Earlier this week I headed back to The Green Room for a creative journaling and mindfulness workshop with Lexi from Love Light Lexi.
I started bullet journaling three years ago (check out my first post here) and dipped in and out of various notebooks, struggling to meet the ridiculous expectations I set myself. Towards the end of last year I decided to make it a part of my regular routine and I’ve been writing consistently all year.
I signed up for this workshop because I wanted to build on what I learned in Write Yourself Happy, focusing more on gratitude and self-reflection and less on bitching about the day’s disappointments.
The session started with an introduction to the attendees and what brought them there that morning. It was great to meet fellow stationery lovers and everyone was so brave when it came to sharing what journaling adds to their lives. Lexi then led a breathing exercise, to encourage us to pause and check in with ourselves. It’s not something I practice myself but it did make me more aware of my tense posture and clenched jaw, so I know I need to learn to relax more.
We completed various activities throughout the morning, none of which we had to share with the rest of the group, but I enjoyed chatting and sharing with a couple of the women I was sat with.
I’m not normally a fan of prompts, which is why I’ve dipped in and out of so many journals which come with templates, preferring to write freely about what’s on my mind that day. When Lexi held up an image and asked us to write, starting with ‘as I look at this image I feel…’, I was initially a bit resentful of losing some of my precious bujo pages to something I wouldn’t have chosen to write about. But I like where it took me. She set a timer for four minutes and I wrote freely, mainly about adventures with Jenson, acknowledging the seasonal shift and how it makes a clear difference to my mood. I was able to focus on the things which make me happy and think about how I can dedicate more time to these activities.
We explored different types of journaling, such as free writing, lists, mind maps, brain dumps, morning pages, unsent letters, shadow selves, inventories and daily gratitude, as well as SMART goals.
My daily practice tends to focus on free writing, with some habit trackers and schedules, plus daily gratitude and self-care notes. While I don’t think I’d benefit from having different daily prompts, I do think that I could explore different ways of expressing myself, particularly when I want to work through something, such as pros and cons lists and brain dumps.
Now that we’re coming to the end of the first quarter of the year, I think I’m going to do a goals/bujo update in a future post, looking at the goals I set at the end of the year, how I’m doing so far and what I can do over the next couple of months to get a bit closer to my end goal.
One of the women in the group said that, when it comes to SMART goals, she prefers to say timely rather than time-specific, and not necessarily set a hard deadline. I prefer this approach and will certainly be using this in the future.
What I’d like to take away from my daily journaling is a bit more self-awareness and regular reflection. So far I’ve been writing daily and then using a spread at the end of each month to reflect on the things I’m proud of but I’d like to focus a bit more on what I’ve learned and how I can alter my outlook. We’ll see how that goes over the coming weeks.
When it comes to journaling, Lexi often refers to the acronym WRITE, focusing on the following:
What (is on your mind?)
I love that final element: exit kindly. I do my free writing at the end of the day, right before I go to sleep, allowing me to dump all of my bitches and moans on the page, while also recording the things I want to remember, such as Jenson’s milestones and the little things I’ve noticed and appreciated. I want to ensure that I write something positive so that I feel hopeful about the coming day.
Lexi made her own bookmark for her journal, with daily prompts for her journaling practice, and gave us all a blank one. I decided to write inspiring quotes on one side and a list of things that bring me joy on the other. I hope that these will encourage me to see the positives when I open my journal each evening and make me think twice about ranting!
The workshop was interesting but not what I expected. Because ‘creative’ was in the title, I expected something a bit more artistic or scrapbooky, but I enjoyed being able to explore different types of journaling and look at how I can develop my own practice. Plus I love talking to other people about stationery!
I also want to shout out to Jen from The Green Room and Twigs & Greens. She’s a fabulous host and her floral arrangements are simply stunning. The Green Room is a wonderful location for a creative session and a great place to drop in for coffee and cake. Do stop by if you find yourself in Hayle.