I’ve been an avid journal writer most of my life. For the past 10 years or more, I’ve written pretty much every morning. I’ve spilled my guts, but always careful not to spill my coffee or tea onto the page. I’ve complained about things and people in my life. I have written about the mundane, the sacred, and the humorous. My writings mostly have been kept to myself.
Recently, I discovered that I needed to go on a negativity diet. I started to abstain from the news, disconnect from negative media on-line, and even hiding people’s posts in my personal Facebook profile news feed. It’s been liberating to create a healing and positive space for myself. I realized that I used to do this stuff about 4-5 years ago with amazing results in my life such as more happiness, inner peace, and calm. Those qualities are how I define how successful I am in life, by the way. So, this is huge for me.
When I observed my journal entries recently, I saw that I spent a good portion of my time venting or complaining. I had dug deep to find the good ideas, inspirations, and creativity. It was in there, but amidst the negative. It wasn’t fun as a reader of my own journal to re-experience the trauma, drama, and heartache. When I looked back at my old journals from about 4-5 years ago, I saw that I was still telling some of the same stories in my life. This felt like a huge wakeup call to my spirit to shift.
The past few weeks, I’ve turned to my journal just when I feel guided or need to process. I don’t write in it every day. I used to start my day by journaling and venting, thinking it was helping me to clear my head, process, or do a brain download. I resonated a lot with Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way and her idea about writing three pages each day called Morning Pages. They are to help clear the way for creativity in the rest of your day.
The thing was for me is that I never found the creativity as much as I desired. I filled my schedule with busy activities such as marketing, pushing myself really hard. I spent the past few years until recently in a very anxious state, trying my best to pull forward. Now that life has lightened up, I’m returning more and more to my positive self. Many people tell me that I’m really positive, but wait, you have to understand….I was way more positive back in the day, really rockin’ my PMA (Positive Mental Attitude, what the punk band Bad Brains and the author Napoleon Hill talk about).
So, my title of this post is a bit misleading. I’ve not totally given up journaling. I’m just working to find a balance with it. It used to be my confidante and best friend. These days, I’m finding myself opening up more to those with more flesh and bone It’s all good.
I also don’t want to discount the healing aspects of journaling. It’s very useful too for artists, writers, and other creative people…and, well, anyone really. I myself just found that I needed a break. I’ve done so much inner work the past 20+ years. I need to give birth to other writing such as blog posts, articles, books, ebooks, meditations, and the like. It’s time to rock and roll and show you my soul…and, yeah, help some people along the way, hopefully.
I have some questions for you. Do you write in a journal? What is your approach to journaling? What sort of things do you write about in your journal? What benefits do you find from journaling? Feel free to share your thoughts here about journaling. I’d love to hear from you. (By the way, don’t feel like you have to answer each of my questions or any. Write what feels best from your heart!)
Lisa, Punk Rock Psychic™
(This is my post #14 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.)
(There is always a light somewhere! Photo credit: author's personal collection)
Lately, I’m learning so much about acceptance and surrender. The past two years have been the most challenging of my life so far. Things have become better the past 3-4 months. It felt like I was coming out of the dark night of the soul…again. (I think I have dark night of the soul frequent flier miles or something!).
All was going well until about a little over a month ago. More stuff came up for me to process. Then, as I was feeling in a better place about that personal stuff, my mom needed to have surgery. It felt like someone cracked open my heart, taking it out of my chest for me to see.
Suddenly, self-care has become a necessity not a luxury. I’ve continued to work hard, but with rest breaks. I have taken some naps, meditated, done yoga, along with my usual healthy diet and exercise routine. I’ve cried and let others support me. I’ve written in my journal. I think I’ve prayed to just about every divine helper.
I’ve had to let go at times. I’m a Capricorn woman with Virgo rising and a Libra moon in my first house. I don’t know what it’s like to let go. I have mostly fire and air in my chart, so it’s all about the action, baby! I suck at letting go! (I do enjoy a good Savasana at the end of yoga class though, so I’m getting a wee bit better at it.)
So, I’m a work in progress. I have to admit that I want to scream and/or puke when people say, “Just let go.” Yeah, right…I’ll get on it.
It’s not that easy. It’s more like a process. I think you let go, and then, let go a tiny bit more until you’ve thrown the whole damn thing out the window. It’s unrealistic to think it can happen overnight. Maybe for some? I guess I’m still human, so I can’t let go in an instant. I’ve not mastered the art of letting go–just look at my basement. I have kept some old stuff because of attachments to the past. This is just one example.
Lately, I have been guided to do things differently. I’m spending less time on social media and more time with my writing, guitar playing, yoga, meditation, knitting, and in-person friendships. Hubby and I find we spend less time watching television and more time tuning into each other. I’ve been reading more books. Life is good. I’m learning to appreciate the little things and small joys. I’m working on being grateful and content where I am right now in life.
When you are going through the dark night of the soul, I’ve found that you can’t rush your emergence. It is like anything else in nature. Everything and everyone has their own incubation periods.
It’s not like I’m saying that you have to dwell in your mess. I mean, you made it, so you will clean it up–in your own time. But, let go of the idea that things will be back to normal in a certain time frame. You know that saying that you can’t go home again? Well, it’s so true. You won’t be the same person anyway. Plus, change is all there is! So, when you emerge, you might even feel like a newborn baby. You might even need to scream, cry, or kick (or all of the above) with full gusto.
I’m a very private person, so I’m not sharing the specifics of my stuff here. I am putting the very personal things in the book that I’m writing. (Yes, you’ll have to pay to get the goods! Ha ha ha!). I’m not rushing the process of writing though. I’m just writing when I feel guided and when I’m able to process.
To be able to be with yourself and be so honest and raw, it is not for the faint of heart–but, you can do it. If I can do it, anyone can.
What is surrender for you? What does it look like? How do you do it? Have you ever had a dark night of the soul? What did you learn? What advice do you have for others going through similar?
Blessings and light,
© 2010 by Lisa, the Punk Rock Psychic™, http://punkrockpsychic.com