Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
You don’t have, because you don’t ask. Jordan Peterson
On Tuesday, my daughter asked, “Mom, what is your speech about?”
I said, “Creating an Illustrated Journal.”
“That sounds really boring,” she said. I think some people don’t have better lives because they think the things that will give them a better life are boring. She didn’t mean it maliciously, only trying to help me have an engaging speech. She hasn’t heard the speech, which is twenty minutes long, and tonight, I will find out if my audience thinks it is boring.
As my Distinguished Toastmasters project, I had planned a Story Time event for August 28th – the focus of a DTM project is to create a project or event that will help a community group. The community group for Story Time was going to be a local Children’s Aid Society; the event was scheduled for August 28th but was cancelled in July, because of scheduling conflicts.
About the time Story Time was cancelled I was contacted by another community group I’d put a proposal in to teach a workshop on Creating an Illustrated Journal. The workshop is scheduled for September 15th, and I will present the same workshop to my writer’s group on September 9th.
I would never have thought of creating a workshop on Illustrating Journaling if the head of the Mississauga Writers Group hadn’t asked me to come with her to a community group helping people with brain injuries and to present a proposal for a workshop.
I thought, “What do I have to offer as a workshop to anyone, let alone people with brain injuries? But, I thought of a conversation I’d had with someone recovering from a mild stroke. “They tell us to relearn, what we already know, it is not a time to learn new things.”
What do we already know? We know how to write, and we know how to make marks on paper. This speech I am giving tonight is to be a professional 20-22 minute speech. The speech will be a shorter version of the workshop I will deliver in September, and each presentation will be geared to a different audience.
Journaling is paying attention to the inside for the purpose of living well from the inside out. Lee Wise
I believe keeping a journal which I have done since I was fifteen is one of the best things I’ve done in my life. I have shelves full of journals I’ve written over the years, sketchbooks I’ve kept over the years, and some that cross over into Illustrated Journals.
We can’t always articulate our thoughts into words, which is why an illustrated journal is superior to only a written one. A picture can tell a thousand words, an eloquent scribble might be as cathartic as pages and pages of writing. I believe if there is anything I can encourage people to do that will improve their lives, keeping a journal is one of the biggest.
In a journal we explore our dreams, some we will articulate, some we won’t, and some we will never breathe to another person. In my journal entry on Sunday, February 2, 1975. I wrote about wanting to be an artist and a writer but I wanted a career as a backup in case I failed in my other two endeavors. I found that entry a few years ago when I was writing a speech and reading some of the things I’d written.
A mindful, meditative practice will help us improve our lives, a written journal and especially an illustrated journal can be that practice. Keeping a journal is a profoundly powerful practice we can have in our lives. I think I started keeping a journal because my grandmother, I never had the privilege of knowing, kept one. All but one of her journals was ruined by squirrels, she documented her days, and the little things are our life. In the end, they are the important things. We think the big things are more important than the little things, but the little things add up to be the big things.
Jordan Peterson tells us if we can get the small things in order, we can improve our lives incrementally. Let’s say we get meal times in order – that will look after our health. If we get an exercise routine in order – that looks after our fitness. If we can get our relationships in order – make time for our spouse – time for our children, time for friends, and time for ourselves. That would look after a big part of our life. Documenting this in a journal can help us tweak areas of our lives until we have the life we want.
If we articulate what we want we will be on our way to making it happen. We want to travel, when, where, for how long, and how much will it cost? Then we can start planning, maybe a big trip is too expensive, maybe we can go on a smaller trip and plan for the big trip. When we journal we whisper to ourselves and hear those whispers. Living is turning those whispers into dreams and goals.
Writing is another powerful way to sharpen the mental saw. Keeping a journal of our thoughts, experiences, insights, and learnings promotes mental clarity, exactness, and context. Stephen Covey
Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind. Natalie Goldberg
Keeping a journal of what’s going on in your life is a good way to help you distill what’s important and what’s not.
Thank you for reading this post. Please come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.
To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.
Thank you to those who read my books, and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.