There is no one right way to begin. You may choose any path that connects with you. The beauty lies in taking out the time to sit down with your own thoughts. Witness the confusion come alive on paper. And be a silent spectator. Self-doubt may quickly jump in, as
Start with one thought, one pattern and see where it takes you.
You may begin with simply noting down one word or a thought or a feeling. And that’s okay.
We can write any thoughts that come to our mind. Journals give our life stories a home. These stories are very own life experiences, hence it can range from our mundane rantings, the chaos of our thoughts or some silly jokes that come to our mind.
It is the act of documenting, what connects with us the most.
Here are six ways that I have explored journaling in 2020!
One-line Journaling: Write down one line each day for at least 7 days to get the rhythm
I started with a 7-day one line journaling streak, where each morning or evening after having a cup of coffee, I used to note down one sentence that I felt at that moment. The restriction of writing just one line helped me to focus on what it was that I was really experiencing.
Music & Lyrics Journal: Document lyrics, songs that connect the most. Sketch the landscape, where the songs take you.
For all the music lovers out there, this might be your favourite one. I embraced in noting down lyrics of some of the songs that I used to listen to on loop. I often have the tendency to borrow my friend’s playlist and make it my own and now I have a diverse genre of songs all in one place. Here is the playlist if you want to listen to it.
Gratitude Circle: Notice the 2 things /people/places that you feel grateful for.
As the name suggests, this is simply noticing the people, pets, nature, objects, life experiences that make you feel grateful to be alive. Especially on the days when I felt like the world is a cruel place to be in. Having this circle made me believe that I am interconnected to so many beings out there!
Travel Doodles: Doodle the quirky vibe of a place that you connect with
If you are the kind of person that falls in love with any corner of the room, or any place, then this one is for you. Thanks to my reluctant transition from Mumbai to Melbourne in 2019, I doodled the little things that brought me joy in Mumbai. Whether it's people, places, food or the sea, I wanted to hold on to each one of the memories I spent in there. This doodle journaling ritual is still going on — in a small pocket size diary, I sneak some time in to sketch or doodle the best view I get.
36,000 feet Journals: Notice your thoughts when you sit in the aero plane
The first time I sat on a flight by myself, time froze. As I proudly wore the hat of a solo-traveller, all I could observe around was noted down. As I witnessed the white clouds pass by, my mind had become more clear of what was important for me.
I felt so small and the whole world was out there. It made me feel more humble and quiet.
Thought Collage: Make a collage of thoughts on a particular theme or just everyday rantings
2020 seemed like a never-ending nightmare. As I navigated through boredom, I found scissors and I randomly started cutting words, illustrations, jokes from the New Yorker without any intentions. A couple of weeks later, when boredom visited me yet again, I found myself creating some connections from the randomness. At first, it made absolutely no sense. I enjoyed the process of loitering around and waiting to see what became visible- once the collage was ready. I have one for every month now from Jan to December 2020!
How you want your journal to look is up to you. It can be a page, a photo, a diary or something more. Some people like to keep it rusty and love it like that while some like to keep it neat and clean.
How would you like to begin?