Each morning, usually early, I write one page in this journal.
It begins with one line at the top. I write the time I start, the day of the week, the date, and where I am in the world. Beyond that, the only other format is that I end the page with the time I stop.
One page. Usually full of handwriting from edge to edge. Typically it's 15 minutes, but I may take much longer. The words come fast or slow. Sometimes I get into a conversation with my husband, or I get lost searching for a reference. I might take quite a while to complete the page. A few times I just stopped. Wrote down the time. Closed the book. Went on with the day.
I purposely have no purpose for writing. It's not necessarily to plan the day, though sometimes that happens. It's not necessarily to record dreams or review some event, though that happens too.
It's an opportunity to wake up each day with myself, to explore where I am, to see what thoughts emerge and flow onto the page. It's a chance to be generative, to see what's bubbling inside before the outside gets cranked up. I used to watch morning talk shows with Eric while we had breakfast together. Now he watches on his phone with earbuds. I write. We're side by side and in our own worlds. It's a safe place for gnarly thoughts to run free.
I like the simple discipline of one page, each day. Sometimes I write every day, day after day. Sometimes not.
I've had journals at various times in my life, starting with some regularity in college, almost fifty years ago. Most of the early ones were the classic sketch book, hard black covers, white unlined pages, 5x8 inches. They were constant companions or occasional friends. The physical form changed over the years, quite a variety of books, but physical books, writing in or drawn in, pen or pencil or crayon in hand.
Much of what I wrote lacks context when I read it now. Some of it is powerfully evocative of the time, place and my state of being. Writing is good for me. Reading it back has recalled some of the journey, depth and nuance added from the perspective of years lived.
This particular journal was started in February 2017. It's 9.5" x 6.75". It was a vendor give-away at the HIMSS Public Policy breakfast (thank you LexisNexis Risk Solutions).
On the first page I wrote:
After Courage Labs retreat
After Wisdom 2.0
I'm now nearing the end of this journal. It's taken two years. The two years span quite a lot of living. My mother's heart attack and cardiac surgery. My father's death. Many trips for work and family. Celebrations. Deaths. Births. Illness. Recovery. Activities of daily living.
It was a period when I went from freelance policy expert to employed Chief Transformation Officer and now back to freelance.
Now I am exploring how I spend my time, how I earn a living. A few things are clear. Focus on what's important to me: time to deepen my presence, time to explore photography, action to create positive change in the world. Shift my attention from others to what's coming from inside me. Deeper, more potent, more meaningful. Also more playful and joyous. Spontaneous and connected.
I'm continuing to write a page a day. I've started to blog here. No commitment to what or when. We'll see what emerges.
May the divine in me greet the divine in you.
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