Journal. Art. Movement. is my JAM.
A year before I wrote my first book, I took an online writing course. I certainly had the extra time for writing. My commute from New Jersey into Uptown Manhattan took close to 2 hours. Luckily I was able to schedule all my clients into 3 days instead of 5.
I know it might seem like torture to get up at 4:30am to catch a 5:30 train. You can’t imagine how many raised eyebrows and wrinkled foreheads I witnessed take pity on me.
How long is your commute?
Oh Michelle, you’re so committed.
But, I looked forward to the train ride.
Every day I had the choice between sleeping my way into the city or writing. Who gets a free 4 hours a day to read (and finish) books? Who has free time to enroll in a writing course and actually do ALL the assignments?
I chose writing.
That 5-week online writing course in 2014 helped me shape a few articles and poems that I published in online magazines, and it paved the daily journaling practice that I currently greet every morning of every day.
I’m back in New York. No commuting for me anymore. Now I’m walking distance from my clients.
Like it is living in this mad-crazy town, I’m rushing around trying to tackle client business, write another book, and make fitness and yoga videos. Daily journaling for two years in New Jersey gave me so much insight into my real desires, blocks, and solutions, that I had to keep it alive when I moved back here.
So, I said later to sleeping in.
I journal at home now. My journaling begins by 6:30 every morning of every week. Without fail, I walk the pooches at 5:45am, remove their leashes and fill a goblet with cold coffee, add flavored cream, then burrow near the terrace window next to a shelf stuffed with old journals, a lamp, and a view of.. well…construction!
I gaze outside for a few minutes while sipping sweet coffee before beginning writing. There are animals in the trees that haven’t been torn down by the plow. It’s quiet, except for those birds and squirrels. It’s earlier than most people use their voices.
I never, ever have to search my mind for something to put in my journal. I write like I’m talking to someone; someone who is me but She is listening, letting me get all my feelings through the pen.
I did the journaling thing with Julia Cameron when I lived in Los Angeles. The Artist’s Way was what all of us entertainers did. Mostly because she said to do it. Three pages. Also, with coffee. In the mornings.
But life made changes, habits got interrupted, and I stopped.
Now I embrace the discipline of listening to myself, writing my life, writing my pain, and purging what would fester, because I can clearly feel the benefits.
My daily journaling has made me happier. I’ve gotten so clear about what I want and what I will tolerate. I’m awake to what brings me joy and what sinks teeth into my veins to take my energy.
When I journal something inside moves, something gets arrested, something lifts, shakes, becomes unwoven, opens. Sometimes the change will happen in the very moment I’m writing. Sometimes the change is pending, needing me to listen longer, write more, purge more, explore more, wait. And sometimes the journal helps me see that something has already been changed.
I’ve created mostly blank book, yet beautifully inspirational journals!
Aren’t they gorgeous?
They are part of my black coffee series of journals for self-exploration. They will help you feel into the celebration of life. That’s what they’ve done for me.