Welcome to May, my friend. It may be my favorite month of the entire year! Maybe because spring is in full bloom, or because the temperatures in May are inching closer to my desired 75 degrees. Either way, I’m glad May is here. But before we jump head-long into this new month, there’s one thing I want to share about April. The one thing I added to my life last month, I believe, is worth sharing with you. Namely because this one thing made a profound difference in my life.
Does your brain ever feel so full, you don’t know how you’ll squeeze another thought in? Do you feel overwhelmed or frustrated often? Do you feel like your brain is in a fog most days? If you answered yes to any of these, read on.
The one thing I added to my life in April is: journaling my thoughts each morning.
Do you journal? Have you tried this practice?
Maybe you’ve tried journaling and you’ve come to the conclusion it’s not for you. Or maybe it’s something you’ve wanted to try, but you just haven’t taken that step. Or, quite possibly, you just haven’t found that “perfect” journal quite yet, and you’re waiting to start journaling until you do. (Believe me, I understand that struggle. I gave up finding the “perfect” journal, and now just write in a Mead Five Star notebook.)
Some people call this practice of morning journaling “morning pages,” or “free writing.” Some write for a certain amount of time or fill a certain number of pages. When I decided to give it a try (after hearing someone else talk about it and how greatly it impacted her days and her life), I chose not to add any conditions. Except to not allow myself to edit or censor my writing. I decided to write whatever came to my mind.
So, the first morning I grabbed my notebook, a pen, and I simply wrote.
I let my thoughts spill out on the paper. And let me tell you, I was shocked at what came out. Thoughts I wasn’t aware of filled the pages. After writing three full pages in a matter of minutes, nothing more to write emerged. So, I stopped. Immediately a weight was lifted off of me. I felt lighter, brighter, happier. My heart wasn’t so heavy anymore, and interestingly, I found I smiled more throughout the rest of the day.
It made an incredible difference that first day.
It’s made an incredible difference every day since!
Seriously! My attitude is much more positive on the days I journal. I feel more energetic. Yes, I know it sounds (or reads) strange, but I feel more alive and free on those days, too. I shared this post on Instagram about it earlier this week. This one thing has made such a surprising difference for me!
Now, I didn’t write every morning in April, but the noticeable difference it made on the days I did, motivates me now to make it a daily habit. It’s a habit I plan to continue through May.
What do I write about?
Well, like I mentioned earlier, I write whatever comes to my mind. One paragraph might be a prayer. Another might be a frustration in my life. Another paragraph might be an idea or a new thought. Some days I see a common theme emerge. Other days each paragraph is a different subject. Some days my page is a mess with lists and bullets and arrows. Some days it’s a few minutes of writing, and on other days it’s a bit more. But again, I just let what’s in my mind come out on my paper.
Does the thought of someone finding your journal stop you for journaling all together? It did for me. We don’t want others to read our deepest thoughts, right? So, on the first page of my notebook, I wrote a disclaimer of sorts, asking kindly for no one to read any farther. My innermost thoughts are reserved for God and me. It may or may not stop someone from reading my thoughts, but it made me feel better by asking him/her not to.
Why not give this one thing a try this month?
What’s the one consuming, troublesome thought that doesn’t ever leave you? What’s the one thing that holds you back from living each day to the fullest? Journaling may help you uncover these. What’s your dream or your motivation to keep going? Journaling may inspire you when doubts creep in. It’s done this and much more for me.
What have you got to lose? Grab a notebook, a pen, and take a few minutes to write. You may be a surprised as I was about what spills out. I pray you find it as helpful and as cleansing as I do.
And if you’re already journaling, how are you finding it helpful or encouraging or a blessing to you? I’d love to read your thoughts on it.
I look forward to sharing the days of May with you, friend. Praying God blesses you with His peace, His presence, and His provision!
photo: picjumbo_com on Pixabay
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