**** Are you always noticing the weather, keeping track of the phases of the moon or when the cherry trees bloom? Which birds are visiting? Do you love walking at the beach or through the woods and observing nature? How about keeping a nature journal! This has been one of my favorite writing exercises over many years. I found a ten year journal that was perfect. It has only a small space for each entry but you can compare the weather, gardening observations etc with the previous years.
**** Perhaps you are starting an exercise program or a diet. (It is January, after all.) Writing down goals and then tracking progress, including keeping a list of what you eat and how and when and where you exercise, can be a powerful motivator. It is also great to look back to see where you were.
****Many people keep a gratitude diary. This is easy....just list all the things that happened each day for which you are grateful. This can be tied to a spiritual practice or not, your choice!
**** A spiritual or prayer journal can be another source of nourishment. If you are in the habit of communicating with God, meditating mindfully, contemplating a higher power, or sitting in silence, journaling about the experience can be fruitful. Perhaps you read scripture as part of your meditation. After reflecting on your reading, write about how it moved you.
**** The arrival of a new baby into a family is a wonderful time to begin a journal. New mothers are often given a book to record all of their baby's milestones but there is no reason grandma or grandpa or even dad can't write about the little one! Along with your photos you will create a treasure worth more than gold!
**** I love to bring a small book along when I go on vacation. I try to record all the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of my experience in a new place. Along with my photos, my travelogue can recreate moments from a vacation long after the return trip home.
**** If you are artistic, your journal can incorporate other ways of communicating to enhance your words or instead of words. I am not very artistic but have recently been drawn to using paint, pencils and pens to "doodle." I bought a sketchbook and, when the time is right, I plan to create a visual journal.
****Some other journal ideas: Cooking and recipes, memoir writing, poetry or haiku journal, mindful moments, a garden diary(with photos,) a dream journal, a reading journal (with book reviews/synopses) Keeping a journal is proven to reduce stress and can be life affirming and lift one's mood.
Although I blog ( an online way to journal) I keep and have kept many paper journals throughout my life. The idea of creating a book, even if it never sees the light of day, appeals to me.
Try it! You may like it!
For Recuerda Mi Corazon Postcards from Paradise