is for journaling
I think it’s probably safe to say I’m a journal junkie. Frankly I can’t imagine life without journaling.
I’m an equal opportunity user – I make my own, I buy them; I use spiral journals and hardbound; I have them in every size imaginable. Currently I’m working in journals that range from 12 x 14 inches down to one that’s 4 x 2.75 inches.
While I don’t consider the journals sacred, I think the practice is.
I do think of all my creative expressions as breathings from my heart. Isn’t that exquisite phraseology?
I keep numerous journals simultaneously. I’ve played with keeping only one many times over the years, but that just doesn’t work for me. I find the energy of each journal is so different and so unique. When I try to do a fit-everything-into-this-one kind of journal, I feel like I lose that intimate connection with the energy and it becomes too generalized for me to steep in. When I’m working in each journal it’s like being in a very specific energy stream.
So what kind of journals do I have going?
- Visual journals. I’ve always got a number of these going at once, and always in different sizes because I like options when I’m playing. Some visual journals are filled solely with my work, but one of my favorite ways to play in a visual journal is to what I call a riffing journal. I’ll use outside inspirations – a card or magazine bit or some colorful bits and bobs and then I’ll add my own work inspired by whatever I’ve collected. I like this a lot – it feels like a delicious way to playing collaboratively without actually needing to have another person available. I’ve kept style journals in the past, which is a practice I learned from photographic stylists when I worked in a photo studio in my 20s. It like a portable inspiration board – filled with colors, and textures – perhaps a bit of ribbon, some paint chips, a photograph.
- Dream journals.
- Alchemy journal. This is where I keep formulas of essential oil blends; the formulas for my auric sprays; the notes on experiments with various herbal combinations I use in making beads. All things I consider alchemical.
- Idea journals. Oh how these have served me! Both for capturing stuff so I don’t forget it, but as an endless source of inspiration years later. My mind is a productive little monkey, and definitely not all that linear. So when I found an old “idea reliquary” journal earlier this year, it was literally like finding treasure to me. I’m always fascinated by what I was finding fascinating at an earlier time, and how that path has unfolded in the most curious of ways. I have this quote pasted on the recently-found idea journal “As the Muse gives to me so does she deserve from me: faith, mindfulness and enduring commitment.” (Jan Phillips)
I think that sums up how I feel about journaling.
- Specific journals: if I’m working on a particular project I’ll often have a dedicated journal to that. I keep trip journals. And I have journals devoted to specific things, such as my totem series. I keep an individual journal dedicated to each one of the totem allies I work with, such as Crow, Bee, Spider. In one sense it’s a way for me to honor these sacred relationships, and it’s also how I keep track of the teachings and blessings and understandings I’m gifted with in our relationship.
- Collaborative journals: I have been blessed to play with a number of friends over the years in collaborative projects, and contributing to each other’s journals is one of the most delightful ways of co-creating.
- Every day journals. The place I keep my thoughts, things I’m pondering, revelations, musings. Things here can leak out into other journals or other aspects of my life – it feels like I’m just containing them and if they need to move on they can. While these are primarily written, there are always things pasted in, tucked in, folded into the pages. Because that’s who I am, a collector of connections.
I had a chop (signature seal) made that reads “write your heart.” That’s what I intend to do always. It’s a perfect self-care practice for me.
What about you? Do you journal? Keep a single one or multiples? If you had a chop made what would it say? Who makes your favorite journals? What are you exploring this moment in your journal? Do tell – you know I love to hear.