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Coloring: Lessons Learned

mandala-1I thought I would take a break this week from Journaling and discuss another favorite pastime: Coloring.

These days Coloring Books for Adults are available in nearly every store (I dare not say Adult Coloring books for obvious reasons). While I would never call myself a trend-setter, I will admit to coloring LONG before it became the national obsession.

In college I would de-stress during finals week by purchasing a Christmas coloring book and a pack of 24 crayons. Perhaps it was the nostalgic images of Santa, Christmas stockings, and decorated trees that relaxed me. Or perhaps it was the vibrant colors that awakened my senses after reading pages upon pages of black and white text. Or perhaps it was the kinesthetic movement of coloring that relaxed my mind, body, and cramped hands. Whatever the reason, it worked. After a few minutes of coloring I was ready to tackle the books again.

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How to Journal: Developing a Routine

journal and pen

So by now you have experimented with various notebooks and pens and found some that feel right. You have investigated some journaling options and played around with journaling styles. Now all you need is some consistent journaling time in your already over-scheduled life.

Once again, experimentation is key.

There are several factors to consider:

  • Time
  • Location
  • Atmosphere
  • Security

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How to Journal: Various Methods

journal and penThe first rule of journaling is… There is no one right way to journal.  So let go of the need to do it right and just do it.

The second rule is… Ignore the inner critic. Forget all the spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules your high school English teacher drilled in class (and I can say this… I was a high school English teacher) and simply write. Let go of your definition of “good” writing and just write. It’s ALL good!

For those who would like a bit more guidance, however, I will attempt to offer a few methods to help you get started. Try several different ones and then adapt them to suit your personal needs. As long as you are writing – no matter how much, how often, or what method – that’s all that matters. Continue reading

Types of Journaling

journal and penJournaling is not a one size fits all.

As we have already noted, there are a variety of notebooks and pens or online programs to use, depending on personal preference.

In addition, there are a variety of journaling methods. While this list is by no means exhaustive, hopefully it will give you a few ideas of how to begin a journaling practice.

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How to Journal: Computers

journal and penLast week I discussed Journaling Supplies, detailing various types of notebooks and pens available in the marketplace. And I suggested you experiment with several different styles to determine which one(s) work best for your writing temperament.

But I know there are times when electronic journaling is preferred. This will be the focus of today’s post.

Privacy is a real concern when it comes to journaling.

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How to Journal: Supplies

journal and penTo begin a journaling routine is simple. All you need is something to write with, something to write on, and a desire to write.

You can easily start with supplies you already have on hand: either a computer or tablet with word processing capabilities, or if you prefer the old-fashioned way, pen and paper. However, I would advise experimenting with a variety of supplies to decide which method works best for your writing style.

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How to Journal: Introduction

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.      ~ Joan Didion

I started journaling about three years ago. I always loved the idea of journaling – keeping a diary – but somehow I never followed through with those intentions. After experiencing a mild mid-life crisis in early 2013, however, my counselor prescribed expressive journaling as therapy. I have not stopped writing since.

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