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The Secret of Pen and Paper

There is an exploration and practice I have been participating in since I can remember being able to write. A practice that I was oblivious to for most of my life. A sacred practice and relationship with self through paper and pen.

At the darkest hours of my life, my pen and journal have been an anchor. A place that grounds and connects me back to myself. As a child I would sit on my bedroom floor, in the winter time on the heat vent, and write song lyrics, poems, any and everything that came to mind. I fell out of practice in my teen years (when I really needed this connection the most) and began journalling again on a more regular basis in my late 20's. I have been asked many times what I write about and the truth is, I don't always know. I don't always have an intention behind why I am sitting down to write. Other times, I am opening my journal with intention as my confidant, my counsellor, a best friends kitchen table. A place of processing, getting quiet and seeing and hearing my thoughts and wisdom. Either scenario, I rarely know what will come through my pen.

After my miscarriage I would spend, sometimes hours a day, with my journal and pen. Sometimes I would be at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody, sitting at the picnic table over looking the inlet, or sitting at Gabi and Jules Pie Shop having tea and pie while I wrote. Other times I was in Dr. P's office or laying in bed. Processing, deeply in survival mode, with a deep knowing that I was going to get through this, one word, one phrase and one page at a time. I would continue to write my way through the grief and fear and anger and feelings of self doubt and shame.

For me, writing has been a means to ground, provide calmness, a freedom from anxiety and a sense of comfort that otherwise I struggle to obtain. I am challenged to create time for myself. No matter how much I consciously know the benefits to providing this sacred space for myself, life has a way of getting in the way if I allow it to.

Sacred space can be created anywhere you are. My pen and journal are with me always, ready for any moment I have to pull them out to write.

I call journalling a practice as I have not a master and I do not journalling every single day as I strive to do. I fall into the traps of life and forget to create space for myself or get distracted by other, seemingly more important things on a regular basis AND, I will always strive to write everyday.

I am a better version of me when I give myself the space and time to dive in, explore and be curious about my ideas, whats going on in my life and how I am feeling.

For Journal Prompts, Try these on when you sit down to write:

  • - Our external world is a direct reflection of our internal world - this is what I see, feel, hear, sense... (let the pen flow)

  • - Today I am feeling _______ and I desire to feel ________ (let the pen flow)

  • - My greatest struggle right now is _________, I ask for guidance and reflection (let the pen flow)

I have found the key to journalling is allowing whatever comes to the mind to be translated through the pen; no judgement. Allowing the soul and mind to work simultaneously and to stay out of one another's way. The flow that can be created may surprise and delight you.

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