I have some exciting news I want to share with you today but before I do…let's talk about stepping out of comfort zones for a moment.
Two years ago, I was about to have one of the greatest adventures in my lifetime and I was terrified! My sister, (who is a great photographer by the way,) asked me over lunch if I wanted to go with her to Africa to participate in a photo safari. At first, I said nope! I am no photographer and I'm lucky if I even know how to work my iPhone camera but Africa – really? Well, I leaped out of my comfort zone, and it was a trip of a lifetime, one I will never forget.
I will tell you that stepping out of my comfort zone has taken courage through the years however believe me when I say that when I have stepped up and out – what I have found on the other side has been amazing, rewarding, and fulfilling. Not to mention growth!
One of the tools I have used to make stepping out easier, especially when I have been faced with anxiety and fear of the unknown is "journaling" the experience.
Journaling is one of the easiest forms I know of in terms of getting what is rattling around in my head out and to do that I just write it down on paper.
I was first inspired to write a journal after my mom had passed away. A co-worker and good friend suggested that even though my mom had moved on, I could still talk with her by writing to her and sharing what was going on with me. Thus, I began my journey of journaling. Now when I travel, especially to exciting places (such as Africa), I take her journal with me, and I write to her and tell her stories of what I am experiencing. It is as though she is with me reading along.
I then realized how much journaling allowed me to express my thoughts on paper so I started keeping a journal of my experiences, especially when traveling alone, which is not always fun. One thing it did for me was remove some of the apprehension of the unknown. I am a planner at heart but sometimes you just can't know what lies ahead on the journey. Simply writing down what I was experiencing was soothing. It kept me occupied and the anxiety at bay. Today, I always keep a travel journal with me to note the interesting people, events, and experiences I am going through. My travel journals include adventures to:
- Italy including Florence, Venice, and Rome.
- Europe including London, Switzerland, and Germany
- The Amazon River, (now that was a life-changing adventure.
Re-reading these journals from time to time brings back so many memories of each journey I have been on.
As my 30+ year career as an executive assistant was coming to an end and I was retiring to start a new chapter in my life, I realized that I was yet again, on a new and different journey. I had no idea what lay ahead for me and there were certainly fears and anxiety as to what my future would hold so I picked up my pen and once again started journaling. I now start each morning of my day by writing in my journal about the past day's experiences.
Journaling doesn't have to be hard. It is simply writing down what you feel in the moment, the lessons you may have learned, or the accomplishments you are most proud of.
Journaling for me is like having a therapy session with myself, reflecting every day on my journey in this life.
More importantly, I always end my daily journaling with what I call the "intent" for my day i.e., today, I will focus on being mindful with each encounter I have or… today, may the sunshine bring me warm thoughts and lots of positivity.
I also tend to purchase journals throughout my travels, especially ones that have great titles that intrigue me such as: "You've Got This", "Dreams Do Come True" or even one that was titled "Random, Awesome Thoughts."
This brings me to share with you some exciting news!
Because I love journaling and journals so much, I decided to create and publish one just for you!
The journal is entitled: Life's Playbook – Journey into Discovering YOU! It is written by you and for you as you travel along life's path. It is about reflecting on.
- What Inspires You
- Who You Are
- Who You Can Be
- And…Who You Want to Be
You can find this journal here:
All you have to do is pick up the pen and start!
I hope that you will find writing in your journal therapeutic, and inspiring and bring about more positivity into your life as it has done for me!