Just over 6 years ago I worked in the Community Development sector running a Neighbourhood House. I remember one of the ladies from the local Art group telling me about a book called “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron. Initially I assumed it was about Art, then after further discussion realised it was a book about self care and personal growth. At the time I purchased a copy but was too busy to look any further into it and lent it out never to return.
Fast forward to now, following the breakdown of my marriage, learning to live alone (when my children are not at home with me) and navigating the challenges of daily life, I remembered this book. During my lunch break one day I checked out the local bookstore and decided to purchase a new copy.
Now I am first to admit, I am not very good at sticking to instructions, and this book had a bit of a program I needed to follow…. easy to say the only part I have so far followed is Julia’s advice to write three pages every day with a pen and journal. Three pages no one will ever see and that you don’t go back to read over, just let the words flow out of you.
You might ask, what on earth would I write about? It is not really about the content, rather the process and the habit. At first it is difficult to know where to begin, but once you get going it becomes very easy to write and let all the things sitting at the back, middle and front of your mind flow onto the paper.
I find that I prefer sometimes to write during my lunch break, it gets me out of work mode and allows me to be present. You can find your own time that suits, the evening can also be good as it provides a brain dump at the end of the day, you may even find you get a better night’s sleep as a result of writing before bed.
At least two benefits I have felt from this daily practice are:
- The act of writing brings you into the present moment.
- Writing without self judgement or worrying that someone else will read it creates a feeling of having shared a problem with a friend/colleague/counsellor and can lighten the mental load providing clarity to make decisions or reduce worries.
If you feel you are always in your head, worrying and thinking, I would highly recommend giving this daily practice a go!
Julie Barrow owner of JB Journals