This year I wanted to start a new series about journaling, not just writing notes and to do lists, but real from the heart, find your passion, from deep down inside you, soul journaling. I hope these posts may inspire, invigorate and regurgitate your writer's heart, to find a new lease on life on an old journal, or give you a dash of courage to start a new one. And this process, of starting fresh is what I wanted to focus on today.
The month of January brings with it that wonderful sense of freedom and new beginnings, a fresh start and an opportunity to try something new. And often it is the time when new journals are open, blank pages gleam with oopportunityand a new journey begins. However, starting a new journal can be easier said than done. I've always felt beginning a new journal is like moving house. Opening that cover can be very exciting and totally daunting all at the same time, especially if you are leaving a finished journal, full of beautiful memories behind. So here are a few tips, to help through the transition, to settle into the pages of a new journal with ease and get ready to write your heart out.
Find a quiet time and space to begin - While not always easy, finding a quiet time and creating an inviting, sacred space to journal in can really help open your heart space, allow for a creative release and a little magic to unfold. Whenever you can, carve out a little time for yourself, put on your favourite music, boil the kettle, light a candle, add a little romance to the experience. It's beautiful and totally worth it, especially when your opening those first new pages.
Let your past journaling experiences go - You'll notice that if you're not feeling like writing in an old journal, it's often because it doesn't feel right anymore, a situation may have changed, or your energy may have shifted. Don't feel like you have to keep going. If you don't love it, if it feels like a chore, if it doesn't feel like you any more, it's ok. Let that journal go and start over. Tie a ribbon around your old journal, send it to a bookshelf or treasure box with love and leave those feelings with it, so you are ready to begin anew.
Move in with love and gratitude - Your journal takes on the energy you bring to it, so remember to move in with love and gratitude. One way to move in is to bring a few things you love with you, a little bit like moving house. Add a few favourite photos or ephemera to first pages. I always take a few precious photos, including one from our wedding day, from one journal to the next. It's comforting to see something familiar and often makes those first few pages less intimidating.
Set your intentions - This is another lovely way to move into your new journal with gratitude and helps to overcome that 'what do I write on the first page' scenario. Open your journal, leave the very first page blank (I'll come back to that a little later) and on the following page, write a little manifesto. Ask yourself, what are your intentions for your journal, what do you hope to fill it with, what are you grateful for, what nourishes your soul. This kind of prompt allows you to get your hand moving and begin immediately to make a connection with those pages.
Leave the opening page blank - I leave the opening page of my journal blank, so I can come back over the course of my journal writing and fill it with all my favourite things. It becomes like an inspiration board and sets the tone for the journal. It's also always so lovely to open up your journal to and see photos, quotes and ephemera that make your soul happy.
Add an envelope in the back - I add images and ephemera to most pages in my journal, so I like to keep an envelope in the back to stash bits and pieces as I find them. I also try to cut the images I find to size, so they are ready to use when I need them.
Dive right in - Just get in and start writing. Let your hand go, let the words flow, don't worry if it's not amazing Keats like poetry, just make sure you go beyond the surface of your day. If you feel a 'to do' list coming on.. Come back to your heart, your soul's purpose, what you hold most dear to you.
And a bonus tip..
Use a pen you love - One thing I love about jounaling is that it's a beautiful soul nourishing experience that doesn't have to cost all that much. All you need is a notebook and a pen and having the right tools can really change your journaling experience. Spend a little time to find a pen you love. It doesn't have to be the most beautiful, it just has to feel wonderful to write with. Keep it close by and use it often, it is your link your heart to the page. I've been using these for over 10 years.
So go on.. Grab a journal and dive right in. Now is the perfect time start a new adventure. And don't worry if you've already begun, you can always go back, add more, take things out, start over. There's no rules, expect to love your journal and write whenever you feel a calling from your soul.
Have you started a new journal in 2015? Are you new to journaling and not sure where to start? Please feel free to comment and ask me questions or shoot me an email, I'd love to help you on your way.
Much Love & Light
PS. You can find my posts on journaling & a few more tips over here.