I’ve been journaling since I was young. I remember writing down my thoughts and feeling in a notebook when I was feeling bad about something; a fight with my mother, an unrequited love. When I was feeling happy, I didn’t journal. Today, I would have loved to look into my teenage mind, to feel what it was like again.
The first journal notebook was lost when my parents moved into a new house while I was away at college. I was handed a red plastic crate filled with childhood mementos that were deemed important enough to save. The notebook was not in the crate.
I do remember writing in a journal again in college. I have no idea where that book ended-up… or who is reading about my secrete loves at the age of nineteen or stupid acts which centered around drinking, finding love and living with six girls in a small apartment with one bathroom.
I do have the notebook I started in 1998 after my first daughter was born. At some point, I started writing about the wonders of being a mother. At some point I realized that I would soon forget all the sweet and beautiful feelings, everyday feelings that rush over you while folding a pile of laundry of tiny pink socks and a sweet baby napping nearby.
I was writing about motherly bliss when six months into the journal I started writing about my marriage and the doubts I had about marrying my husband. We had struggles from the very beginning. I wrote about the relationship with my mother and the power struggles that were slowly abating with the birth of my daughter. Being a mother gave me a new perspective that I wanted to impart to my child someday.
I wrote, “As a teenager I felt 1. Lonely 2. Ugly 3. Powerless 4. Confused – remember this.”
A year later I wrote about taking another pregnancy test and finding out I was about to have another baby. A month before, I somehow knew, You are going to have a son and wrote that in my journal the day of conception.
2001 contained the death of my beloved grandmother, a few months later, the death of thousands of people during 9/11. Questions from my three year old daughter arose from the back-seat of the minivan. That night I wrote her innocent questions in my journal.
“Why did the men crash the plane into the building?” “Where there good people on the plane?” “Do the bad men go to heaven, because Nanny Mac is in heaven?”
Eight years pass without an entry.
I started to write again in 2010, our third child was five. I wrote a half of page about a concept for a children’s book about messy hair. After eight years, that’s all I could give to myself? Where was I?
The lack of journaling shows you how busy these years were and how hard it is to stop and contemplate your life when you don’t have time to pee by yourself, let alone pick up a pen and start writing about it. When a young working mother tells you she is busy with very little time to herself, believe her and tell her, “This too shall pass, but don’t forget this time.”
In 2013 I start journaling again six months after being hit by a Hummer, when my daughter and I were walking in our neighborhood. The practical reason to start journaling was to document all the ailments I was experiencing and when they occurred during my day to track my symptoms. I was having trouble remembering things due to the concussion.
Three years of journaling about physical and mental pain due to the injuries, doctor’s appointments, small strides, two steps forward, one step back. My life had changed forever after the accident. I could no longer do the things I was used to doing, both physically and mentally. I couldn’t run, I couldn’t drive long distances, I couldn’t remember the littlest things. Then in November 2016, I start writing about my marriage again with two entries about trying to keep things afloat and possibility of letting go.
July of 2017 is when everything changed. I wrote, “Image the sensation to swim in the sea of your manifested desires.” A shift had occurred within me and through journaling, I can track the exact time it happened.
Signs, coincideces and synchronicitys were coming to me. Dragonflies landed on me and laid at my feet. I started documenting the coincidences. I would see dragonflies everywhere, on jewelry, in store windows, in the trash, in songs, on a women riding a bike down the street in Florence. I felt strength in these signs and began to share the stories with friends and family. I was overwhelmed with joy each time I told of a miraculous coincidence in my life. It seemed the more I shared these stories, the more I received. At the same time I started to realize my inner strength and I possessed a deep spirituality and journaled about it. Through journaling, I could communicate with my soul. It was always there guiding me.
This is how it works for me. I usually feel inspired to write early in the morning after meditation. I started a meditation practice in early 2017 as a means to stress relief outside exercise. Meditation not only gave me a sense of well-being, it allowed other ideas to flow and grow. As a beginner, I started meditating in yoga class and enjoyed it immensely. I took some guided meditation classes at a local studio https://www.breatheinspiringgifts.com and listened to guided meditation on my phone. (I especially like https://www.tarabrach.com) I read books about meditation from all the modern masters. I then signed-up for a Transcendental Meditation class in the Spring of 2018. There are many ways to meditated. I believe the idea of a daily meditation practice is what’s most important.
My thought process and the way I viewed the world changed dramatically. I was able following my path for personal understanding and growth through journaling. I started to follow the breadcrumbs that I was leaving in my journal. Looking back at past entries showed me the progression of my development with honesty. I would meditate daily and write about my thoughts, feelings and ideas afterwards. I started speaking my truth both in my journal and in my daily life, and it felt right. I was not afraid to be the person who God intended me to be.
The loss, the struggle, the pain, the suffering has given me a gift. I can see that now.
If my life we perfect, if I was happy with all aspects of it, would I have been shown a door to inner happiness? Would I have opened the door?
Probably not. The fear of disruption would have been too great.
I wrote on March 2017, “Fear is a portal – it wakes up the wholeness – it is the path. Embrace the fear, harness it and ride it like a wild horse. The very basic nature of fear is that we are about to grow but we don’t know how. Have faith that God will bring you into correct time and place filled with love.”
When I read my own words that come from a Devine place, I become overwhelmed with visceral emotions the come deep from within and rise to the surface, like bubbles realizing the surface of the water, exploding into gas. The energy is realized, released, reborn. I read my old forgotten words as the observer, detached, someone else has written these words however they speak to me anew, no matter how many times I read them. That someone is my Truth, the piece that is connected to everything. We all have that Truth within us. The trick is to be able to access the information more fully, within every moment.
Here is my advice. Be still. Write down your Truth, then review often.
You are going to be O.K. – Eileen