This is my “Happy” journal. It is one of hundreds of journals I have. This is one I started January 1997. It was a time when I began to grasp my mental health identity and discover strategies to live with it effectively. Up until this point, I journalled only when I was having a depressive episode and I would write all my negative thoughts on to a page to purge it. It was helpful. Sadly, I had pages and pages of anger, sadness and hurt. Pages I kept to reread and remind myself of the pain I needed to release. It was therapeutic it’s own way but not exactly uplifting.
During this particular time in my life, a lower time, I was browsing through an old book shop and I came across this journal. I am a lover of cats so it stood out to me. When I picked it up I fell in love with the pages – some blank, some with beautiful prints of cats, and some with cat quotes. It was speaking to me and I purchased it. I held on to it for a bit – afraid to christen it with content that I might later find to be unworthy. Finally, there was a day when I began. The first entry was a typical entry. I introduced myself to any future selves reading it, spoke about my journey and how that day was a new day.
There were a few entries similar to that. Then, I came to a cat page – a page that had I couldn’t write on because it was filled with a picture. I stared at it. I didn’t want to pass it by without finding a way to use that page. I wrote on the margin – a wish. One wish. Something I wanted to write down in case writing it down would turn it from a wish to a reality. Then, I wrote another wish. And then, another. Before I knew it, wishes were coming to me. Things I was hoping for; things to get excited about; things that inspired me. I paused and realized something was happening. I was generating a feeling of well-being and enthusiasm. I was using a space in a way I never had before – I was writing in different directions, using different coloured pens. I had found an inner pot of creativity that was waiting to be tapped and it was producing joy. It was wonderful and from that moment, I knew that this journal must only be for positive and creative expression. I have a need to purge the dark and unhealthy thoughts and feelings in an expressive form but not here. I have another journal for that. This one will be the one that I come back to fill me full, to spark my imagination and to challenge me to find new and different ways to be inspired.
How do you connect with that inspiration?