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My 1 – 3 – 3 Approach to Journaling

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We’ve ALL heard that we should journal…over and over again… There’s just something about getting something {a thought, feeling, idea, etc} from head to heart to hand and out on the paper.

But, let’s be honest, that’s easier said than done. There’s something intimidating about looking at that blank sheet of paper. For a long time, {at least I} felt like if I was going to invest time, resources, and use my pretty paper it had to be mind-blowing, earth-shattering, brand-new information that no one had ever heard of – even if no one but me was ever going to read it. I bought journals like they were going out of style…and they sat taking up space.

One day, about 8 years ago, in the depths of my depression I decided to pick one up…a small pink leather bound journal with a Dr. Seuss quote and the fish from the Cat In the Hat embossed on the cover {that I got in the clearance aisle of Office Max – along with every other Dr. Suess style they had…and 18 pads of Dr. Seuss paper}.

The first entry started: Dear Journal….{that’s basically how all my entries in my 3rd-grade diary started – normally followed by my favorite lip smackers flavor of the week or what boy I wanted to be my boyfriend} I had NO idea what I was doing…

I scratched out Dear Journal and wrote: “I’m Grateful for…” I don’t remember exactly what I wrote after that {I guess I could go back and look} and wrote 3 bullet-pointed items. Then, the next day I did the same thing – and added ‘Things I did right…” with 3 more bullet points.

I continued doing this every night right before I went to bed for months; writing down my 6 points on a piece of paper no bigger than a cell phone. Once a day I would write three things I was grateful for and three things I did right. {Now do you get it? 1-3-3?} Some nights I’d add the same things to my lists: “I got out of bed today”, “I’m grateful for my husband”, “I ate a vegetable”, “I used soap” and other days were a little more revolutionary.

The longer I did it the more I realized, throughout the day, I was 👀 LOOKING 👀 for things to be able to write on my list, and the more I stayed in the present moment {IE out of my head}.  I was slowly digging out of my debilitating depression and finding my new happy…bit by bit…

As I got into the groove more and more I started carrying my ‘journal’ around with me so I could write things down the moment they happened {you forget a lot with grief brain} and adding other little things I wanted to remember/track/follow up on as I was ready…

Why do I bring this up today? Well, two reasons really:

~ I’ve been a little M.I.A. lately because I’ve been revisiting this journal ‘idea’ started so many years ago – redeveloping and ‘prettying’ it up {with LOTS of help} in hopes to be able to offer it up to others that need a little extra help – like I so desperately needed. I’ve been asked hundreds of times how I found the strength to put one foot in front of the other after Madelyn died. And, well, this what started it all.

The concept is that you can journal {as much or as little as you want} like I did all those years ago with daily tips and reminders to keep taking baby steps forward towards your new happy.

~ I attended a new local networking group and the speaker spoke on fear and worry. Her tip was to – each and every day – write down the 3 things you are grateful for and the 3 things you did right {she calls them acknowledgments but if you really think about it, the general concept is the same}.

I almost stood up and cheered when I realized she was talking about what I’d been doing for years {and was the catalyst to get me out of my ‘Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I guess I’ll go eat worms’ depression}. Don’t worry I didn’t actually cheer – but I did bound up to the front of the room when the chat was over!

I’d love to share with you a little excerpt from the journal {I’m still in the process of finalizing everything for print but I promise, it’s coming super soon!

Check out the Mini Sharing Solace Gratitude Journal Here.

I hope you find it as useful as I did (and still do!) And hope this will help you to find journaling success.


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