Everyday I strive at Living Life on Purpose. Part of the process is a deliberate dance to live in the present, while delicately balancing my past and future. Another part of the process is journaling. I journal nearly every morning at my favorite cafe with a macchiato. This last month was an exceptionally important time in my life captured in my journal.
Oh, yes, June was a very exciting month for me. It marked the last year I will be in my 50s. I celebrated my 59th birthday and the publishing of my third book. I took this time as an opportunity to take an eagle-eye view of my life accomplishments (and blunders) with a glass of fine red wine to celebrate my wins and soften the blows of disappointments that have, ironically, made me who I am today. Whether we like it or not, it’s our challenges and disappointments in life that help shape us and bless us with compassion, understanding, and even unconditional love.
Part of my personal review was a walk down memory lane with the help of my past journals, old trustworthy friends I have safely tucked away in a small sacred nook that I call a “room of my own.” When I step inside this room, I am stepping inside myself. Books, art supplies, paintings, fabric, photographs, binders filled with my college essays, and over a hundred journals harmoniously live here.
Journaling: Do you journal? Not online — but rather with a blank book and pen? Writing and blogging is a wonderful way to express yourself in your community and globally, but you should give yourself the gift of personal journaling. My journal is always there for me to capture my words and provides interesting insight for me when I read back through my deepest, sincere thoughts.
Living Life on Purpose: On my birthday, I visited my old friends and randomly choose a few to browse through. Many of the journal entries over the past 40+ years would have been forgotten if I had not documented them in ink on paper.
The handwritten words, meaningful quotes, colorful drawings and photos, and clippings from magazines pasted on the blank pages are inviting as I peer through my recorded past. While I flip through my memories, I lose track of time and hours go by. These journals honestly fill in my timeline gaps and remind me that I have lived a very rich life. I have been Living Life on Purpose.
Journaling is one of the best things you could do for yourself: Think of your journal as a loyal partner, best friend, advisor, therapist, personal assistant, record keeper, and/or an opportunity to permanently capture a great memory in time to live again and again. Your journal can also act as a stenographer recording a challenging moment, which you can learn from and grow. Here’s another thought: think of your journal as a place where you can write your intentions. Do you dream of visiting Paris for the first time? Are you looking for someone special to share your life with? Are you thinking of going back to college? You could create a journal of your heart’s desires. Those type of journals are equally powerful and fun to keep.
Heart’s Desire Journal: Last year I came across my very own Heart’s Desire Journal that I had created and forgot about. As I was reviewing my personal desires page by page, I discovered, “Oh! Got that …. did that …. went there ….didn’t get that because I had changed my mind …. but got THAT and more!” My wishes and desires ranged from a butcher block set of Williams Sonoma cutlery to sipping a cappuccino in Paris to earning my MBA to being published. They all came true!
Journaling is the most important book you will ever write! It’s unique to you and your experiences, and it is a precious tool when you refer to your own words to take an eagle-eye view of your life.