I have journaled off-and-on for most of my life. Especially when I was a teenager, then again in my early twenties, then again in my late thirties, continuing until today. At times when I felt especially lost and disconnected with myself. Times when I sought to detangle my thoughts and emotions. Sought to understand myself. Sought to further connect with myself and others. Sought clarity.
I’ve gone back to those journals over time. Sometimes the entries were fleeting concerns that had captured my attention. Often there were insights that I was too close (or didn’t yet have the experience) to understand. It has always been comforting. To see how far I’ve come in certain ways. To see how little has changed in other ways.
Earlier this year my friend Yanik released a well-crafted journal. Created after spending 108 days creating an entry each day. All involving care, thought, and his amazing and whimsical drawings. He gifted me with one and I have been using it for the past few months.
It’s not my every-day, write-it-all-out, why-am-I-feeling-these-emotions, what-the-fuck-is-going-on journal. It’s the one I open up when I’m ready to ask myself a deeper question and find out my answer.
The way I use it is this — each day, I look at it. If I feel either drawn to it or the desire to avoid it, I open it up and look at the entry. It has always presented me with an insightful question that was relevant and helpful. This has been especially true as I’ve been navigating how I best contribute to our world. I also enjoy the simple joy and playfulness and levity that he brings to these questions. It becomes a delight to write, and so I do.
The next day, I re-read that entry. I allow my awareness to show me what fits and what doesn’t. What I believe is true and what I want to avoid. This gives me clues, so I know where to focus my work. It also allows the analytical mind to begin thinking about how I can deepen those lessons. When I feel complete with it, I put a heart on each page with a highlighter, signaling to myself that we’re good. (Cue cool hand-shake.) I’ve heard myself and, to the best of my ability, have understood and accepted. Then, if I feel compelled, I open up to a new entry and repeat.
Lather, rinse and repeat. Like shampoo for the mind.
Using it this way has been very valuable to me over the last months, and so I’ve chosen to share it with you. Knowing that this is a time we often seek to understand and accept ourselves. I recommend it.
I have no stake in this, other than appreciating Yanik as a friend. I’m not an affiliate and I won’t financially benefit if you decide to buy one for yourself. I also won’t be hurt if you don’t. It works for me. I enjoy useful things that help me learn and grow. I enjoy sharing them.
If you want to try for yourself, you can get one here: https://cosmicjournal.com/bonus/