Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Journey and the Journal

This past week I walked past a life milestone having graduated from Arcadia University with a Masters in Education.  Music trumpeted, blossoms fell, speakers spoke, robed graduates walked, families gathered. The glitter and pomp of such formal ceremonies seek to memorialize a moment on the timelines of our lives.  Such life celebrations span our whole lives, from birth to (and sometimes beyond) death in the form of birth dedications, graduations, engagements, weddings, award banquets, roasts, reunions and funerals.

All these waypoints barely begin to represent the continuum which is our life journey.  And all too often we fail to take the time to reflect upon the gemstone instants that in aggregate make life worth living.  Perhaps in some way, the most animalistic experience of life is to live life moment to moment wholeheartedly, as Robert Redford’s character pointed out regarding wildlife in Out of Africa.  Alas, we are human!  And human beings are arguably the animal capable of the most complex thinking of any animal. Taking time to appreciate our experiences along the whole spectrum of suffering to ecstasy is so important!


As I continue to flesh out and share my vision of the journey that is Goodness, I  highly recommend setting aside some time to journal.  Even if done once weekly, journaling about the happenings in our sphere is the most personal of celebrations. Who knows, recording ones emotional and intellectual reflections may one day transform into a worthy autobiography, nevertheless, the real treasure in this act is not what is left behind, but how mindful journal entries of personal memories, principles and dreams can be leveraged continually into action on our ongoing, albeit finite journey in this world.

Please share any thoughts you might have on the experience that is journaling.

9 comments:

  1. I'm a big fan of the travel journal. I like to take a notebook along on vacation. Usually it consists of a combination of the very practical, such as what places I saw and how much money I spent, and also the self reflective. Nothing like a change of scenery for a fresh perspective!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Traveling does allow us a temporary escape from life's golden handcuffs. What a great time to reflect upon the adventures and life elements more truly fashioned of gold.

      Delete
  2. I have a box filled with old journals, starting from when I was 17 until adulthood. I tended to write about what was bothering me, etc., but as my perspective changed as I got older have started to write about things that bring me joy and make me smile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honoring the joy in our lives is so very important!

      Delete
  3. Do you ever go back and read your old journals? When I have done that, I have noticed two things that seem in tension - but are perhaps better described as complementary. The first is that my recordings often differ from what I remember now. Memory is selective. Experiences change and shape you, sometimes to the point that you hardly recognize the person you were. The second - I see patterns that have repeated themselves, characteristics that are all too familiar, resolutions I have made and then forgotten. I wish I had done a better job of tracking those resolutions and holding myself accountable. My project right now is to write down things I am thankful for, the smaller the better, and that makes me realize just how much there is to be thankful for! Yesterday’s entry – a tree house filled with water balloons!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Two great points. Ones state of mind can have quite an impact on when me journal, let alone what we journal. And what a journal serves for each person can vary too, from being an ongoing feedback loop to improve our journey, or just a place to vent expressively in utter privacy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I kept an almost-daily diary until I was about forty years old, almost twenty years ago, now. Most of the entries were fairly cold and objective, because I have always kept my emotions close to my chest. Every now and then though, I would get really worked up about something, and those entries are the most fun to read, of course! I stopped when my mother died. I didn't intend to stop, but to accurately record my feelings I needed to dwell on them to such an extent, that I just couldn't go through with it. Eventually I gave up. Every now and then since then I have made half-hearted attempts to get going again, not trying to catch up with the past but just to go forward from the present. But my heart's not in it any more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a worthy journal entry in itself, Martin.

      A written journal "evolves" to fit our needs...perhaps journaling doesn't need to be in written form. A mindful weekly contemplation can very well serve in its stead.

      Delete