November in Review

novemberJournaling is a practice. As with anything else, you only get as much from it as you put into it. Committing to journaling every day can be daunting, but when you see the difference it makes in your life and how more self-aware you are, it becomes an integral part of your day.

I track my calendar, my dreams, daily journal entries, creative writing, research, and notes in my journal. It’s basically my whole life on paper. I looked back at the month of November to check in. See how the month went, what journal techniques are working, what isn’t working. It sets up the following month and what I want to focus on or let go.

November was chaos.

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I know this is a math image of fractal chaos, but it visually described last month. The beauty, the colors, the chaos, the out of control actions that all make up who I am and what I do.

First thing I noticed was that I was all over the place. Physically, mentally, project-wise. This is nothing new, but there was a great deal of stress making sure I was getting everything done. I had signed up to do the NaNoWriMo challenge where you write 50,000 words in a month. I started off great, but died out before Thanksgiving. I did write 16,000 words, which probably would not have happened otherwise, so for that I am grateful.

I was selected to be part of the Nuts, Bolts, & Business Artist Entrepreneurial program through the Troy Arts Center from a grant that I wrote. This is a seven month venture and will require a great deal of my time, and it began in November. I had homework and a presentation to prepare, but I am very excited about growing my business.

Basically, I wore many different hats including book sales, writing my application for BOCES arts in ed, which was accepted, and I can’t wait to get more involved with teaching writing in the schools. Stephen was home, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with him, Thanksgiving, yoga. And if that wasn’t enough, I had my bedroom painted and redecorated!

Good stuff in November, but also high stress, which ramped up my poor eating habits. The one change I did implement in November was a weekly Stay at Home day. Because I am always out and running around, I needed to be more grounded. When I plan my week, I schedule a day to work at home and not go anywhere during the day or night. I absolutely love it. It forces me to get paperwork and business done and reduces my stress.

So what did I learn from November? I am most effective when I remain true to myself, my purpose, and I sit and do the work. Also by daily writing what I am grateful for, my attitude changed, and I focused on what nourished me.

For December I will:

Continue the weekly Stay at Home Day

Track my exercise, eating, and water intake for better personal health, which includes kicking gluten out of my life once again.

Daily December Gifts to Gratitude letter writing (see previous blog)

Focus on promoting Shimmer’s Eggs and writing Saving Atlantis (Book Two!)

Enjoying my family during this festive time of year.

If I hadn’t written everything in my journal I wouldn’t have remembered all the wonderful activities I did in November or how hard I worked or how stressed out I really was. It takes a toll on my health. Now I am more aware of what I need to do going forward.

Can you commit to 5 minutes of writing daily in your journal? Then review it weekly or monthly to see what is working and where you want to go next. It’s a path to healing and living a full and wonderful life!

Monthly Journal Workshop-Giving

Tonight’s monthly journaling workshop at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library was simply gratifying for all! Half of the participants were brand new and the other half were regulars who have committed to taking time for themselves.

The theme was gratitude, giving back, and being good to ourselves. Sometimes the best way to feel better is to give and remember what is wonderful in our lives. Here are some of the participants’ journal entries!gratitudesarahl

The month of Thanksgiving is the perfect time to start a gratitude journal. Waking up with the intention of striving for happiness changes your attitude and sets up your day for something great. When you take the time to journal on what was positive in your day then you are happier. Your world becomes a better place. You are creating precious and wonderful memories.

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Everyone wrote about their volunteer experiences and other foundations they would like to get involved in. Giving back has a way of creating gratitude. Helping others can have a healing effect. Knowing you are having a positive impact on someone else lifts your spirit.

Giving to yourself is probably the hardest way to make a difference, but it can be the most impactful! When we are kind to ourselves, we can give more to others. But who is the first person we forget about when the holidays or life gets too stressful? Ourselves! Write about what the holidays mean to you and about what kind of holiday you want to have.

Then give the gift of doing something for yourself. You are worth it.

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It can be as simple as being in the moment. Sometimes a pop, clink and fizz is needed to get through that stressful moment!

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Positive and genuine affirmations are huge gifts to ourselves.

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Buy that sweater you have been wanting, take the time to read a book, and treat yourself like the special person you are!

What are you grateful for?

How do you give back?

What will you do to be good to yourself?

Especially during this holiday season, take the time to journal and be kind to yourself. It’ll make a difference in your life and the world around you.

Next month’s journal workshop is December 13th! Take the time and register for you!

www.cphlibrary.org