Monday, September 21, 2015

Journals to keep, diaries to write, books to create...

1) Morning Pages

2) Gratitude Journal

The purpose of the gratitude journal is to ACTIVELY COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS AND RECORDING YOUR FINDINGS TO SUPPORT YOU ON DAYS WHEN LIFE FEELS BLESSINGLESS. And the funny thing is, that as you do that, you become more grateful, positive, appreciative and satisfied with life, even when you don't do anything "fancy" and "complicated".

Steps of keeping a gratitude journal:

- get something to write on and something to write with. The ideal is to have a book you find beautiful and delightful to hold, and lovely to write on; and a pen that writes smoothly and leaves a readible print on the paper; a pen, that sits well in your hand, that is a joy to use.
But any piece of paper is good enough and any pen, pencil, what ever that leaves a mark on the paper.
The journal and the pen are not the point here. What you write down is.

- Record 3-5 things you are grateful for every day. Things that bring you joy. Things you enjoy. Things you love to have in your life. Things without which your life would feel poorer and less likable. You can call it a happiness journal, if that makes it feel better :-D
But do it every day. There is power in repeated actions and habits. Do it even on days when you don't feel much gratitude, when it's boring and stupid, when you don't have time to do it... just write it.

That's it.

- You don't need to use any format, write long, explain anything. You just need to jot down nice things about and in your life.

This list is good enough:
- my family- my bed
- my computer
- my home
- breakfast cup of tea

- it's OK to record "obvious" things. It's OK to record mechanically, without "really thinking about it". 

- it's OK to not feel grateful as you record these things. "Counting your blessings" work even when you don't actively try to "feel" things. Even when you feel nothing.

- it's OK to repeat the things. You don't have to find NEW things every day to report. It's not some sort of competition or a challenge.

- it's OK to write down more things than 3-5, but try to write something every day. As said, it's OK to repeat. So when you have "nothing" to be grateful for, just copy what you write on the previous page.

- you don't need to "change your attitude" or "try to be more positive". Crumble, whine and murmur just as you are used to do. Let the action have its natural consequences without trying to force it.

- It is OK to "borrow" things you are grateful for from other people. Sometimes we don't see what we have before we read someone else being grateful for that thing.

- it is OK to compare what you have with what others have. 
I for one am incredibly grateful for living in a democratic, Western country with solidarity and social conscience, that is living in peace. I am incredibly grateful for not needing to flee to save my life.
I am very, very grateful for having a roof over my head and walls around me and a door that I can lock behind me.
I am grateful for the food on the table and the good, clean water in the pipes; I am grateful for plumbing, I am grateful for the WC - I grew up without plumbing. There's thousands, millions of people who don't have plumbing and not even clean water!
I am grateful for being still mobile.
I am grateful for my loving and kind husband, whom I love and find pleasing to look at and lovely to discuss with, and with whom I have so much fun and intimacy. :-)

- it's OK to write about things. This is not a competition. No-one else but you are supposed to see this book. It is highly private and personal, and you shouldn't be thinking about "what others might think of you if they knew how petty/stupid/shallow you are". Accept who you are and what you like. The things you will write in this will be short and simple. The best things in life are. Just think how much there fits in a word like "mother", "daughter", "beloved"... Your pet. His name is enough to define him to you, but there are no words in the world to define him to others :-)

3) Art Journal

4) Line-a-day
A good way of keeping a diary or log of your days. Just write one line to describe the day.

5) Smash Book / Junk Journal / Glue Book

6) Travel album
Remember that life itself is a journey...

7) Scrapbook
In the beginning there were "scrapbooks" that were for collecting scraps - cuttings from newspapers and magazines and other ephemera. Then photography was invented and became every man's business and where there were first photo albums, people started decorating the photo albums and adding journaling, and then when the "scraps" and ephemera amount increased, people started calling them scrapbooks. Today we understand "scrapbook" as a sort of decorated photo album with journaling. Very few still remember that scrapbooks really were about books where you glued scraps from newspapers and magazines.

8) Personal planner

9) Idea Book

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