I woke up to a gray, rainy Monday morning after a gorgeous spell of hot, dry weather. Maybe some Vancouverites out there are groaning and griping about this on their facebook statuses but not me. (Thank God somebody’s going to water those poor potted flowers of mine!) This weather is perfectly suited for my mood today: pensive, reflective and subdued. After a quiet breakfast with my daughter, I suggested we sit on the couch and write in our journals while my youngest was still sleeping. My daughter loved this idea – she has her own “office box”, an emptied diapers box that contains paper, notebooks, crayons, pens and stickers. She grabbed a notebook and pen from her office box and joined me on the couch. We spent about 15 minutes side by side like that, in the dimly lit living room. The window in the kitchen was open; the sound of the rain added to the cozy scene.
I am checking in with my Self regularly because, like the shift in the weather, I am experiencing numerous changes. In fact, “change” is such a prominent theme for me right now that I have dubbed this season “The Summer of the Butterfly.” At the beginning of the summer, I had no idea how quickly and intensely these changes would occur. I have welcomed them, succumbed to them in a way, but that’s not to say it has all been a breeze. Some of the changes have been physical and include things like purging the contents of my studio. My friend and I will begin redecorating and reorganizing it this week. I have also talked about making changes to my work-week to allow for my new priority – my physical body. Creatively, this blog has added a powerful and spectacular dimension to my life. Emotionally, I am more connected now than ever with my friends and relatives. These are all fabulous changes but do you ever notice that with any shift in our state there is that settling stage? It’s that settling stage that can actually be a little unsettling –as in, I’m not sure how this change is going to affect my life or those around me. I have to wait it out and see. Ah, giving up control is not easy for a lot of people – are you feeling this?
Thankfully, I have had the support to take any bumps in stride; my husband holds my hand through it all and assures me it will be ok. If it’s a particularly emotional shift, he’ll remind me to protect my heart. He knows this particular organ/chakra of mine has a tendency to jump away from the rest of me. I also have deep friendships – women I have been friends with since childhood who are very much in tune with what I am going through right now who I can call and tell all or nothing to. They’re just always there.
I have also found that the more trust I place in this process, the easier it is for me to navigate the ride. When I check in with my Self via journalling, I am reminded that turning inward for support is extremely satisfying. This morning I didn’t know where I’d begin when I sat down with my journal. Should I talk about my weekend away? Some emotional moments I had over the past few days? I started off by doing what I do when I really want to talk about something important; I beat around the bush. I talked about a couple other minor thoughts that somehow managed to find space in that packed house of a brain I had today.
And then, the words came. These next 5 sentences are a direct quote from my journal. They are not sentences I pre-meditated. I wrote them without regard to grammar or word choice. I heard them and I wrote them and they make sense to me.
“Things don’t always have to be so deep. Have a little fun. It’s not all a test. It’s for fun, too. It’s for dress up and shine and dance and laugh and hug.”
I LOVE that last sentence. It’s totally not something I would write anywhere else but my journal. Someone else might think, “How old is the person who wrote that? Five?” Maybe. Maybe it was my 5 year old Self reminding my 33 year old Self that it’s ok to not have serious and deep conversations with every single person I encounter. I know the reasons why those words came to me and that’s what matters.
Do you have experiences like this too when you journal? I am very interested in hearing people’s experiences with journalling; as you know, I enjoy this topic immensely!
Here are some writing prompts for you today:
- How can you/do you entertain the kids while getting in a few minutes of journalling? Does your child have something like an office box to occupy them creatively? (Incidentally, what a great way to model the importance of self-reflection for your little ones!)
- What does your support system look like? Who’s a pillar? Who’s a wrecking ball? How much importance do you place on outer systems of support? Do you check in with your inner system of support enough?
If you are unsure about how to begin journalling, or how to deepen your connection with your Self through this tool, please feel free to contact me with your questions. It would be great to learn from each other and I’d appreciate your part in this process!