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Daily Practice


My journals and tracking tools – A daily practice of presence and self reflection.

Hi, Friends:

Last week I shared my simple approach to morning practice. This week, I am sharing journaling practices.

While I do admire the creativity of other people’s bullet journals, the thought of hours of advance work and preparation just to set up a journal, well, it makes me tired before I even begin. My journals are all about ease, fun, anti-perfectionism, and the consistency of just showing up to the page. Sounds a lot like playfulness, eh?

You’ll find below some of the journal processes and tools I am using in 2022. Some I have used for years and others are brand new this year. Actually, that’s a pretty good description of how I approach things in general. I like to keep what remains life-giving in the old, and stay open to the magic of the new.

Daily Journaling and Tracking Tools:

I do not collect a lot of “things”anymore, but I do collect my activities and experiences in my journals. It anchors me and helps me stay more awake to my life as I am living it. An unexamined life, and all that…

(I’ve shared some links for you in an effort to make it easy for you to see what I use. I DO NOT receive a percentage on sales from Amazon. This was just the easiest way to show you. )

  • New to me this year: I track my daily activities in a mini-logbook. Quick notes on how I spend my time. The term logbook originated with a ship’s log—a maritime record of important events in the operation, management and navigation of a ship. For me, it’s a way to support my often unreliable memory. “Where were you at 5 pm on Dec 5, 2021?” One moment, please. Grabs logbook. Flips pages. HERE. Ron and I always joke that if we were put on the stand in a courtroom we wouldn’t possibly be able to remember where we were and what we were doing a week ago. Now I can. Takes seconds.
  • Inexpensive Spiral Notebook: This holds my Morning Pages and Writing Practice. Daily morning pages via Julia Cameron and dedicated writing practice via Natalie Goldberg. Nat G. suggests filling a spiral notebook with writing every month. I follow her lead and buy cheap, playfully-designed 100-page spiral notebooks and fill one a month with morning pages and writing practice. This is the private space where stuff gets worked out.
  • Daily Diary – This is where I track my gratitude + journal something that was important to me from the day and make my gratitude lists. I may also doodle, draw, collage, and or explore questions on paper. It’s a working journal-diary not a pristine keepsake, though it’s precious to me. It’s full of meanderings, mistakes and also buried treasure. I often share from this journal.
  • Love quotes? Me too. This year I started copying a quote daily into my 5 -year quote diary. Check in with me in five? So far, I’m enjoying this process. I sometimes forget and have to go back and add a quote and that’s fine with me. Tip o’ the hat to Austin Kleon for the idea.

I hope you found something helpful here. These journaling practices grew over time. They’re easy and enjoyable which supports daily consistency. Journaling not only increases my daily creativity and self-reflection, it provides a record of sorts, of my life experiences, insights, questions, and themes as they arise. It’s an evolving guidebook from me, to me. It’s also one of the ways I commune with Spirit. Over time, it becomes a treasure trove. I’d love to hear about your journaling practices or if any of these options inspire you to begin!

Mary Thoma – Energized by the intersection of contemplation, creativity and compassionate conversation. Paying attention to the curriculum of my life. Healing. Recovery. The spiritual journey.

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