Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘journal writing’

Morning Pages

I’ve been sitting on my front porch in the early daylight hours sipping my one cup of hot coffee, writing my morning pages. Julia Cameron, of whom I am a big fan, says there should be three pages but I’m hard pressed to take the time for one or two. Once my coffee is gone, so am I. The pages of drivel seem to others to be a waste of time and paper. I figure I can shred the paper later and put it in the compost. Writing in the morning sorts out my mind. Since I am alone with no one else to bounce ideas and thoughts out, they reflect back off the paper. I get all the muddle out in front of me, make my list of possibilities for the day, then see how much of that I can bring to fruition.

I took the 12 week workshop with many other women. Wonderful!

No day goes exactly as planned. I can deviate so quickly by a turn in my step. Finding myself organizing my shed when all I wanted to do is find the fertilizer to finish watering my plants. Then the pain in my foot will bring me back to my original intention of getting the watering done before the heat descends.

I’m sure she has written something I haven’t read yet.

Writing my morning pages is very different from what I write in my journal each night. Morning pages set intent for my day. My nightly journal page is a documentation of that day. Time, date and weather are included in both. Morning pages help me bring my intention into focus and clear my mind clutter. The nightly journal page, only one as I’m quite tired by then, helps off load my thoughts so I get a better night’s sleep.

When my children were young, I began the practice of reading to each of them separately at night as there was quite the distance in age, then ask how their day had gone. That’s the time when they would tell me anything that had troubled them or had been of particular delight. I was their nightly journal. Since both children have Dysgraphia, actual journal writing isn’t something they do. But mom still asks at the end of their workday how it went. My daughter spills most on her Saturday visits and my son calls daily to make sure I’m still among the living. He knows he can still share the good and the troubling. If it’s something big in need of working out, I still say, “WRITE IT OUT”.

Borrowed from the library and listened to it.

Like a piece of paper, I can fix nothing, just be the place to reflect back. Life is slower for me now. More solitude than many would find comfortable. Writing longhand on paper always clears things up in a way that writing on a computer does not.

There is scientific evidence of the brain to hand connection that does not exist with the computer. Long hand, free-flowing writing can unblock creativity and the next thing you know, you have a list of what can be done that day as well as a blog post all done for you. I may not be an artist but these books help unlock all kinds of creativity. Now I need to do another artists date. Hmmm.

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/writing-by-hand-benefits-brain-ainissa-ramirez

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/12/writing-on-paper_n_5797506.html

Have you found the benefits of morning pages yet or journal writing at night?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

 

In Search of Time to Write

I’m a blabber mouth. Yes, it’s true. I’ll converse with you about anything, anytime. I had a teacher actually tape my mouth shut in grade school. I thought it was funny until I almost didn’t get the tape off before I got home. It would not have been pretty. We weren’t allowed to speak at home. I made up for it big time in school.

I love the conversations I’m having with my new neighbors. The blabber mouth part stops when the conversation is done. I don’t carry what I hear from one to the other. People fascinate me and to keep them talking, I spend more time listening and share only enough of my own story to let them know I understand who they are and accept them. I learn from each and everyone.

That roll of metal in the trailer becomes the white cutter coming out the back side. Oh, my. I had no idea how they were made.

That roll of metal in the trailer becomes the white cutter coming out the back side. Oh, my. I had no idea how they were made.

Almost 60 ft of gutter comes out the other end all in one piece. Amazing!

Almost 60 ft of gutter comes out the other end all in one piece. Amazing!

 

In the two months I’ve lived in my new home, I have meet almost all my neighbors. Some just briefly, others have chosen to spend a bit more time. One older gentleman passes by and checks on the progress of my front garden. He asked if I were growing rocks in it. That was mostly what remained from the previous owner. Of course I replied that I was and hadn’t they grown quite large in such a short time. They did look larger without all the cover.

 

Next spring when everything fills in the boulders won't look so big again.

Next spring when everything fills in the boulders won’t look so big again.

 

I have been so busy making my home my own, that I have had almost no time to write about it or anything else that has crept through my pea brain as I tilled the dirt endlessly. I get up early to write in my journal and have my coffee as it is part of my spiritual practice. There is always a portion of my journal dedicated to gratitude. Then the outdoors calls me to come play in the dirt. I am so lucky not to have to go to a job. I love my life right now. Old age has many benefits.

It still looks bare but by next spring maybe I can add some pizzaz and some much needed paint.

It still looks bare but by next spring maybe I can add some pizzaz and some much needed paint.

 

We are getting some much needed rain today so the outdoors will wait for a bit. I could be hanging more pictures and artwork or putting more sewing stuff in a proper home but it seemed to finally be the moment for which I have been waiting. To sit down to read and write.

I’ll have the next three days off with my daughter and while she rests I can read a bit and maybe get a more of that writing done that keeps my brain fidgeting at night.
We are going to the beach. Her birthday gift to me and she has to do the driving. She made reservations for Sunday through Tuesday coming home Tuesday evening. We will be going out as others are coming back from this Labor Day weekend. We will walk, talk, shop and REST.

My sister wanted to play too. Pressure washing the deck before re-staining it. The dark is slimy when wet.

My sister wanted to play too. Pressure washing the deck before re-staining it. The dark is slimy when wet.

This was a cakewalk compared to stump grinding. A lot more still to do.

This was a cakewalk compared to stump grinding. A lot more still to do.

