What does it mean to be rooted?
This is a good question to ask during times of transition. Whenever we feel distinctly un-rooted, or up-rooted, or out of sorts in any way.
Instead of launching a big new plan of action during times of transition, it’s helpful to give ourselves permission to dig in, dig down, dig deep, and find the taproot within that wants to be nourished.
The blank slate of a fresh new year’s calendar
The middle of summer
Going back to school or back to work after an absence
Recovering from an illness (yours or someone you love)
Grieving passages…divorce, death, disappointment
The empty nest…or perhaps you’re readying a nursery…
A new career
Picking up a new creative project or hobby
these are just the kind of transitions I am talking about.
Especially if you’ve endured a long season of: preparations, faltering energy, increased stress, travel, socializing, entertaining, shopping, cooking, or caring for the needs of others.
It can be hard to “motivate” and find energy for new action after all of that.
What we need after a time of such external focus is a return back to the center of ourselves, to reflect inward and find our solid ground again.
Keeping a creative journal, one we write in, but also doodle and paste images in, is my favorite way to practice this kind of self-care.
It’s even more meaningful to do this with others who hold the same intention.
This is why I was inspired to invite people to journal with me. What if a whole bunch of us journaled together?
What if we spent time together in creative reflection, regrouping from our own changes and transitions, and found new energy within?
While it’s a 30 day journal project, there is no pressure to journal everyday.
It’s not meant to be effort or work.
One participant told me today that just reading the day’s prompts made her feel better. She feels connected to our group of journalers, even though she’s not writing every day.
Other participants are sharing that the daily emails with the prompts are like a lifeline for them right now. They, too, are connected, and finding energy and an eagerness for their creativity that hasn’t been there before.
As for me, this project grew a lot bigger in scope of work than I intended. Which is how I usually do things.
Take a small idea (a daily email with journal prompts) and make it bigger: a web page for each day! with tips! and images! For thirty days!
I made a leap imagination to put this project out in the world. I had to get audacious and overcome self-doubt, and I had to practice trusting where my heart wants to take my work next.
This is where my heart is taking me. There are about 2,000 people journaling together. And we’re only a week into the project.
I am keeping enrollment open for the time being, so if you feel inspired, please join in.
You can find out more about the project here: Root: A 30 Day Journal Project
You won’t be “behind”, you simply start with the first prompt and go at your own pace.
I’ve been working with just a couple of the prompts the whole time, including this one: What does it mean to be rooted?
When writing feels like work, it can be helpful to “answer” the journal prompts with images, the way I did in these examples from my sketchbook. (This journal was made in 2001-2002, and the first time I tried working in a Moleskin journal.)
If you fear drawing or playing with art supplies, look through magazines or books for images, and simply paste them in your journal.
And if you want to overcome your fear of the blank page, take a peek at workshops you can take with me.
Overcoming page fright is easier and happens more quickly than you might imagine.
I wish someone had shown me how to not be so afraid to put down whatever I wanted on my own blank pages all those years ago.
I wish someone had invited me to journal with them, just for the company.
I wish I’d had more trust in my own creative process.
I wouldn’t have hid in the creative closet for 20 years. Or spent all those years and thousands on therapy trying to find creative courage.
I would have found the answers right in front of me. In the waiting pages of an open sketchbook.
Thank you all…for being here and reading this today.
How have you used journaling to help you manage transitions?