I was blessed to be a part of a journaling experience in New Jersey last weekend. It was led by the ever-so inspiring Jennifer Tuma-Young of the dreamy Inspired Girl dot net for the girls of Kenmare High School at the York Street Project in Jersey City, NJ.
Journal keeping is a tool to find the connections between your thoughts and your observations…a way to invite inspiration…to take the time to notice your life moments…a way to learn to play…it is a way to talk to yourself deeply…Jennifer says, “Putting your thoughts on paper and verbalizing it is powerful. Saying a dream aloud actually puts it in motion.”
I have been journaling since I was in high school. It is a practice that has kept me moving forward on this not so steady life path.To turn the pages is to know the woman I am…the spirited, witty, sometimes forlorn voice that leads you through doorways to unknown places of my hopes, dreams and inspiration.
I am in good company as Louisa May Alcott began at age seven. Edith Wharton wrote before breakfast like I did for many years. Virginia Woolf was a journal keeper. You can find George Orwell, Samuel Pepys, Charles Darwin and Thomas Hardy journals online today as blogs. Benjamin Franklin recommended it as “a means to virtue.”
I keep many journals…The sketchbook journals, the prayer journals, the Moleskine notebooks, binders and spiral bound notebooks full of lined sheets with random thoughts, musings, quotes and images, writings and of course my blogs. All these have their special place in my life; each has a specific task; all are priceless.
Jennifer said, “Journaling is like brushing your teeth…habitually there when you awake or before you sleep.” She uses the prompts Live – Love – Learn. How did I live today? What did I love today? What did I learn today?
The mission of York Street Project is to weave innovative programs that shelter, feed, educate and promote the healing and independence of persons in need, especially women and their children. Kenmare High School – An Education for a Lifetime is a fully accredited alternative high school providing women aged 17-35 who dropped out of the public or private school system with a second chance to earn a diploma. Additionally, we furnish the counseling, social services, and childcare support at our onsite center, The Nurturing Place. St. Mary’s Residence - A Place to Call Home is a safe, affordable housing for single working women with limited incomes. The Residence provides affordable housing, meals, and communal living services for each woman, allowing her to concentrate on improving her language and job skills for a better future.