Reclaiming serenity

These dark clouds = my mind the last two weeks.

Been MIA these past couple of weeks because my mind was in a bad place. One thing I strive not to do here is do a whole lot of complaining/whining. While this is my online journal, it’s drag even for me to write when I’m in that frame of mind, let alone for anyone to want to read it. But feeling better today after a good day of art yesterday. If only I could have that every day. I’m grateful for the time I can spend on art, even if it is currently only every other Monday. Would really like to increase this, but I keep allowing other things to take priority. This has been an ongoing issue for awhile now.

What keeps me from doing more? It’s any number of excuses: the weather has me down (good grief, it’s been overcast/rainy here for days – I can’t stand it), I’m tired, I have to do this, do that. Always something. Yet these obstacles are only self-made. Not sure why I allow myself to continue to tolerate it. Perhaps it’s a comfort thing. Just like with everything else in life, if you want change you must work at it. And I find myself most days in the “eh” category, as in, “Eh, I don’t feel like doing anything.” If I didn’t create art on Sunday, I always know I have my Monday off to do some. I’ll take that for now. But seriously, if my husband can play video games to what amounts to about 25 hours a week (if not more), WTF? I laugh at this, yet it’s telling to me as well. Of course he’s a 180 from me – totally laid back, goes with the flow. Whereas I’m much more disciplined, consumed by what needs to be done. Granted, I have gotten much better with this, but I’m still not at the same point he is. Not sure if I ever will be.

So to reclaim my serenity (and sanity) from these past couple of weeks, I’ve dove back into my journal writing. I can’t emphasis enough how much this helps to unload my mind and set some clarity. I love it. I don’t but fancy journals – this is just a recycled paper notebook I bought from Target.

If I hit upon some gold in my thoughts I will flag the pages and tear them out when the notebook is full. Then, I burn the notebook. I know most people keep their journals to go back to, to gauge their development. Not me – burn and move on. I don’t need to read old journals to know I have grown emotionally – I can feel it. I still don’t get to write every day of the week (I really should though), and I don’t always do the three pages as recommended by Julia Cameron (author of The Artist’s Way), but I get something down. It’s nice to do a full three pages of fluid mind dump, but it’s a hand-cramper. 😀 I’ve also started to do lists of repeated thoughts, like writing 15 times straight: “I am a talented and successful artist.” Solid brain reinforcement (I picked this up from Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans).

Have you tried journaling? If not, try it! Steal away five minutes to start (preferably in the morning) to just unload. No one else is to read it – these are your pages only. Let it go. Stop letting the garbage weigh you down. Have fun with it – don’t think of it as a chore. Scream onto the pages if you need to – curse the world if it helps (it does, believe me). Write lines of gratitude – also very helpful to realign priorities. Serenity starts with a clear mind, so let the journal be the dumping ground for things burdening your soul.

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1 thought on “Reclaiming serenity

  1. How awesome that you’ve gone back to journaling. I started journaling recently too! I have never been a journaler (except sort of wishing I were one in my younger life). I hate reading old journals and wondering what on earth I was thinking. lol. I LOVE your idea of burning them when it’s done and only pulling pages you’ve flagged! I think I may do this too. This way, I never have to worry about the words or whose eyes might see them at some distant point in the future. Anyhow, I started a Sunday journaling ritual. Just once a week. And really I’m being somewhat focused — I focus on two things mostly: 1) self-care, noticing where I feel off and where it’s going well, and building self-care rituals, and 2) business brain-dumping (the business stuff has got my mind scattered lately, and I’ve noticed the brain dumping helps me feel more at ease. I’m sure I’ll venture into other areas at some point also, but I’m really liking the focus for now. This is my first experience journaling where it’s really felt useful. And I’m SO enjoying it! I look forward to my Sunday ritual. My other Sunday ritual (also in an effort to save my sanity these days) is to give myself Sunday’s off. No plans. No to-do lists. No requirements. It’s very new, and I’m loving it so much (although struggling with it at times because in my free time I so often try to get art business work done). Anyhow, this is getting long. 😉 Have a great day!!

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