Journaling = Yoga

With 3 days left in my #30daysofwriting challenge, I’ve officially finished my old journal and have begun writing in my new one. While it was a little sad to pack up the old one and put it into storage (I have a big Rubbermaid bin full of many, many old journals that this one will now reside in), I made sure to fill those last few pages with as much reflection and positivity as I could fit, and I’m excited to see what will fill the pages of my new one.

Fanne's been reading and writing a lot this month as well

Fanne’s been reading and writing a lot this month as well

In addition to writing this month, I’ve been doing a lot of reading as well. I’m a virtual member of a book club that my good friend Kim started (which btw is called, “That’s What She Read”, amazing, right?), and I’ve also been working on finishing up some required reading for my yoga teacher training.

In one of my yoga books I was reading about the Niyamas, a list of 5 personal actions and attitudes that yoga encourages us to cultivate. When I got to the 4th one, svadhyaya, self-study, I realized that it fits in perfectly with my challenge this month. For me, journaling has always been a way to reflect on myself and my life. It’s a way to clear my head when monkey mind kicks in, a safe place to express my thoughts and feelings, and one of the best methods I’ve found to figure s**t out.

So, basically what I’m saying is that journaling = yoga. Looks like I was a yogi long before I even knew what that meant…

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 Addendum: Yoga school schooled me this week and if we’re really getting technical about it, journaling isn’t actually considered svadhyaya because it’s focused on the ego and not the capital S Self. Aha! I stand corrected. 

The Great Journal Switchover of 2014

I think I mentioned a few posts ago that it was fitting to be doing a writing challenge this month because I’m about to finish the journal that I’ve been writing in for the past 2 years—and when I say 2 years, I mean exactly 2 years to the date. The first entry in my current journal is March 21, 2012. Kind of interesting, huh? Does anyone think it’s a sign or has some sort of higher significance? I’ll let you know if my journaling leads me to draw any conclusions about this.

But anyway…it always feels a little bittersweet when I do the big journal switchover. Part of me feels excited to have a clean slate and to not have to tote around old thoughts, and fears, and everything else with me, but the other part of me feels a little sad. Like by not carrying them around with me every day, that all those memories, quotes, lists, and goals that I so fervently put to paper will suddenly lose their urgency and significance. Any journalers know what I mean?

So, what I’ve taken to doing before starting the new journal is to go through the old one and find the parts that still resonate with me—the quotes that stand out 2 years later, the lingering goals that I still have every intention of achieving, the unfinished business that needs to be finished—and I transfer it to the first few pages of the new journal. That way I bring with me what will currently serve me and leave behind what will not.

And so with only 7 pages left in my 2012-2014 journal, this is what I’ve been doing over the past few weeks. Transferring the bits and pieces of the last 2 years that will be relevant to the next 2, in preparation for the blank pages that await.

Old v. New

Old v. New—and yes, I’m a Moleskine girl

 

 

 

30 Days of Writing: Week 1 Recap

I have a full week of #30daysofwriting under my belt and I have to say, it doesn’t feel like much of a “challenge” at all. What it actually feels like is that I’ve just given myself full permission to spend my time doing what I want to be doing in the first place. For the first time in many lents, I haven’t missed a day and have stayed 100% true to my original intention. Maybe I am a “writer” after all…gasp!

My required hour of daily writing often extends well over the designated time period, and in the past week here’s what I’ve been working on:

  • 7 full pages of journaling—and if you’ve seen my journal you know that it’s made of up of teensy, tiny gridded paper that I carefully fit my thoughts in between the lines of. In other words: 7 pages is longer than it sounds.
  • Drafting a new sankalpa, which I desperately needed.
  • Working on my book report for yoga school, which I’m about 75% of the way through at this point.
  • Finally, finally starting an idea for a guest blog post entitled, “Observations of a Fitting Room Girl”. I’m not sure where I’d like to pitch it to when it’s finished, but maybe I’ll share it on here first to see if anyone has any suggestions for me.
  • Making some pretty serious lists containing goals and plans and personal declarations. Bam.

And after all that, I’m only about 14.5 pages away from finishing the 192 page journal that I’ve been working on for the past 2 years. How fitting that I’ll be starting a new one this month.

My itty-bitty handwriting (and notes for my book report)

My itty-bitty handwriting (and notes for my book report)

 

March’s Challenge: 30 Days of Writing

For the few of you who have been following along with 12 Months of Lent since the beginning (I’m talkin’ post #1 in 2008), you’ll remember that the first challenge I ever embarked on was focused on writing. It was simple: complete half an hour of journal writing daily. It was partially inspired by The Artist’s Way, a book my friends and I were reading at the time that encouraged free-writing first thing in the morning, and partially inspired by my desire to get back into journaling, a practice I had lost touch with.

My personal journals from high-school-the present

My personal journals from high-school through the present—and yes, they’re all full.

I’ve never considered myself to be much of a writer, but when I started this blog a few years after college, I was instantly reminded how much I truly enjoy the art of writing—and also how much I missed it being part of my life. Since then, I’ve turned into some form of a writer (although I really only feel confident calling myself a ‘blogger’), and a number of my goals involve writing, including writing for some big-name sites in the health & wellness industry, and hopefully even writing my own book someday.

My bigger writing goals have taken the back burner to keeping up with posting regularly on this blog though, so when I saw a few friends link to Kale & Cigarettes 30 Days of Writing challenge, I decided to take their lead and dedicate March to writing as well.

My rules aren’t strict, but my intention this month is to write without distraction for at least an hour a day, more if I have the time. The writing I’m doing can be in any form: journaling (I’m hoping to do a ton of this), 12MOL blogging, guest blogging, copywriting, poetry, list-making, letter-writing—anything. I’m just looking to make some headway on personal writing goals and to get some thoughts and ideas out of my head and onto paper (virtual or physical).

On today’s writing agenda: This blog post, and then work on my book report for Swami Rama’s, The Art of Joyful Living, a requirement for my yoga teacher training. Side Note: I honestly cannot remember the last time I wrote a book report, I’m legitimately kind of excited…and maybe a little nervous…