I have a confession: 10 years ago, I was lost. Bored with my routine and unsure of my purpose, I stumbled upon a piece of advice that would change my life. A talented writer, sensing my aimlessness, offered a simple suggestion: “Keep a journal for three months, and you will find your voice.”
Why I Consider Journaling the Unexpected Path to Finding Yourself
To say I was skeptical would be an understatement. Finding one’s voice through scribbling in a notebook? It seemed fanciful at best. Yet, her words struck a chord, and I embarked on a journey into the world of introspection, trading childhood diaries for an adult’s journal. Oh, how I wish my mother had not thrown away my diaries when I left for college! Oh well, we rarely look back, right darling?
Little did I know, that seemingly simple act was the catalyst for a profound transformation. Dedication came easily, fueled by a newfound passion for expressing myself, not through spoken words, but through the quiet eloquence of pen on paper.
While her prediction of three months was off (it took closer to five years!), the essence of her advice proved spot-on. As I wrote, I wasn’t just filling pages; I was excavating the depths of my own being. I unearthed Susan Honey Good, the woman with many layers, strengths, weaknesses, and a soul yearning to be understood.
My Journaling Practice Revelation
One glorious Chicago morning, five years into my journaling adventure, a revelation struck me like a bolt of sunshine. Standing in my shower, I was suddenly and profoundly aware of who Susan Honey Good truly was. A wave of peace, unlike anything I had ever known, washed over me. I knew my strengths, my fears, my dreams, and most importantly, my purpose.
This epiphany wasn’t magic; it was the culmination of my commitment to my journaling practice. My pages transformed into the foundation of HoneyGood.com, a platform where my musings became a bridge connecting me to readers like you, women from all walks of life united by the common thread of shared experience.
There I would sit, at my computer, probing my mind, innocently, never realizing I was analyzing my relationship with my parents, grandparents, teachers, and people I met who became teachers along life’s road, scary times, romantic times, and bad times.
In these moments, I realized why my mom played such an essential role in my life and how my father’s influence filled me with wisdom, and how my grandfather, without a word, gave me the desire to be a curious adventurer.
The Transformation of My Writings Led to the Transformation of My Being
My site became an elaborate journal allowing me to continue writing my thoughts and you, my darling readers, became my reason to divulge them. We just celebrated HoneyGood.com’s 10 year anniversary! I wanted to share because though we come from different walks of life we, as women, have a commonality. We all bleed the same.
With insight, I looked at what I learned through my harsh trials and major fears, mistakes along the way and disappointments, (here’s how I find contentment) and why I live in a positive manner walking on the sunny side of the street and have a rose-colored glasses attitude.
I always have seen the glass as half full, and I think the reason might be because I believe there is an affirmative answer for every negative happening and when I am confronted with disappointment, I put on my thinking cap and…think, then do. I am a visible and viable woman, a bloomer, not a boomer.
Through journaling, I unknowingly unlocked the secrets of my past. I revisited childhood memories in Kankakee by the Sea, delving into relationships with parents, grandparents, and the countless individuals who shaped me along the way. I relived triumphs and failures, dissected my fears, and celebrated my resilience in the face of adversity.
Uncovering Fierceness, One Journal Entry at a Time
This introspective journey not only helped me understand myself, but it also empowered me. Nearly nine years ago now, I was honored to be named one of Chicago’s 50 Fierce Women Over 50. The recognition came with a challenge: articulate why I deserved such a title.
Nothing is easy, darlings. And very few of us get something for nothing and for those that do, I hope they know the importance of gratitude.
I had to write why I am a Fierce Woman over 50. It took me a while to figure out how fierce I am. An entire weekend to be exact. I could not equate my womanhood with the word, fierce. I pondered and pondered for hours over what became the longest weekend.
The task felt daunting for a woman who didn’t equate herself with fierceness — days turned into a weekend of introspection, my mind grappling with the concept.
It finally struck me, and when it did, the meaning of why I am so damn fierce, came to me in such a positive manner that I startled myself. I was so excited that I ran around my home yelling to my ultimate concierge, “I got it, I got it… I figured out why I am a fierce woman over 50.”
Within ten minutes I typed out, “Why I am Fierce!” To this day, I think it is one of the best of my musings. I know it has to do with my journaling.
This, darling, is the magic of journaling. It reveals to us the depths of our own strength, our fierceness, our moxie. We are all fierce women, each with a unique story to tell, a voice waiting to be heard.
Read my original piece for Chicago’s 50 Fierce Women Over 50 below.
The Call to Write: Unlocking Your Inner Voice
So, I urge you, consider journaling. Let your first entry be a declaration of your own fierceness, over 50 and beyond. Forget rhyme or reason; let your pen dance across the page, unburdened by expectations. Write about a grandparent who shaped you, a moment of heartbreak that taught you resilience, or the simple joy of red lipstick, how travel can bring joy after loss.
Just write. Because in that act of putting pen to paper, you might just unlock a universe of self-discovery, waiting to be explored. Remember, “if you do not try, you will never know.”
More Than Just Words: Cultivating Your Journaling Practice
My journey with journaling wasn’t just a solo adventure; it was a blossoming, a gradual unfolding of my inner landscape, a way to organize my thoughts. And like any blooming flower, it required a bit of tending. Journaling has been proven to improve your mental health!
Here are some tips from my experience that might help you cultivate your own journaling habit:
Embrace the blank page
Don’t be intimidated by the stark white expanse. Think of it as a canvas, a playground for your thoughts. Start with a simple sentence, a question, a feeling. Let your pen be a divining rod, gently coaxing words from the depths of your being.
Experiment and explore
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to journaling. Try different formats: bullet journaling for quick to-dos and mind maps, freewriting for unfiltered thoughts, gratitude journaling for savoring the good stuff. Find what resonates with you, and don’t be afraid to switch it up! Consider journaling, there is an option for you!
Make it a ritual
Dedicate a specific time and place for your journaling practice. Morning pages before the daily rush, a quiet corner after work, a cozy nook with a cup of coffee – create a ritual that invites you into the space of introspection.
Silence the inner critic
We all have that voice that whispers doubts and insecurities. But remember, your journal is a safe space, a judgment-free zone. Let your thoughts flow freely, without worrying about grammar or perfection. The magic happens in the raw, unfiltered expression.
Connect with the community
Share your journaling experiences with others! Join online forums or local groups, participate in writing prompts, or even start your own blog. Sharing your journey can be a powerful source of inspiration and encouragement. Keeping a journal could lead you to finding other hobbies that keep away loneliness.
Embrace the journey, not the destination
Don’t get discouraged if you miss a day or two. Journaling is a journey, not a race. Be kind to yourself, celebrate small victories, and remember, the most important thing is to keep writing, keep exploring, keep discovering yourself on the blank page.
So, darlings, pick up your pen, open your journal, and let the words bloom. Remember, every entry, every scribble, every stroke of ink is a step towards a deeper understanding of yourself, a celebration of your unique voice, and a testament to the power of your own story. Write, write, write and let your inner bud explode into full bloom!
Now, go forth, darlings, and write your stories. Let your voices be heard, and together, we’ll create a symphony of shared experiences, each note a testament to the power of journaling and the fierce women we all are.
By the way, my published book is a journal and if you are a grandmother, it would be a wonderful way to begin the incredible hobby of journaling. Get Stories for My Grandchild: A Grandmother’s Journal, here.
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