Life Makeover – Week 4

Now that I am getting back into the swing of things and working with schedules, I have put these posts onto a weekly schedule as well.
For those who missed Weeks 1-3 you can find them on the sidebar under “Categories”.
What I am doing is working through Cheryl Richardson’s book “Life Makeovers” and asking you to join me for the journey.
So to recap what we have done so far:
* Week 1 – Thought about our accomplishments for the past year and made a list of them. We then gave ourselves a pat on the back. Bet you didn’t realise that you had accomplished so much until you had it in front of you in black and white?
* Week 2 – Looked at our lives and worked out what quality we would like to develop further this year. I stated that I wished to work on my gratitude journal. I confess that I didn’t get much further than purchasing a book and making a few entries. I have now put it into my daily planner that is sitting in front of me so that I remember to do it each day until I no longer need reminding and it becomes a part of my daily routine.* Week 3 – Looking at our weekly schedule and pencilling in some ‘me time’. This is important because we don’t want to burn out.
Now, we move onto Week 4 and it’s accompanying challenge.
This week it is about writing in our journals every day.

Cheryl opens the chapter with a quote by Julia Cameron

Morning pages do get us to the other side: the other side of our fear, of our negativity, of our moods. Above all, they get us beyond out Censor. Beyond the reach of the Censor’s bubble we fund our own quiet centre, the place where we hear the still, small voice that is at once our creator’s and our own.

I have had journals or diaries since I was a young girl. I was diligent throughout my teenage years in writing however I lapsed over my adult years as life took over. I confess that it has been about 4 months since I last picked up my journal to write. Although I blog each day, there are things that need to be written out of my soul and onto a page that I cannot share with you.
In the past week, I have been reminded over and over that I need to pick up my journal once more and opening Cheryl’s book this morning in order to put this post together is another sign that I need to listen to.

Cheryl writes in her book that as she has written in her journal each day she has found:

  1. She feels deeply connected to her soul and what really matters
  2. Her days are consistently oriented around her top priorities
  3. Synchronistic events occur to support these priorities
  4. She feels a sense of security
  5. Her eating habits have improved dramatically
  6. Her choices have become more inner-directed, caring less about what others think
  7. She cares more about spending time alone

Cheryl follows the advice of Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way of writing three pages (by hand) in her journal every morning. She discovered that it became an important part of her daily practice.

Cheryl then goes on to answer some frequently asked questions.

  1. When is the best time to write? She encourages writing in the morning before the business of the day distracts you from the voice of your soul (or inner wisdom). When we journal at the end of the day (like I often do) we tend to focus on the events of the day rather than our feelings and inner thoughts.
  2. What should I write? Many journallers give up because they don’t know what to write about. Cheryl suggests using writing prompts such as:
    This morning I feel…..
    I’m always daydreaming about ….
    My nagging inner voice keeps telling me to …….
    The thoughts rolling around in my head are…….
    My soul longs to……
    My inner critic tells me………

    Use these prompts until writing becomes as natural to you as breathing.
  3. How can I stay motivated to write? Cheryl suggests creating a comfortable writing space and doing whatever is necessary to make that space inviting to you such as finding a comfortable chair and good lighting. She also suggests that you might wish to add a candle, cushions, a lap desk or even a favourite blanket in order to make this space a place that you wish to retreat to.
    Personally, I also like to have a pen that feels comfortable in my hand: one that writes nicely. I also like to have a nice journal (although anything will work). I am always on the lookout for beautiful stationery and my current journal is a cloth-bound book with hand made paper. When I left work, I was gifted with a hand-tooled leather journal fastened with a leather thong. (That one is waiting for the right time to be opened and making my mark). I’ve noticed that in a lot of stores right now there are some cute notebooks with inspirational quotes on the covers (yes I bought one). Whatever you choose to use, make it personal.
    I also like to draw doodles and add pictures into my journals on occasion.

Cheryl writes that having a daily ritual creates more control over your actions and this in turn follows onto other aspects of your life. It also helps you to connect with yourself.

So here is the challenge:
Choose a 30 day period and commit to writing in your journal each morning for a minimum of three pages. Hold this time as sacred and an opportunity to connect with yourself and your inner wisdom. Just write and see what happens!

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m off to put my journal in a place where I will find it each morning. πŸ™‚
Have fun. And let me know how it goes if you decide to follow along.

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21 thoughts on “Life Makeover – Week 4

  1. I tried to keep a journal and did for just a few weeks during the period I was helping care for my friend with lung cancer. I needed an outlet for the emotion I was going through every day. It lasted just a few weeks. I tried a gratitude journal once, but it felt too forced, We all have different methods of staying connected to ourselves, finding gratitude in our daily life, staying focused and centered. For me journaling does not work.

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  2. I know journalling works for many people like some people manage with little diary entries to remind them to do things for themselves. I think I tend to use my blog to do watered down versions of what I want that aren’t too intrusive or personal but which tell me what I want to know and serve as a rerminder. Maybe I’m just at an age where I on’t have the same aims as I once did and are more easily satisfied. Or maybe I’m just too lazy now to contemplate writing 3 pages each morning.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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    1. I think the fact that you record your days every evening is quite a feat in itself David. Sadly I am far behind on my reading again and due to the heat (too hot to be at the computer), I’m falling further behind. I will catch up on your antics though never fear! πŸ™‚

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  3. I’m quite sure that morning is the best time to write, but I will have to make it a nightly ritual. This is because there isn’t a set time when I wake up in the morning. My household runs on second shift instead of first shift. The prompts you’ve given will help tremendously. ❀

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    1. Lately I have been sleeping in a lot Glynis. School goes back in a week or so and my daily routines will need to change once again. I’ll start getting up earlier then I think.
      I do enjoy being up when the house is still so quiet and just spending time with myself though.

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      1. What I’ve been doing the past 3 weeks, maybe a full month, is I’ve been staying up a little longer than my husband. All I hear is the refrigerator when it goes on and the furnace when it does the same thing. Solitude is a blessed thing. ❀

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  4. I have stacks of old hand written journals that I often think I could make a novel out of. Most are from when my children were small and, since the advent of computers, my journaling has been done electronically one way or another.

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  5. I have never considered a journal as such Sue, I tend to just write my poetry and memorys in blogs, also some recollections of my past army days, these are all that will be left as a legacy to those who follow after in my family, I try to veer away from the past as its gone, however it shaped who I am.
    Maybe all my poems and writings will, one day, make it into book form and people can know who I was and my life.
    I dont think I could now sit down and record a journal on a daily basis, could tend to get boring for me.
    Wishing you all the success with your journal Sue, your aims will bear fruition.
    Ian

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  6. Thank you. I have done Cheryl Richardson’s book and Julie Cameron’s and agree with SuzJones both are worth doing as they push your boundaries. It is okay to be uncomfortable if it gets you thinking and exploring. You got me thinking of pulling out My Artist’s Way now!!

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