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  • Norah Mooney

Journaling 101.

Updated: May 22, 2021

Journaling has been something I have done for as long as I can remember. Though in more recent years it has become a part of my everyday life. For me, it is a measuring tool of sorts. Kind of like an unending progress report. But without the angry boss hovering over me, or the cranky teacher scolding me. I think that’s how it all started really. When I was a kid, and I just couldn’t make sense of what the adults were doing. I wrote about it, or drew, or coloured, or created. And when I felt like I could share it, I did. And when I felt like I couldn’t, I didn’t.

And honestly- not much has changed except apparently, I am one of the adults now…..(Insert eyebrow emoji) ......If I were a proper millennial I might know how to insert an actual emoji, but for now this will have to suffice.

In my journals I can see all of the parts of myself. It can be as messy or as neat as I like it to be. I make the rules and I decide what I share, and what to keep all to myself.

In the moment it often feels insignificant to sit down and draw or write about my experience. But a year later I look through the book, and an image like this ( see image below)

Catches my eye.

I am flooded with warmth, a smile and a happy tear making its way down my cheek.

The night I got to sit around a table. Next to my brothers and sisters. I shared my stories and listened to theirs. And I loved every second of it. Today, when I look to this page I feel that moment all over again.

To a stranger this drawing would mean nothing. Well maybe a “oh I like the smudging” at best. To me, and my sensitive soul, it’s a ray of sunshine that I can turn to, any time I like.

I also use my journal in the icky times, and that helps me too. Sometimes I look back at those pages, and sometimes I skip right over them. Today I look over at my shelf and I have 16 journals. Each holding different times in my life.

Some are filled with only words.

Some are filled with hardly any words.

Some I chose not to hold onto

Some I know in time I will let go of.

But it all helps [me].

If you happen to be interested in journaling but don't know where to start. Here is what I would suggest:

Begin by making it your own. Whether that means decorating it, putting a title on the front of it. Signing the inside with your name. Colour coding the pages to make it more organized. Or maybe it's just a case of purchasing the perfect journal online. Next, set aside some time each day. It could be two minutes, or it could be half an hour. And if you are someone like me who needs an element of social interaction to really motivate. Perhaps pick a person. Someone you really know and trust, and share little pieces that are safe for you to share. By this I mean, try to avoid sharing parts that you know will cause you pain if the person doesn't respond in a particular way.

Lastly, let it be whatever YOU need it to be. If you need it to be formal and structured, words only. Let it be that. If you need it to be only pictures. Let it be that. If you need to write the date down on an empty page and doodle. Let it be that.

In short there are 101 ways to journal, and they are all amazing.

So there it is, another post. Somewhere in-between mediocre and lovely. (I hope).

To each of you reading this, thank you.

Until next week . . .


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