Journaling Experience

Lisa Sonora is running a 30-day journaling challenge. The challenge is free and she posts about the prompts every day.  It’s been years since I journaled on someone else’s prompts. Seemed like an interesting idea. And so far (this is day nine) is has been.

The tag Lisa uses for this journaling challenge.

The tag Lisa uses for this journaling challenge. The “click here” doesn’t work in this photo. Use the link in the first line.

Something I’ve noticed–when you have a lot of life’s experiences under your belt, you see journal prompts in ways that life has shaped you. (Or that you have shaped yourself in reaction to your life).

While this journaling experience is an art journal, I’m not doing it that way. I find it too easy to slap down some color or use a stencil and then create a facile reason in my head. Because I have a big imagination, I’m also really good at rationalization, and that’s the wrong direction for this journaling trip.

This is a written journal for me. But I’m allowing myself to think and write visually, as I usually do when I take notes. So it’s part written, part sketch notes.

One of the questions this week was about our life’s purpose. I realized with a bit

My journal entry considering your life's purpose

My journal entry considering your life’s purpose

of a shock that I better have that figured out by now. I’m well past the time when I have the steak portion of my life ahead of me, ready to slice and serve.

So I drew what appeared in my head: a closely fit puzzle, in which your purpose trickles through layers and connections, changing and remaining the same. Arrows show that you move in more than one direction at once, that experience shapes decisions, and that the goal is often pushed off into a corner, forgotten for the rush of the experience. And those two empty blocks? Well, they come at the beginning and the end.  There is always room for growth and not knowing.

–Quinn McDonald held the door open for someone at the bank yesterday. She felt the cool air rush over her as the other person slowly moved inside. And she knew it was her purpose in life. To hold the door open without expectation, and to feel the cool rush push away the stinging heat in delight.



12 thoughts on “Journaling Experience

  1. Thanks for the link to this challenge. I think I’ll give it a go. Wendy’s posts could have been written by me! I had to make sure I hadn’t written them! 🙂 I imagine there are more of us than we know in that place. I think (at 53) I’ve rather given up on finding a specific “purpose” and just do what I feel led to and what comes to me as I go. I think for me that adds up to my purpose. Otherwise I just have too difficult a time of deciding/discovering/choosing or however it’s “supposed” to work. I’ve taken more workshops and read more self help books than is good for anyone and apply spirituality to my entire life. But, still no big answer that lasts for long has appeared. So, for now, it’s a surprise as each day comes. So, right now it will be this journal challenge! Thanks!

    • I’ve found that re-framing my purpose in light-hearted silly ways that are metaphors for my daily life are excellent ways to remember my purpose, which shifts less than we suppose: I open the doors for people who have mobility problems and feel the cool rush of air conditioning rushing into the searing sunlit space I’m occupying.

  2. This is my second time through. Though I never seem to get them done every day…play catch up. Sometimes having prompts is just what the doctor ordered. And I love your word boxes.

  3. Quinn,
    I am also doing this Journaling Project (a friend informed me about it on our #JournalChat Live Facebook Group). I am just doing it in written form right now, although I may touch on it in my art journal at a later time. I have found what I call the “key” words to be insightful.

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring

    • One of the things I’m trying, Dawn, is making a list of key words on some of the prompts, like this one. I love list journaling. I’m so excited you are doing this challenge, too!

  4. Hmmm . . . so you thought you’d have your life’s purpose figured out? Why? Isn’t it whatever you’re doing moment by moment? Oh I hope so or else I’m lost!

    In line with the ‘Late Start’ moniker, I have just signed up for Lisa’s 30 day challenge . . . I am NOT very discipline so even continuing for the next 3 weeks will be a challenge in itself!

    Thanks for the introduction to her.

    • Well, if you don’t know what you are supposed to be doing (and for many years I didn’t have a clue) it’s hard to know who you are. It makes me laugh that you see “Late Start” connected to joining the journaling group now. I actually don’t know anyone in the class. This makes me feel better.

      • I start things late, and it’s 10 days into the challenge. Sometimes I’ll have an idea, gather the resources and leave it all in limbo for months before I start . . . I was famous for leaving university assignments unti the last two days to write (never any notes) and then getting an A.

        The other part of the Late Start Studio name is that I’m coming back to creativity with a vengeance rather later in my life, although it’s always been part of how I live . . . just in fits and starts, never the focus. It came in a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious) when I read “Much better to start late than never to begin at all” in Tammy Garcia’s blog one day . . . I was at the ‘it’s too late to see if I have an artist within’ way of thinking. I knew it’s never too late on a deep level and just needed that little push to put it into action.

        The thrid reason for Late Start Studio is that I don’t know if there is to be a main focus or if that main focus is to be diversity . . . we’ll talk!

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