 

I have been dropping into bed each night with every muscle in my body aching from use. What a wonderful feeling it is but looking forward to some down time and as the hint of autumn creeps into the late August air, I feel more coming. I was even persuaded to sign up for the writing class again just to be forced into sharpening my writing skills. I miss all the fellow students and it will be nice to see everyone.

Have a wonderful Labor Day everyone. How do you celebrate it?

He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist. ~ St. Francis of Assisi

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Good Intentions

I just finished reading a great blog about Nothing. First, it made me laugh and brightened up a gray and foggy day then it jarred something loose. Last year at this time, the cave called me and I retreated. I love holidays but no longer have the stamina to do it the way that that I did in years gone by. Sound familiar?

Waking up in the dark is taking more energy than waking up in the sunshine. I wake at 5:00 a.m. but some days it takes till 6:30 or 7:00 to roll out. It’s not like I have a job to go to or a husband or kids waiting to be fed and taken care of. My daughter thinks I’m nuts because at my age, I should be sleeping in. Shouldn’t I?

I'm leaving it like that till I do my Qi Gong.  Half reg/half decaf.

I’m leaving it like that till I do my Qi Gong. Half reg/half decaf.

Every morning I wake up with the best of intentions. I plan to have my coffee and write in my journal. That’s a given without fail. The next part is tricky. I intend to do some form of exercise, then go to my computer and see who’s come to visit. Most days I get that part backward. By the time I’ve looked at my e-mail, I’m hungry and slosh from the coffee. Can I exercise on that? Some days it takes me till noon to get to my workout. I excuse myself with the fact that the exercise makes me too dizzy to do much after. True, but not good enough. So it’s back to the exercise first. I’m rolling out the mat before I go to bed. The coffee won’t even be turned on until I’m done.

It stares at me till I do the work. I have to walk across it to sit down.

It stares at me till I do the work. I have to walk across it to sit down.

You know the old phrase, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”? Well, for me it’s been a long road. Good intentions require follow through or they are just wishes. I wish I was thin and rich?

Finally got another batch done. Even by machine, they take a lot of time.

Finally got another batch done. Even by machine, they take a lot of time.

I always intend to get this project done or that one started. Then the machine gives me fits. Aren’t electronics wonderful? They supply so many reasons to sit and read a good book or watch a sappy movie. When I see the pattern forming, there is no one around to call me on it. It’s a self-correcting situation for me. So I get out a notebook and make my list. On one side are the things I’ve manage to accomplish since the holidays. You know the best way to get a child to do better is to praise them for what they have done. Then you can show them what they can do better. I have to be my own parent so the other side of the list must be shorter than the praise side. Yippee!

This will be part of a wedding shower gift so please don't tell. It was supposed to be for Christmas but was meant to wait.

This will be part of a wedding shower gift so please don’t tell. It was supposed to be for Christmas but was meant to wait.

How do you handle your good intentions that are wandering to the wayside? I’m all ears here.

Good intentions are not enough. They’ve never put an onion in the soup yet.~ Sonya Levien

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Trust

Several years ago when I first started to write more, my daughter bought a set of cards for me on some occasion. I’m not that easy to gift since I need nothing and want less. The cards are titled, ”Inner Outings; Adventure in Journal Writing”. I must admit I rarely used them. I had enough to get off my mind in my journal at the time.

The cards sit next to my chair these days and called to me this morning. So after doing my morning pages, I pulled one. Trust was its title. I read the accompanying book that goes with the cards. I wasn’t surprised that particular card popped out from all the others. My daughter and I had a conversation about it on our girls’ day out. I have serious trust issues.

The first person to look at is myself. Am I trustworthy? I have always thought so, making it a point to be honorable and honest. Everywhere I live, friends and neighbors come to my door to tell me about something they are struggling with. Somehow, they seem to know I will keep their confidences and offer no advice or judgment. All they want is to be heard.

Blossom found this bunny in the yard and wanted to keep it. That's real trust.

Blossom found this bunny in the yard and wanted to keep it. That’s real trust.

So why was I distrustful? There were all the usual reasons that life leaves on our path. I won’t bore you with the painful details. The bottom line was, the person I was not trusting most, was me.

Buffy and the bunny trusted each other to share the carpet and be kind.

Buffy and the bunny trusted each other to share the carpet and be kind.

I have exceptional intuition. It borders on an almost psychic knowing. Not for someone else but for what’s in my personal field of awareness. The problem comes when I let someone I love or should trust, talk me out of what my intuition tells me. When they try to convince me that their point of view is more accurate based on facts and mine is just mere speculation, I often succumb to their superior wisdom. More often than not, my intuition was exact and correct. Then I got angry with them, building resentments that got piled high and deep. Yes, I had a PhD. in resentment. What a waste of energy. The person I was really angry with was me.

So now, in my quiet moments working on healing, I’m learning again that I have to always trust my gut. When the hair on the back of my neck stands up, it’s my intuition telling me to run like H E double L. I’ve listened before and was grateful for the hasty retreat. It saved years of misery and even my life. When I didn’t listen, well, you know how that ended; twenty-five to life with the wrong man. The hair on my arms stands up and a chill goes down them when I hear an absolute truth. Weird, I know.

Schatzie and Mattie had a guarded trust. Respectful of each others space.

Schatzie and Mattie had a guarded trust. Respectful of each others space.

My job now is to learn once again, to trust myself. I may not be the brightest bulb in the box but my intuition is always a step ahead of the facts. You can never trust anyone or anything until you first trust yourself .

Have you ever not trusted your intuition and later regretted it or have you ever been let down by it?

“Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason “ ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself