Finding Yourself through Journaling and Free Printable Month Tags

When my daughter was very young, I enrolled in a creative writing course. I aspired to become a freelance writer.

Writing during her nap times and night was exhausting. Sometimes I would work at night to finish a project and had to get early for the next day.

There were so many things to be done for the family, for my baby, for the house that I had no time for myself.

Then one day I read a quote that jolted me out of the torpor.

Home Coming

Home Coming

I decided to spend some time doing something I enjoyed every-day without guilt. However, I found out it wasn’t easy.

Guilt is another tag for motherhood. Why DO we always feel guilty in spite of doing the best? I think it comes from a collective consciousness that we have inherited from our ancestral mothers.

I started writing Morning Pages as suggested by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way.

She says-

The bedrock tool of a creative recovery is a daily practice called Morning Pages.

Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning…….They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.

I wrote whenever possible (morning or night) for five days a week. This practice became an anchor. I looked forward to that time with my journal.

Writing Space

Writing Space

However, diligently I wrote non-stop three pages mostly every-day. It helped to calm to my anxious mind. There were moments of clarity and profound wisdom.  Many times grace flowed divine and pure.

It gave me time and space to come with terms with the anxiety and stress of everyday life. It taught me that acceptance of any moment depends on your expectations.

Every day the blank page in my journal poses no expectations and yet offers infinite possibilities.

If you would like to explore writing a journal, here are few resources to help.

Journal Writing Tools

Journal Writing Resources

Here is a Christmas Gift for you!

Download this printable here to  get these lovely month tags for your journal.

Month Tags-page-001 F

Graceful Transition

Today as I glanced through the window the trees swaying in the breeze. The three trees Mango, Tamarind and Neem near my new home looked so friendly…….

 It’s a lovely day…

Breakfast of sunny halves of boiled eggs on brown bread a cup of coffee

And this little sunflower dancing merrily reminds me of divine blessings….

Sunshine

Sunshine

The house has a ‘just shifted’ look as boxes and things need organising

However, it feels great to sit and watch my daughter cutting a pattern for the craft activity

Life is not about order and perfection it exists in an ever emerging creative chaos….

It is found in such moments of transition…

I could feel it while having dinner sitting on the boxes on the day we shifted

And silently sipping coffee the next morning in a cup which I found somewhere

Shifting houses helps in shifting perspectives

As new emerges from the old

Life becomes more fluid

Yes, I loved my old home and will always be thankful

I welcome the new house in my life

Breath of Freedom

Glimmer

At times the anticipation of pain will keep you stuck in the same place

It will give you inertia and though wisdom might give you a nudge you will ignore

Going on through the day with the fear in your heart

Nothing you do will involve the ‘all’ of you

For fear will overpower, override, overwhelm everything

Your heart will be like a small scared child

And as you sit through the darkness

Trying to stop the tears that glide incessantly

With quivering lips and shivering  fumbling fingers

Wiping those tears on your face

In the darkest hour sometime somehow

A thought, a place, a deed

Or some long lost fellow traveller’s words

Would whisper and echo

Through some small space in your heart unaffected by pain

here you would turn again and again to seek solace and comfort

To take that small step towards an unknown destination

As you feel the chain of pain slacken

You take a breath towards freedom….

Not Doing a Geographical

Resplendence

I have realised that peace cannot be attained by completing the list of never-ending tasks. It is not there at the end of the day. It cannot be found by ‘doing the geographical’. (I love this expression, which implies removing yourself from a place either literally or figuratively.) . So many times I walk away from people, places and feelings, those very times I fight with myself. It becomes a heady ride of emotions. Anger, guilt, resentment compete with each other to get my attention. Peace at such times stands in the corner like an ignored child who has lost all hope of getting the mother’s attention.

Recently, I have been letting the anger, and its friends do all the theatrics for me. I watch as a spectator and clap at their brilliant performances.  If I get totally engrossed I would buy their cause.  However, I simply watch as they perform the parts in this drama of everyday. They recede after sometime behind the curtains. Yes, they can again give another performance, but then I too will just watch. Instead of ignoring I would greet them with respect and let them be. At such times, I have noticed that while I am watching these antics, peace comes over to sit beside and holds my hand.

Being at peace is that small feeling of comfort in the depths of the heart unaffected by the outer chaos. It is like a warm glow of fire, which is so reassuring on a cold night. It blooms like a flower spontaneously with the touch of the rains after a storm. It is not the end of turmoil, but the discovery of order in ‘disorder’.   Peace is that space when colours brighten, and the day swings on the rope of happiness for no reason. Just as a child running in the open your soul feels the gay abandon of peace resonating in your heart as a joyous tune.

 

 

Dearest Muse

Purple and White

Dearest Muse,

I am lost for words dear Muse when I try to express my adoration for you. You gave words to my writing, you who created dreamy images from everyday things, gave me the ability to express thoughts, feelings and observations.

It is not easy to capture those ephemeral moments in words. However, I will try to tell you how much I love and cherish you. As a small child when you visited me through fairy tales to fire my imagination. Holding your hand I walked through troubled waters of life. In the day, I met you in innumerable forms. Sometimes you would dance on the violet petals, or you would peep from a tree branch making me curious. At times, you would fly in the sky and ride on the cloud boats. Clouds and rainbows were your favourite haunts.

Hey Muse, did you know you are my truest friend? You have made me what I am today. You never ridiculed my initial efforts or compared me with others. You just took me as a protégé and wandered through the land. You did not teach, neither did you preach nor had any rules. You just left me to experiment by lighting my curiosity with the matchstick of imagination. You had no agenda or expectations. The world around me had expectations rules and regulation, where freedom could hardly breathe. In the Muse land, however, I was allowed to float, fly walk, sit, brood, cry, talk or say ….It depended on me and no one else. In your presence, I could be ‘me’. There was no need to adhere to rules or be apprehensive about pleasing others.

I have enjoyed thoroughly, travelling with you Muse, to the perfumed lands of Arabia, the gardens of Babylon or to the land of Snow White and Cinderella.  You got me interested with the Sea King’s Kingdom and Prince of Light helped me to understand that darkness and light are two sides of a coin. You gave me the words to play. I devised the games and could weave fantastical tales you applauded wordlessly and that silent applause became a resplendent  song. Today, my heart sings the unsung melody which only you can hear.

Thank you Muse,

A bow with deep gratitude

Me

 

 

Where was the ‘Green’?

Where was the Green?

 A tree just outside my house was devoid of any leaves for more than two months. It stood stoically watching over, braving the harsh winter winds. There was nothing that spoke about the inherent life force. Other trees nearby had their green coat intact. Somehow, this tree looked odd with pointed brown branches fanning around its trunk aimlessly. There was nothing to hold your gaze except for looking unusual in the midst of green.

Throughout December, January and February, I observed without paying much attention.  I noticed and admired the other trees. However, yesterday morning the moment while walking out of the room to the terrace I stopped in my tracks. Ahead of me was a stunning sight! This tree was covered with delicate green button like leaves overnight. It was as if a master painter had worked all night to give it leaves. The tree looked glorious in the early golden light.

Delicate Green

Where was this ‘green’? My mind asked. However, my heart smiled. The Divine presence in my heart was totally aware. Was the tree conscious of this? Yes, it was and that was the reason it had calmly braved the winter standing naked in the outdoor. The tree spirit believed and trusted the Universe to provide what was needed. It was not affected by lack of attention by the passersby. It never complained and compared with the other trees only because it had absolutely understood that every journey is different. Each phase in life is transient, and patience is the sole key.

When we face challenges, and things are far from our liking why do we feel angry and frustrated? The mind gets busy finding strategies to overcome or override the present situation. Our hearts are blocked with anger, resentment and fear. We easily slip into depression or apathy. Feelings of self-pity overwhelm us as we constantly delve into comparison.

This nondescript tree appears to know and understand more than us. It embraces the process with an open heart and bares its soul to every experience. The tree TRUSTS this progression. It knows that (however, cliché It might sound) everything does happen for a reason, and transpires for the best.

Muse

Muse

Jasmin

 I Understand

 The Certain Uncertainty

And the Uncertain Certainty.

 But I

 Have Hopeless Hope

Or Hopeful Doubts

 I Search

 The Sum of Nothing

Or Nothing in Something

 I Laugh 

  at  little Inconsistencies

And at the Illusion in the Visions

 I Know

 Life moves in one Direction

But Mind can travel in both

  I  Still Dream

  Of the Impossible

And experience the Miracles around me

 I am Enthralled

  By the Infiniteness of the Universe

And  can see the Oblivion

 I Bow

 To the five Elements

To the Creator, Nurturer, the Destroyer

  I Accept

 That time is a flow

And the only concept constant is the CHANGE

 

 

Just Wait

Just Wait

Brilliant colors with glittering jewels
The perfect polish in blue to fuel
A glance, a view would make you sigh
Beauty was soft and grace so high
Proudly as it stood by

A hand touched as fingers trembled
It has been long journey, I said
What long journey someone asked
Well I was not always this
Then what were you, he asked

Once I was part of the Earth
Brown and dark at my birth
Out in the open to look and see
One day came and I was pulled
From my mother and it did hurt
My heart to part
Why me? I did cry
Just wait said the Lord

Then I went to the potter’s place
And here I lost all my space
They pulled and pushed
To hit me hard
I howled as they danced
To give me the shape, I never had
It made me wince
It made me cry
Just wait said the Lord

It was the wheel that made me spin
Dizzy spiral dance of fate
Pinching and altering I knew all
Ache that refuse to speak at all
Numb and sore it made me call
Just wait said the Lord

Painting and Bisquing I went along
Glazing took my breath away
It was the flames in which I found
The heat covered my spirit and soul
It was the end I thought
I closed my eyes and said a prayer
Just wait said the Lord

The darkness faded the light dawned
It was a moment to adorn
The jewels and pearls all came along
I looked at myself and did almost cry
That was a long journey,  I said

Yes, said the Lord
Journeys are hard
Journeys are long
For it takes the hurt
To make a song

Hope

White and Gold

At times, I find hope in the most unusual places …
It comes as a tearful hug from my daughter after an argument.
It wraps around me while talking to my mother who always thinks that her daughter is not eating properly…
It becomes a lovely green lettuce leaf or a bright orange in the vegetable market.
It walks with me as a little star, trying to desperately shine on a gloomy, foggy evening.
… It wafts along a hot cup of beverage after a tiring day….

Me

The Wanderer

I sit with myself to talk mostly when it is dark
We sit together to speak amicably and agree
Worry, brood, get anxious or argue
Smile, laugh and cry
Though we both understand that whatever the misgivings we ARE friends forever…

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