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  • alexellenward

the art of journaling

We've both been practicing journaling almost everyday of our trip, so I've put together a little guide of the different ways I do it. If you want to get on the bandwagon or you're no longer finding much satisfaction from plain old recounts, these daily/weekly/monthly practices may be a place to start!

the word vomit

Feel like you can’t tell ANYONE? Or just don’t know how you would ever say the ungodly, outlandish deed you have committed out loud? This style of prose is all about hand speed. Yes, I know, you can text paragraphs with your eyes closed and thumbs whirring but there is more satisfaction knowing you can make that can’t-get-my-thoughts-together-rip-page-after-page-and-throw-away scrunch (if so desired) when physically taking pen to paper. It’s all about liquidating every bit of information overcrowding your brain and getting it quite appropriately in liquid form on a page. More space for other stuff. You can decide what action to take after that. Please note: this kind of therapy often comes with side effects of severe light-headedness because you have seriously freed up so much space up in that big ol' brain of yours.

the vivid daydream

If you’re feeling super stuck, there is a way out. It’s kinda like travelling - but within the mind. I usually start this style of journaling with a picture of a place I have quite vague yet solely beautiful memories of, or a place I’ve seen in pictures but have never been. A bit like the way one would envisage paris before they go - all baguettes and wine and maybe even an intro into beret-wearing; but never the reality of dirty streets, long-ass walks between monuments and gaining a few extra kgs. Even reading something nice and descriptive works. This writing can be as melodic and descriptive as you like. Think: fragrances, sounds, what music would be playing, what those around you look like, how you fit into the scene, what type of thing you are doing. Romanticise the shit out of it. This is how you escape to your heaven, your perfect, stars-aligned world that no one can reach or ruin. I even use this to get to sleep because it is proven to yield some of the best dreams.

the dud of a doodle

'Write what you know', they say. I think we are there about now, right. So, why not extend this to 'draw what you see'? This non-written form of journaling (if you can even call it that) is all about strengthening those hand-eye-brain connections. I know you can't draw the pod of dolphins that decided to say hello on your visit to the beach last summer, let alone a hand with five proportional fingers, but have you ever looked at something with the divine intention of drawing it? One line at a time is a good start. A quality 0.7mm black ink pen doesn't go astray either. It's about seeing the thing for what it is to bring you into that moment. Breaks up the novel that your journal is becoming when you flip back through it as well.

morning reflect + intent

To set the scene for the day, I like to take some time for myself. What you need: cup of Joe the way you like it, somewhere with sunlight and a cup of water [coffee dehydrates you and you want to be able to do this in one sitting]. It’s best to find the type of questions that motivate you most, but what you want to hone in your reflecting to is 1) where you’re at now, 2) what you want and what you dream and 3) what you are going to do today [even if it is a small step] to start to make achieving this dream part of your everyday life. this subtly and subconsciously puts your biggest dreams in your daily life and I quite like the sound of that.

alpal :)

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