, gratitude or just a big high-five to whomever you choose to give credit to).
Ask yourself, “What am I in love with right now?”
The beauty of this statement is that it forces you to look beyond whatever may be weighing you down and focus on love.
My Secret Garden . . .
I can’t tell you what goes in here or it wouldn’t be a secret ;).
My Idea Garden . . .
Perhaps it’s the jolt of caffeine or a good night’s rest, but for some reason, my best ideas come to me first thing in the morning.
Desires. Dreams. Goals. Things I want to create.
Blog posts. Dinner menus. Party themes. Book content. Trip itineraries. Wine pairings. Possible services and products.
Some of my ideas are wildly insane while others can be implemented immediately. Doesn’t matter in the idea garden. If you think it and it feels good, write it down.
(Note: I also keep an small 3 x 5 journal in my purse to jot down ideas that come to me throughout the day.)
My “I AM” Statement . . .
Our “I am” statements are creating our lives. For example, if you wake up first thing in the morning and think, “I AM dreading this day,” I can pretty much bet that it’s not going to be a good one for you.
When I realized how powerful these two words were, I started to include powerful “I AM” statements in my morning journaling routine.
Depending on what’s going on for me that day will determine my “I AM” statement.
Just this morning, I knew I had a very full calendar with client calls and staff meetings, so I chose the following as an anchor to who I AM.
I am calm, present and productive.
I’ve already had to use it several times to bring me back to who I intend to be.
On the weekend, it may be, “I AM lazy, loving and in no hurry!”
My Top 3 Things . . .
If you haven’t read one of my most popular blog posts, I’d highly suggest it. It’s how I am able to combine my love of leisure with my ambitious spirit. In this article, I promote focusing on just 3 things a day that you want to pour your energy into.
If I’m not deliberate, I can easily forget and feel scattered. Writing down my top 3 priorities for the day, along with the love, dreams, ideas and affirmations, I am usually able to start my day with focus, excitement and clarity.
But, then there are those days when I need to pull out the big guns!
Optional: Thought 9-1-1
On the days when I’ve journaled love to the Universe, I’ve declared who I AM, tried to force ideas and what I’m going to do for the day, and nothing is happening, meaning I’m still uninspired and feeling less than stellar, it’s time to dig a bit deeper.
That’s when I do some thought 9-1-1. I investigate what I’m feeling and try to get to the thought that’s creating the havoc (it’s always a thought). Once identified, I journal myself to a better place.
For example: I feel overwhelmed.
After some quiet time, I discover the thought, “I’m worried I won’t meet the deadline.”
I begin to write more elegant thoughts, such as:
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t.
You always get done what’s meant to be done.
Just focus on what’s in front of you.
There’s nothing serious going on.
It takes effort and work, but challenging those early morning mental drains will set you up for a much more beautiful day!
So, I’m curious. Do you have a consistent journaling practice?
What works for you? What hasn’t worked?
Did you grab the FKL Manifesto?
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