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Entries in journaling (4)


On Change

"Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead, let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turned upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?" -Rumi

This quote sums up much of my past year. I've described it to some as having been turned upside down, everything shaken out of my pockets, and then put right side up, looking at everything with new eyes. It has been jolting (in a good way) and has reorganized my life- inside and out. Its rather incredible when these times happen. The fog begins to clear further, and we can see more honestly what IS as oppose to believing the illusions that we tell ourselves. Journaling is one of the catalyst for me. When I know I need to, I will sit and start "free writing" for 15 mins. This means that I just start writing whatever comes to mind and can't stop and check the internet or my phone or be distracted for 15 mins.  By then, I have broken through to where I will keep writing until everything comes out that needs to. Once I've emptied myself, I can better listen and the answers and insights come.


Meet the Maker- Melissa Oesch (from Artisan Made Decor and Gifts)

 Thank you to Artisan Made Decor and Gifts for sharing this! You can see the full article and photos here.

"In a world filled with lots of external noise coming at us from all directions, it can be difficult to listen to that inner voice that is trying to help you find your way. Our next Maker heard that voice, and heeded it’s call. Meet Melissa Oesch, the creator and owner behind Re-Imagined by Luna. She tells us of her story... “In college, someone asked if I wanted to learn book-binding. I have always been drawn to books. I read them voraciously growing up — as a way to travel, escape and imagine. I've also kept a journal since I was six years old, using it to reflect and process, even at that young age. So, the idea of creating a book to write in was appealing. The invitation was to an evening workshop where we learned to bind using the Coptic stitch. When I finished, I swore I would never make another book. It took more patience than I anticipated and was the floppiest book ever. Little did I know…. I started entertaining the idea of beginning a book-making business while I was working on an organic vegetable farm. I remember thinking, "What if I could DO this?" I knew the only way to find out was to try. The name for the business had already been given to me. It came one night when I was reflecting on the past few difficult years. A lot had happened that made me fearful of the future. I felt like I had been holding my breath waiting for some relief. It was that night that the word "re-imagine" was given to me. I had the poignant thought that I needed to re-imagine the way my life could be rather than assuming that it would always be the way it had been. It could be more wonderful than I had ever thought. I could not shake this concept. At the time, I was creating journals out of vintage book covers and recycled paper. The word "re-imagine" continued to echo inside me even in regards to beginning a business. It shouted to me that I was capable and quietly reiterated my desire to be eco-friendly through "re-imagining" my materials."


One of those weeks...

It's been one of those weeks.  You know the kind...where multiple obstacles and difficult circumstances seem to collide and make you feel like you're doing everything in your power just to keep afloat.  Here is just one example:  Last Friday, the internet goes down.  Someone came out and fixed it on Monday morning just in time for my computer to start acting like it was going to crash.  I worked with it for the past couple of days, updating and clearing out files to free up space.  I was almost through with it when...yes, the internet went back out.  This morning, the internet is out, and my seemingly-almost-better computer begins to not work at all.  I took it in to find out that I need a new hard drive.  

Now take this example and echo it through a variety of circumstances this week.   Something happens, seems better, then something else happens.  I've had to try and stay very focused, especially with a show coming up this weekend.  I've had to prioritize and recognize what needs done now and what can realistically wait until next week.   I know that I'm not alone in this.  I've had multiple conversations this week where others are also running into extra obstacles.  It's like I have a reserve of energy to get through a week.  I know what has to be done and what I need to do it.  When you add several extra large things to that mix, that's where I start to feel like I can't catch my breath.  

Last night, I took a time out.  I spent some time being still, journaling, and doing some reading in The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron.  Here is some of what I came across:  

"In the way we practice, we don't say 'Hell is bad and heaven is good' or 'Get rid of hell and just seek heaven', but we encourage ourselves to develop an open heart and an open mind to heaven, to hell, to everything.  Why?  Because only then can we realize that no matter what comes along, we're always standing at the center of the world in the middle of sacred space, and everything that comes into that circle and exists with us there has come to teach us what we need to know.  

Life's work is to wake up, to let the things that enter the circle wake you up rather than put you to sleep.  The only way to do this is to be open, be curious, and develop some sense of sympathy for everything that comes along, to get to know its nature and let it teach you what it will."

With that, I'm reminded that we must each continue to wake up to how things actually are.  It's easy when things are going well to think that we're regressing if something goes bad.  "Heaven or hell"...that old dichotomic way of thinking.  Instead, I am moving through each of these obstacles with long, deep breaths and curiosity.  Now, I just need to add a dose of good humor, and I'll be set for the weekend.

**Photo sent by a dear friend as a reminder that things will get better

Has anyone else had one of those weeks?  Feel free to share your stories and how you are stepping through it... 


Where It All Began

I looked around this morning and couldn't find it:  my first "journal" ever.  It must be packed away in a box somewhere in the attic.  Suffice it to say that it is pink, has a weird texture, and says "diary" on the front along with a few musical notes.  Here is a sketch to really give you a visual:  

I was around six when I first started keeping a journal.  Most of what I noted at the time had to do with fights with my brother, getting to go to friends' houses, and an update on our animals.  I wrote because it Rage Rage Against the Dying of the Lightsounded like a good idea.  Since I loved reading, it made sense to me to write.  I remember as a kid putting rules around it.  Put the date at the top.  Start with "Dear Diary".  Write everyday.  Don't write anything you don't want anyone else to read.  So, I wrote mostly mundane details.  I continued to keep a journal into high school, though I became much less rigid with myself, by dropping the "Dear Diary" and writing more freely.  By college, I realized I no longer simply chose to keep a journal:  I had to write.  At some point, it had become a survival mechanism.  I recorded alot of what was going on, wrote down my dreams, and released tons of free verse poetry on those pages.  There was so much going on with my family and my friends.  It was more than I could bear to say aloud so I simply wrote.  I even wrote in third person about the parts of me I didn't want anyone to know.  I pretended they were short stories and everyone got a nickname, including myself.  It helped.  I was able to continually empty myself just in time before the next big upset.  This went on for years.  I was afraid of being too intense for my friends so I didn't vocalize much.  I just kept writing and writing and writing some more.  I did make sure that those around me knew that if I was getting grumpy or irritated  that I probably was just overdue on taking time to journal.  It made that much of a difference for me.  Thankfully, life has settled down a bit and I no longer feel like I am constantly dodging curveballs.  I still keep a journal, reflecting on my days and responses and noting my dreams and personal growth.  I'm not as religious about it and it is not as necessary to keeping me afloat, but I continue to find it helpful.  Sometimes, it will be as simple as bullet points just to spark a memory while other times it will consist of a primitive drawing or layers of color.  I frequently get asked how I got into bookmaking.  While I can go into the details of how I learned to create a book, the basis of my bookmaking has much more to do with journaling and how I feel like it quite literally saved my life several times.

Some of my journals from over the years