A few years back, I read Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity and started a habit of what she calls “Morning Pages.” Her suggestion is to get up early each day and write three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness morning writing. To help you be a better artist, she asks that you use these pages to rest, to dream and to try.
I have to say, making a commitment to this habit has been nothing less than life changing for me. I sincerely believe all the research on journaling and have even experienced some of these incredible benefits:
Improves immune function. Expressive writing can strengthen your immunity and decrease your risk of illness. It’s even been reported to help wounds heal faster.
Reduces stress. Journaling can make it easier to unwind, and feel more optimistic.
Keeps memory sharp. It helps your brain function at its best, improves memory and comprehension.
Boosts mood. It gives you a greater sense of emotional well being and happiness.
Unlocks and engages right-brained thinking. This can bring better balance to your life, spark innovation and enhance problem solving.
You might want to give it a try. Just think about setting aside a time and place to start your journal. Give a voice to your dreams and aspirations and a safe space for all your hurts and disappointments. It’s very powerful.
Believe it or not, as a result of this daily habit, my husband and I started our whimsical stationery line, Hooray For The Underdog!, that celebrates and supports rescue animals.
I just got back from the mailbox and was sorting the piles; shred, recycle, bills and wait…drop everything…a thank you note from a friend.
You would think I would be totally blasé about getting note cards or greeting cards in the mail. But it’s a personally meaningful gesture and stands out from all the mass produced, push-a-button correspondence I normally receive.
I like writing thank you notes. Really. The thought of someone getting something good in the mail and knowing how appreciative I am, really drives me. Philosophically, gratitude and focusing on the positive is something I feel strongly about. Sharing my thoughts, using my favorite pen, on an interesting card, made from really nice paper, conveys that appreciation better than anything.
Spelling names correctly is a thing I’m always careful to get right. Nobody can stand to see their name misspelled. I’m also very fortunate that my wife Janet doesn’t mind proof-reading my notes. She’s a grammatical genius.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love email and computer produced correspondence, but it just can’t beat something handwritten on an interesting thank you note.